Parmigiani Fleurier got a new CEO, Guido Terreni, in January 2021. Shortly after his appointment, Terreni started developing a new watch collection for the Swiss brand and unveiled the new Tonda PF collection at Geneva Watch Days in August. The collection consists of four models, all boasting of the finest colors, lines, and textures from Parmigiani Fleurier so far. In this review, we will focus on one of these models, the Parmigiani Tonda PF Micro-Rotor Watch.
Tonda PF Collection
As mentioned, the new Tonda PF collection comprises four models. These models have been aptly named: PF Annual Calendar, PF Chronograph, Tonda PF Split Seconds Chronograph, and the Tonda PF Micro-Rotor. Except for the Splits Seconds Chronograph, all other models in this line are available in steel, with an 18-carat rose gold or platinum hand-knurled bezel. Parmigiani Fleurier CEO explained that the models focus on detail, form, and texture. Each of the watches has world-class mechanics, exquisite details, and perfect proportions. However, while they do carry on the brand’s traditions, each watch has a more youthful appearance. The aim of this design decision is to attract a younger audience that is on the lookout for a savvy, refined watch with a strong sense of style. All four watches in this collection offer that.
The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Micro-Rotor comes in an 18-carat rose gold option or a steel option with a platinum hand-knurled bezel as reported by Escapement Magazine. Both choices have a grey dial that is somewhat traditional but also features a very diminutive design. Overall, the texture of the dial is very soft and demure, sometimes almost invisible to the naked eye from certain angles. This laid-back design carries to the watch's branding. In most cases, watchmakers imbue the dial with brand names, logos, and excessive text advertising the company. Parmigiani Fleurier has eliminated all these branding gimmicks from the Tonda PF Micro-Rotor, only placing its initials within an oval frame in the dial. The result is a chic, clean-looking design. Like other watches from Parmigiani Fleurier, the Micro-Rotor has Delta-shaped hour and minute hands, although, in this model, they are skeletonized. They show the time clearly while revealing the guilloche motif through the open sections. Essentially, the watch is a happy blend of functionality and style. Generally, the indexes in the PF Micro-Rotor can be 18-carat rose gold or rhodium-plated, depending on the case material. They show time without overwhelming the dial's design. The dial itself contains several features presented in a classy, timeless way. The numerals are white and appear on top of a grey disc that matches the main dial while the date indication is placed at the base.
The mechanical movement in the PF Micro-Rotor is like that of every watch from Parmigiani Fleurier – visible through an exhibition case back. The watch also features a self-winding movement called the Calibre PF703 that comes complete with a platinum micro-rotor. Since micro-rotors are smaller than regular ones, they need to be very dense to produce the required amount of inertia. The platinum in the rotor ensures it generates enough inertia. The upper surface is also decorated with a guilloche form called Grain d'Orge, as is the dial, although this embellishment is larger. The history of Parmigiani Fleurier is rooted in the restoration of old watches, clocks, and automata. The company's founder, Michel Parmigiani, is known for his preference for durable materials that can be restored more than a century and a half from now. In all his watches, the movement components are not just exquisitely designed; they are also created to be corrosion resistant. The PF Micro Motor's mechanical movement lives up to all these traditions.
Both the rose gold and steel versions of the Parmigiani Tonda PF Micro-Rotor Watch have the same dimensions and design. They both have a 40mm diameter, which means they can fit many wearers' wrists. Additionally, the company is not marketing the Micro-Rotor as a men's watch so all customers can buy it. They will not be disappointed, too, because the watch sits perfectly on any size wrist. The ergonomic design of the watch, coupled with the optimal finish and shape, mean that this watch will feel like a second skin. Adding to the comfort is the 7.8mm head height, which ensures that your Micro-Rotor does not protrude unflatteringly from your wrist.
Metal bracelets on watches can appear a tad graceless. In this case, however, they pair well with the refined features of the Tonda PF Micro-Rotor to produce a tasteful look. The company also went out of its way to tone down the exuberance created by the bracelets by placing brushed surfaces adjacent to each other. The result is both bold and graceful. That said, Parmigiani Fleurier employees are unlikely to love this model because of all the work and precision it requires. Most of the design elements like the beveled edge that disappears on one side and widens on the other end are complicated and will take a lot of time to produce. The company has also juxtaposed brushed and polished surfaces throughout the watch. This feature will require the keenest eyes and steadiest hands in the business to realize.
Both Tonda PF Micro-Rotor models – the gold and steel – come with a hand-knurled bezel, although the steel version has a platinum 950 bezel. If the company had made the bezel steel, it probably would have saved a lot of money. However, CEO Terreni was dedicated to producing a detail-rich watch. The casual eye will think that the platinum and steel surfaces look the same, but the former appears whiter than the latter. Also, the platinum is soft to the touch and feels like silk.
In the social media era, many consumers will flood toward a watch that loudly advertises its wealth. While the Parmigiani Tonda PF Micro-Rotor Watch does flaunt its quality – it is a luxury watch, after all – it is laid back. This watch does not cry for attention and is more geared toward the connoisseur. The PF Micro-Rotor features beautiful but subtle details that offer both style and refinement without sacrificing functionality. It is the ideal watch for the serious collector.
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Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith