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Parmigiani Fleurier - Tonda GT: Striking A Balance

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda GT: Striking A Balance

After seven days with the Tonda GT Steel Black on my wrist, here’s my take on how it fares with balancing graphic design in the modern age.

First and foremost, you should know that the Tonda GT Steel Black, which I had the opportunity to test for a week, is part of a new collection launched by Parmigiani Fleurier in July 2020: the Tonda GT. Revealed alongside the Tondagraph GT, a model in the same collection consisting of an annual calendar and a chronograph function, the Tonda GT comes in three versions: Tonda GT Black, Tonda GT Silver and Tonda GT Rose Gold Blue. The first is in stainless steel (black dial), the second in silver (silver dial) and the third in 18K rose gold (blue dial). The newest feature from the brand lies in the strap of these new models, which is now available in rubber (black for the steel version and blue for the other two).

Tonda GT: Striking A Balance

Tonda GT Black Steel © WorldTempus/Joy Corthesy

For this review, I had the chance to wear the steel Tonda GT with black dial and rubber strap, a limited edition of 250 pieces. At first glance, the timepiece looks very restrained (which is done by design for optimum legibility). But a closer look reveals a thoughtful play on architectural elements which unfolds before the eye. In addition to the fluted bezel (a detail that’s reminiscent of the Toric collection), the “triangular hobnail” guilloché pattern on the dial is striking, giving the dial a textured look. This pattern is also present on the strap for design coherence. Other architectural elements also attract the eye, such as the hour and minute hands, delta-shaped, complimenting the overall graphic nature of the timepiece with their clean, streamlined structure. The rings on the edge of the dial right under the hour-markers soften the strict and orderly aspect of the watch, without straying too far from the engineered design. Geometry is an evident (and prominent) component on the Tonda GT.

Tonda GT: Striking A Balance

Tonda GT Black Steel © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido

If you’re already familiar with Parmigiani Fleurier, you might have expected something more classic, but the Maison is well and truly adapting to the times. And that is evident in their use of rubber for the strap. On the Tonda GT Steel Black (among other models as well), the black strap is made of this material. It gives the watch a modern, sporty-chic look, characteristic of the 21st century, as elaborated by the brand’s CEO, Davide Traxler: “The new Tonda GT line, with its more casual shape, reflects the current needs of the market and is, at the same time, completely Parmigiani.” Rubber is a material that is not only strong but also light, an ideal combination for a sports watch. The lightness of the piece caught my attention on several occasions: I sometimes wondered if I had it on my wrist at all. And I wasn’t the only one whose assumptions were challenged by the Tonda GT Steel Black; people around me had the same notion. I had many questions and comments (often accompanied with astonished wide eyes): “That’s rubber?!”; “Did they seriously put rubber on this watch”; “Is it comfortable?” Well, it is indeed rubber and believe me, wearing it is particularly pleasant, as the strap fits well on the wrist and adapts to a wrist’s natural movements (unlike some gold or steel bracelets).

Tonda GT: Striking A Balance

Tonda GT Black Steel © WorldTempus/Joy Corthesy

Presented at Watches & Wonders Shanghai, the Tonda GT Steel Black has a case inspired by the Tonda Chronor Anniversary, a watch was awarded in the “Chronograph” category at the 2017 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Water-resistant to 100 metres, this new timepiece retailing at CHF 13,500 has a large date window at 12 o’clock and a small second indicator at 6 o’clock, all powered by the PF044 automatic movement with a power reserve of 45 hours.

Tonda GT: Striking A Balance

Tonda GT Black Steel © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido

 

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