Since the arrival of Guido Terreni as the brand’s new CEO in 2021, Parmigiani Fleurier has focused almost exclusively on developing the Tonda PF, a refined luxury sports watch collection derived from the existing Tonda line. Represented by a handful of complications, the mantra of the Tonda PF is always “understatement” and, until today, all the models were presented in 40mm and 42mm case sizes. In response to requests for a smaller case size for slender wrists and more in line with the trend for more compact dimensions, Parmigiani produces the new Tonda PF Automatic in 36mm. Oh, and what might be interpreted as music to the ears of many purists, the date window has disappeared!
It would be a mistake to classify this 36mm model as a ladies’ watch. The new Tonda PF Automatic 36mm is now the most versatile mid-size watch in the family, which looks fabulous on men’s and women’s wrists alike – wristshots in this article were taken on Xavier’s 18cm wrist and on a feminine model too… Typical gender-free watch.
Available in stainless steel with a knurled platinum bezel and rose gold (not included in our photos), the 36mm case size is matched with an 8.6mm thickness. Yes, it is slightly thicker than the 40mm Tonda PF Micro-Rotor with its 7.8mm case height, but nevertheless is still very slim and comfortable.
Tonda PF Traits
Like all Tonda PF models, the devil is in the detail, and the brand’s “sartorial approach” involves a host of discreet textures to cut the perfect suit. The deliberate minimalism that characterises the collection goes a long way in extending the shelf-life of the Tonda PF that could conceivably become a classic in the not-too-far-off future. Teardrop-shaped lugs, hand-knurled bezels and integrated bracelets are common Tonda PF traits (barring the latest Tonda PF models with alligator straps). Other signature traits include the new gold oval PF cartouche at noon, the gold delta-shaped openworked hands and the refined grain d’orge or barleycorn hand-guilloché motif on the dial – which is, as already explained, one of the finest in modern watchmaking and a deliberate choice of Terreni to make the dial an experience for the wearer, but not for people around. Discreet luxury…
You can see in the wrist shots how the polished knurled bezel, the crown and the exterior surface of the lugs and bracelet links catch the light, while the brushed central links of the bracelet and case flanks provide a more matte and consequently scratch-resistant area. Despite its refined and dressier appearance, it is a luxury 100m water-resistant sports watch designed to be worn and enjoyed daily.
The downward-sloping architecture of the knurled part of the bezel meets a bright polished ring framing the dial. Decorated with a diminutive and very elegant grain d’orge or barleycorn hand-guilloché pattern with applied indices, a logo and hour and minute hands, the lack of superfluous elements means that the dial really stands out.
The two dial colours we had for our photo shoot are the Silver Sand and Warm Grey models. The small faceted indices that characterise the collection are hand-applied in 18k gold with a rhodium plating on the Silver Sand dial. However, on the Warm Grey dial, the indices are also applied by hand, but the rhodium-plated appliqués are invisibly set with baguette-cut diamonds. You might not have spotted them at first glance, but they work exceptionally well in this context, attracting light to the dial but steering clear of gaudiness. (The third model is a pink gold version with a Deep Ruby dial and diamond indices.)
Another significant change compared to the Tonda PF is the absence of a date window, resulting in an even more Spartan dial allowing you to enjoy every last detail.
New Automatic Movement
Parmigiani Fleurier developed a new automatic movement to fit inside the 36mm case. The lack of a micro-rotor explains the additional height of the case since calibre PF770 relies on a central 22k gold skeletonised rotor. Measuring 25.6mm x 3.9mm (just 0.9mm thicker than the micro-rotor automatic), this 179-part in-house automatic beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) and delivers a power reserve of 60 hours. The sapphire caseback reveals the Côtes de Genève finishings on the bridges, the bevelled edges and the polished and sandblasted areas of the skeletonised gold rotor.
Availability & Price
The new Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Automatic 36mm models do not replace the Tonda PF Micro-Rotor and form part of the regular Tonda PF collection. The Tonda PF Automatic Steel Silver Sand model retails for CHF 18,500; the steel with a Warm Grey dial and diamond indices for CH 24,900. For more information, please visit parmigiani.com.