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Parmigiani Fleurier  - Bringing it Home

Parmigiani Fleurier Bringing it Home

Guido Terreni breaks down the reasons behind the success of the new Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante

Suzanne Wong: The new Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante has been brilliantly received everywhere — everyone I’ve talked to only has praise for this piece. Tell us how the watch came to be.

Guido Terreni: It was maybe the third or fourth day after I had joined Parmigiani Fleurier. I remember, at the time, everybody was fed up of not travelling. It inspired me to think about a watch with a GMT function that would be visible only when it's needed. After all, you don't travel around the world every day. So why have a GMT display every day on your wrist when you don't need it? I wanted something discreet, something that conveyed the values of the brand, something that advances the brand, which we have done here. We’ve reinterpreted the rattrapante, one of the most coveted functions that has until now only been associated with the chronograph. 

Bringing it Home

Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante © Parmigiani Fleurier

SW: You have a very strong sense of product design, which is essential in a collection like the Tonda PF. 

GT: Right. As Michel Parmigiani always says, technique is design. They have to go together. Let’s take this watch, for example. Putting in a small seconds indication would age the watch and adding a central seconds hand would have made it sportier. The mechanical side influences the design, and how to design a complication has to respect the values of a particular aesthetic. It’s not true that design is only about the case, the dial, the bracelet — it’s also how you approach the movement. Parmigiani Fleurier is about discretion. Another important factor is also comfort. We’ve placed the GMT pusher at 8 o’clock, because it’s the most comfortable position for something you may need to press repeatedly. In other placements, you probably need to twist your arm a bit. And the comfort comes in how you read it as well. The GMT hand is in gold, because it represents home time when you’re travelling, and home is precious to us. The return pusher, the rattrapante pusher, is also gold, whereas the button used to advance the GMT indication is in a white metal — because it is symbolically separating you from home. Another small detail, the micro-rotor is also in gold this time instead of platinum, because the rotor gives life to the movement, just like home gives life to you. 

Bringing it Home

Guido Terreni, CEO © Parmigiani Fleurier

SW: I love that idea, the way you’ve structured the GMT Rattrapante according to how we emotionally approach the concept of travel. The rattrapante action is swift and smooth, but the GMT hand has to be advanced step by step, hour by hour. Going home is easy; you’re returning to a place that is both familial and familiar. Leaving home takes effort.  

GT: This was our intention for the Tonda PF, to be something that integrates so discreetly and perfectly with the way we live. The GMT Rattrapante is a bit thicker than the automatic time-only model, because of the module, but otherwise it’s the same dimensions, which is really elegant. We removed the date indication, because if I happen to be in New York, I don’t want the date to change at 6 o’clock in the afternoon. It’s confusing. 

Some people said to me, Guido, it’s not really a GMT watch, because you don’t have a 24-hour hand or a day-night indicator. First of all, if we had a 24-hour hand, it wouldn’t be able to remain out of sight under the local hour hand when it’s not being used. Again, it’s confusing. And I don’t want a day-night indicator. I only spend about 23 per cent of the year travelling, and that’s already considered quite a lot. The other 77 per cent of the time, I don’t want the distraction of a day-night indicator on the dial. I look out of the window if I have to. This is our way of reinterpreting watchmaking in a sophisticated, elegant, refined and subtle way that makes sense according to how we live. 

Bringing it Home

Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante © Parmigiani Fleurier

SW: You mentioned that comfort was an important factor for you in the design of the watch, and it’s true that the GMT Rattrapante feels extremely nice on the wrist. 

GT: Yes, because a watch is an object you wear all day, every day, without thinking about it. Unless you’re a collector, you don’t put that much thought into what watch you’re going to wear each time you get dressed. So, it’s very important to make sure the comfort is there, and that our watches are getting it right. We think a lot about the use of space in a watch. It’s like a tailor-made suit. If it’s done right, you don’t feel what you’re wearing, it follows your body perfectly. The Tonda PF bracelet follows your wrist perfectly, and we had to work on this a lot, because everyone’s wrist is different.   

SW: Can I ask you something about the Tonda PF collection in general? When we talk about the collection and the models in it, we talk about how all the individual elements — like the colours, the dials, the indications, the lines of the case — are designed to be very soft and refined. However when you look at the watch as a whole, there is a strength there. Where does this strength come from?

GT: First of all, there is no dominant feature in the Tonda PF. Nothing is overpowering the other features; everything is harmonious. There are points that draw our attention, of course, but there are other features that you really need to discover by looking closely at the details. So we have a certain level of elegance and refinement, a lot of delicate details and subtle structure, like in a well-made suit — again using the same comparison from before. And the strength of the creation comes out when you put it on.  

Bringing it Home

Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante © Parmigiani Fleurier


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