The Tonda is the largest of all Parmigiani’s watch collections and caters to both men and women. Meaning ‘round’ in Italian, the Tonda 1950 family of automatic watches represent Parmigiani’s take on the ultra-thin, elegant dress watch genre. The date 1950 is a reference to master watchmaker Michel Parmigiani’s year of birth. Three new models in sumptuous 39mm rose gold cases and dashingly handsome dials in contemporary colours – slate, blue and grained white – join the Tonda 1950 collection.
Spot the differences
Technically the trilogy is based on the same calibre and case as other Tonda 1950 models. The movement is the same ultra-thin automatic base PF701 calibre (Vaucher sourced), the case thickness is still a lean 8mm, and the three newcomers are still housed in polished 39mm 18k rose gold round cases with the hallmark tear-shaped lugs that have come to characterise this collection.
The differences are subtle and can be spotted on the dial. The most obvious change is the elimination of luminous material on the delta-shaped gold hands upping the dress watch factor of the timepiece noticeably. Instead of a central strip of lume, the hands are now skeletonised to lighten their presence and reveal the background colour of the dials. The new models also feature golden dot minute markers placed between the tapered applied gold-plated hour markers.
Moving into the central area of the dial, you will notice that the Parmigiani Fleurier logo has grown in size, abandoned its oval frame, and is now placed inside a recessed circle that occupies a large part of the dial. The small seconds disc intersects the larger recessed disc forming an upside-down figure 8, and it too is recessed. Unlike the former Tonda 1950 small seconds counters with their discreet 5-second markers, the new models feature Arabic numerals marking 15, 30, 45 and 60 seconds. The incorporation of numerals and minute markers adds a slightly more technical, business-like touch to the watch.
The colours used on the dials reflect contemporary trends and range from dark slate and abyss blue to a particularly elegant off-white tone. All three dials have an opaline sandblasted finish contributing to the slightly grainy, matte texture. The finish of the creamy white dial is particularly handsome and looks almost embossed.
ULTRA-THIN automatic movement
A superb and thin movement powers the hours, minutes and small seconds functions of the Tonda 1950. Measuring just 2.6mm, the PF701 manufacture movement (made with Vaucher, owned by the same group as Parmigiani) owes its slim profile to an off-centred micro-rotor directly integrated into the mainplate. With an autonomy of 42 hours, this calibre was developed to take on multiple functions without tampering with the slender outline of the Tonda 1950.
The movement has a frequency of 21,600vph and a power reserve of 42 hours. Like all Parmigiani movements, the finishes are impeccable; the platinum micro-rotor is decorated with a grain d’orge or barleycorn guilloché motif, the bridges display Geneva stripes, and the mainplate is embellished with circular graining.
Strap and price
The new Tonda 1950 watches are provided with elegant Hermès straps – one of the few items that are not made in-house at Parmigiani Fleurier’s vertically integrated manufacture. In this case, the slate dial model comes with a black alligator Hermès strap, the blue dial with an indigo blue Hermès alligator strap, and the white dial with a Havana colour alligator strap. All straps are secured to the wrist with an 18k rose gold folding clasp. All models with be priced at CHF 19,500.
For more details, please consult the official webpage at www.parmigani.com.