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Parmigiani Fleurier - The Tao Of Parmigiani Fleurier

Parmigiani Fleurier The Tao Of Parmigiani Fleurier

Expanding on the success of the Tonda PF

There’s a French saying that goes, “On ne change pas une équipe qui gagne,” a phrase that has no direct equivalent in English, although the closest you might get is some kind of cross between “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and “Don’t change horses midstream”. There is wisdom in the idea that you shouldn’t mess with a winning team, whether it’s a superstitious reticence of disrupting a lucky streak or whether it’s just plain common sense in sticking with a successful strategy. Two years ago, Parmigiani Fleurier launched the chic younger sister of the Tonda, the Tonda PF. Whilst the Tonda appealed to classical audiences with its emphasis on sober case geometries and clean dials, the Tonda PF revelled in crisp yet delicate textures, drawing the eye with its play of light and three-dimensional detailing.

While the concept of an instant hit doesn’t really exist in the watchmaking industry (an idea more suited to the fast-paced and trend-based worlds of music or fashion), the Tonda PF was certainly welcomed with great warmth, despite having its debut amidst the turbulence of late 2021. By the time Watches and Wonders 2022 rolled around, the Tonda PF was confirmed as the most exciting new collection to come from the Fleurier-based watch brand (perhaps even in the entire watch world) in years.

This year’s new additions to the Tonda PF collection build upon the existing models, rounding out the family in terms of materials and colour executions. And, much like the Tonda PF design itself, there is more to the new models than meets the eye.

The Tao Of Parmigiani Fleurier

Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon © Parmigiani Fleurier

Appearances can be deceiving. Most people might think that the star among the new Tonda PF models was the Split Seconds Chronograph or the Flying Tourbillon. After all, these are the three most complicated pieces released by Parmigiani Fleurier at Watches and Wonders this year (more on those watches later). However, let’s take a look instead at the Minute Rattrapante, a model with a versatile new function constructed with the same mechanical principles underlying last year’s Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante. 

The Tao Of Parmigiani Fleurier

Minute Rattrapante © Parmigiani Fleurier

While the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante was Parmigiani Fleurier’s minimalist take on a second time display, the Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante is Parmigiani’s answer to an elegant yet practical countdown timer. Actuating the pusher at 8 o’clock causes the gold minute hand to emerge from under the regular minute hand, advancing five minutes per push. For greater precision, the pusher at 10 o’clock advances the gold minute hand one minute at a time. Once its position is set, it remains there, unlike the gold hour hand in the GMT Rattrapante, which moved along with the regular hour hand, maintaining the same radial angle between them at all times. As the regular minute hand on the Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante advances, the angular distance between it and the gold minute hand closes, thus providing an intuitive visual indication of the countdown period. In effect, the Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante provides the additional function of a 60-minute timer, and I don’t think we’re going too far by saying this might be considered a new complication. 

The Tao Of Parmigiani Fleurier

Tonda PF Split Seconds Chronograph © Parmigiani Fleurier

The latest versions of the Tonda PF Split Seconds Chronograph and the Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon are new material and colour executions of the existing redoubtable watch references that were released prior to Watches and Wonders 2023. On top of these, the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante is now also available in rose gold with a blue guilloche dial, taking full advantage of this striking colour palette to highlight the luxury and prestige of a travel-time watch.

The Tao Of Parmigiani Fleurier

Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante © Parmigiani Fleurier

Finally, the new Tonda PF model with the most unassuming exterior is also the most prestigious — at least in terms of case material. The Tonda PF Micro Rotor in platinum is my personal favourite of Parmigiani Fleurier’s latest releases. The matte-finished dial and monochrome palette really bring out the ideal proportions and textures of the Tonda PF case and integrated bracelet design. The meditative purity of this all-white execution is simply stunning, and allows you to focus on what really makes this design work. Amid the hustle and bustle of Watches and Wonders, the Tonda PF Micro Rotor in platinum is a welcome touch of Zen.

The Tao Of Parmigiani Fleurier

Tonda PF Micro Rotor © Parmigiani Fleurier


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