Hands-On – Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Chronor Anniversaire (and its superb movement)

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Xavier Markl | ic_query_builder_black_24px 5 minute read
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Rattrapante

Introduced to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Parmigiani Fleurier (founded in 1996), the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire is powered by an exceptional movement, the first integrated chronograph movement from the brand – spiced up with a split-seconds functions and several cool features! The Tonda Chronor was awarded “Best Chronograph” at the prestigious GPHG 2017, which is no small achievement given the tough competition in this category. Read on to know more about this spectacular Haute Horlogerie statement!

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Rattrapante

What is a Rattrapante/Split-Seconds Chronograph?

The chronograph is without a doubt one of the most popular complications, however, what most people do not realize, is that it is also among the most complex mechanisms to design and manufacture. A split-second chronograph adds extra-complexity and subtlety. It is truly a technical challenge and one of the pinnacles of mechanical watchmaking. It features 2 superimposed second-hands to record and display an intermediate time. One hand (the Rattrapante) can be stopped to read an intermediate time while the other one keeps running. A second push on the Rattrapante pusher (coaxial to the winding crown in the instance of the PF Chronor) allows the stopped hand to catch up (rattraper in French) with the moving hand. Usually, a rattrapante wheel works in unison with the chronograph centre wheel, the heart-shaped cam ensures the chronograph and rattrapante hands are in perfect harmony.

The Movement of the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Rattrapante

Admiring the intricacies of the calibre PF361 is indeed a rewarding experience. The movement specs and features are pretty impressive:

  1. This 30.6 mm movement is fully integrated: all functions are built-in, which is the most elegant and technically appropriate solution (vs. modular chronographs for which a chronograph module is grafted on a conventional movement).
  2. The Chronor features two column-wheels (the star-shaped pillar command used in the most prestigious chronograph), one to control the chronograph functions, the other to control the split-seconds function, in particular, the clamp to freeze the rattrapante hand. Interestingly, this clamp is built in a truly innovative way: it is a monolithic flexible component allowing for enhanced precision.
  3. The chronograph is engaged with a modern vertical clutch by friction. Unlike for horizontal clutches, in this instance, there are no teeth to engage or disengage, which may cause the jump of the chronograph second hand when the teeth mesh.
  4. For enhance precision, the movement runs at 5Hz or 36,000 vibrations per hour and hence allowing the reader to measure 1/10th of a second accuracy. Despite the choice for high-frequency, the calibre PF361 can store 65 hours of power reserve.
  5. The big date indication is a nice addition to enhance legibility.

The clamp of the rattrapante, a surprising monolithic component based on flexibility

The finishing of the movement is spectacular – not that you would expect anything less from Parmigiani Fleurier. The parts traditionally crafted in brass are fashioned out of pink gold and so the movement name “Chronor” (Chrono + or, “or” being the French for gold) is connected to this rare, noble choice. There are no specific technical advantages to using gold but this brings extra complexity to work with this soft material. The bridge architecture is modern and open-worked to allow for visibility on the movement intricacies. These bridges are superbly hand-bevelled with many sharp angles and inside cut-outs that could not be finished with machines (almost 50). Their surface is finely brushed. The sinks and screw heads are superbly polished. The main plate features a frosted finish. The balance wheel with adjustment-weights is held under a full balance bridge allowing for precise adjustment and very stable positioning to increase shock resistance.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Rattrapante

The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Chronor Anniversaire

This exceptional movement is housed in the Tonda case presented in polished white or pink gold.  At 42.10 mm in diameter and 14.10mm thick, it wears well thanks to its distinctive, ergonomic tear-drop shaped lugs. The dynamic pushers are integrated into the lugs and the crown is emblazoned with the PF logo.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Rattrapante

The elegant and clean dial is grand feu enamel with faceted gold hour markers adding to the craftsmanship and character of the model. It features concentrically the second’s scale and a tachymeter. The dial is available in blue or white. It is paired with the Parmigiani signature Delta hands with luminescent coating. At 6 o’clock, a double-sided hand shows the running smalls seconds.  At 12 o’clock, the large date windows are framed with an applique.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Rattrapante

The Chronor is completed by a superb alligator strap crafted by Hermès and secured by a pin buckle. It is available in four different versions – pink or white gold case, blue or white enamel dial. Each version is a limited edition of 25 pieces… and a limited production as Parmigiani is able to manufacture two pieces of this 328-component watch a month only.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Rattrapante

Fine workmanship, meticulous attention to detail and the mastery of traditional crafts are evident with the Chronor, a further demonstration of the brand’s Haute Horlogerie credentials and of the development capacity at Parmigiani. It is also an evidence that the group of watchmaking companies controlled by the Sandoz foundation is one of the most integrated into the world of Haute Horlogerie (manufacturing movements, assortments, cases, dials and watches internally).

Priced at CHF 135,000, the high-grade Tonda Chronor Anniversaire is naturally not for every pocket but can be worn in confidence in front of the most rarefied gatherings of watch snobs. For more information, please visit www.parmigianifleurier.com.


Technical specifications – Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Chronor Anniversaire

  • Case: 42.10mm diameter x 14.6mm height – 18k white or rose gold case – sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating – sapphire case-back – 30m water resistant
  • Movement: calibre PF361, in-house – mechanical with manual winding – 30.6mm x 8.4mm – 65h power reserve – 36,000 vibrations/h – 35 jewels – 328 components – hours, minutes, small seconds, big date, split-seconds chronograph.
  • Strap:  alligator leather strap with pink gold pin buckle
  • Price:  CHF 135.000
  • References: PFH282-1002500-HA1441; PFH282-1002400-HA4041 PFH282-1202500-HA1441; PFC282-1202400-HA4041

1 response

  1. In my view, the top bridge masks too much to demonstrate the beautiful chronograph parts.

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