In a surprisingly short amount of time, Parmigiani Fleurier’s Tonda PF collection has gained traction and is being singled out as the brand’s go-to collection. Masterminded by Guido Terreni, the refined luxury sports watch with integrated bracelets of the Tonda PF has become a versatile platform for expansion. In just seven months, the Tonda PF boasts a well-represented collection with models ranging from straightforward time-and-date to a sophisticated split-seconds chronograph, a testament to the brand’s impressive level of manufacturing autonomy. During Watches & Wonders 2022, Parmigiani released the second batch of Tonda PF models, including these Skeleton models in steel and rose gold. Distinguished by contemporary skeletonisation and monochromatic mechanics, the two models uphold their Tonda PF family traits and offer a satisfying mix of pure mechanical viewing pleasure and resilience.
Contemporary, Artistic Skeletonisation
Broadly speaking, skeletonised watches reveal the anatomy or the mechanical bones of a watch’s movement. Skeletonisation is an art form and can be radical, exposing as many components as possible, or refined, as is the case of the PF Tonda or the Piaget Polo Skeleton. Personally, I’m not too fond of the rawness of radical skeletonisation; this TMI approach is like lifting the bonnet of a car to exhibit its engine. However, Parmigiani’s approach to skeletonisation on the Tonda PF verges on artistic, ensuring that it is as pleasing and balanced as the watch case it occupies. Unlike some skeletonised dials that leave you wondering if you will ever be able to tell the time, the Tonda PF manages to be legible without a single strip of lume.
Tonda PF Traits
Sidestepping the interminable debate of whether or not the Tonda PF qualifies as a luxury sports watch (spoiler alert: it does!), one of the most refreshing aspects of the design is that it does not piggyback on the usual suspects. Guido Terreni, who oversaw Bvlgari’s watch division and the Octo Finissimo collection before joining Parmigiani in 2021, orchestrated the birth of the Tonda PF luxury sports watch collection. In line with Parmigiani’s high-end status, the design of the Tonda PF had to be necessarily elegant and refined. With its integrated steel bracelet, slim shaped case, knurled bezel, textured dial and water-resistance of 100m, the Tonda PF ticks the main boxes of the luxury sports watch profile. However, it has a distinct personality underscored by the elegant teardrop-shaped lugs of the case, the refined barleycorn guilloché dials, the gold delta-shaped hands and applied gold indices, the hand-knurled raised bezel and, importantly, not a single drop of luminous material.
Launched to coincide with the brand’s 25th anniversary, the Tonda PF debuted with the pristine time & date Micro-Rotor model, the high-frequency Chronograph, the Annual Calendar with retrograde date and the spectacular all-platinum Split Seconds Chronograph. In 2022, the collection has expanded with a platinum flying Tourbillon, an original dual time model, the GMT rattrapante and the more technical Skeleton.
The graceful curves and flowing structures cut into the dial plate have a grey NAC coating. Alternating vertical brushing and sandblasted areas on the bridges and plates produces a distinct, contemporary vibe. If you manage to view the bridges from the side, you’ll notice that the bevelled edges have a mirror-polished chamfer (executed by hand) that attracts the light. At ten o’clock, the exposed mainspring reveals the state of wind and the gold oval PF logo is engraved on the movement plate at noon. The moving parts are rhodium-plated to contrast with the graphite bridges, but the overall mood is toned-down and monochromatic.
As we mentioned, there is not a trace of luminescent material on the Tonda PF Skeleton to highlight legibility. Instead, the watch relies on the rose gold hour markers and hands. The applied and faceted gold hour markers are attached to the grey chapter ring and seem to float over the mechanical scenery, attracting light to their surface with their polished finishings. Matching the markers, and faithful to the DNA of the Tonda PF collection, the rose gold delta-shaped hands are openworked and polished.
The view from the sapphire caseback reveals the skeletonised 22k gold rotor with the oval gold PF logo protected by a sapphire crystal. Like the dial, the openworked bridges are graphite coloured with alternating sandblasted and vertical brushing and immaculately polished bevels. Even the screws and jewels respect the monochrome palette with no trace of bright ruby red or blued screws in sight. Also visible from the reverse, the openworked barrel reveals the steady contracting and relaxing of the mainspring driving its balance at a rate of 28,800vph. Fitted with Parmigiani Fleurier’s in-house PF777 automatic calibre, the watch delivers a robust 60-hour power reserve.
The 18k rose gold and stainless steel cases share a 40mm diameter and a slim height of 8.5mm. As with all the stainless steel models in the Tonda PF collection, the signature hand-knurled bezel is made of 950 platinum, emitting a whiter, more radiant shine than steel. Since this watch is all about refined details, the case features the sublime teardrop lugs of the Tonda family and is decorated with a blend of polished and brushed surfaces. The vertically brushed case bands and the internal links of the supple integrated bracelet contrast beautifully with the gleaming outer links and bezel. Although you would probably not want to go swimming with a skeletonised watch, the Tonda PF has you covered with its 100m water-resistant case.
Fans of skeletonised watches searching for a refined, artistic yet contemporary approach will get a kick out of the Tonda PF Skeleton. The skeletonisation is tasteful without being overpowering, and the case is resilient without being bulky. When it comes to case material, I would go for the warmer pink gold. I can understand, though, why many will be attracted to the cold beauty of the stainless steel variant, and I’m not just referring to the price.
AVAILABILITY & PRICE
The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Skeleton in rose gold (ref. PFC912-2020001-200182) retails for CHF 88,000. The stainless steel version (ref. PFC912-1020001-100182) retails for CHF 59,000. Both models will form part of the permanent Tonda PF collection.
For more information, please visit Parmigiani.com.