Last year Parmigiani entered the hyper-competitive realm of the luxury sports watch with its Tonda PF collection, a move instigated by its new CEO, Guido Terreni. Debuting with an automatic time-and-date (micro-rotor), a chronograph, an annual calendar and an impressive split-seconds chronograph with a gold engine in 2021, Parmigiani unveils a sophisticated flying tourbillon during this 2022 edition of Watches & Wonders. Although a flying tourbillon might not be everybody’s idea of a complication for a sports watch, the refinement, finishings and deliberate minimalism that characterise the Tonda PF collection work beautifully in this context. Fitted with Parmigiani’s ultra-thin automatic PF517 movement with micro-rotor, the full-platinum Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon follows in the footsteps of the majestic platinum Tonda PF Split Seconds Chronograph launched in 2021.
Simplicity and refinement are the operative words here. The case and dial, crafted in platinum, provide a sober monochromatic stage for the spectacle of the flying tourbillon. Thanks to the extra-thin automatic movement, the 42mm case has a lean profile of just 8.6mm and features the signature teardrop-shaped lugs of the Tonda collection. A plus for those who worry about using a flying tourbillon for everyday wear is the screw-down crown ensuring the 100m water-resistance of the case.
True to the Tonda PF family traits, the platinum case and integrated bracelet flow seamlessly, revealing their beautifully polished and satin-finished surfaces. The mandatory knurled and polished bezel, which appears on all the Tonda PF models, frames the dial. In a departure from ‘regular’ models in the Tonda PF collection, the dial does not display the barleycorn guilloché pattern. Instead, it has a matte sandblasted platinum surface for a more contemporary look. Pared down to the bare essentials, the dial displays the signature skeletonised delta-shaped 18k gold hands and the short, hand-applied gold ruthenium-plated indices. Apart from the oval cartouche at noon with the letters PF, nothing else on the dial detracts attention from the off-centred one-minute flying tourbillon placed in an aperture at 7 o’clock.
Although Parmigiani has never entered the ultra-thin contest, its Tonda 1950 Tourbillon of 2015 was hailed as the world’s thinnest automatic flying tourbillon with micro-rotor with a movement just 3.4mm thick. It was also touted as having created the world’s lightest tourbillon cage, which is crafted from titanium and weighs just 0.255 grams. Since surpassed by Bvlgari’s Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic of 2018 with a peripheral rotor, the fact remains that Parmigiani’s calibre is an exceptionally thin and beautifully executed movement.
The sapphire crystal caseback reveals the in-house PF517 calibre, and like all Parmigiani watches, the movement is beautifully decorated with circular Côtes de Genève, hand-bevelled bridges and a barleycorn guilloché engraving on the platinum micro-rotor. With 207 parts, a 3Hz frequency and a power reserve of 48h, the movement measures 32mm diameter and boasts an ultra-thin height of 3.4mm.
Availability & Price
The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon (ref. PFH921-2020001-200182) is a limited edition of 25 pieces and retails for CHF 140,000. For more information, please consult Parmigiani.com.