Passion, Purity And Precision
Watch Time|November/December 2021
In 1996, master watchmaker Michel Parmigiani’s dedication to horology resulted in the launch of a new watch brand with a new credo and new aesthetics. The new Tonda PF collection is both an homage to Parmigiani Fleurier’s design aesthetics, and also the maison’s most forward-looking collection to date.

– Parmigiani Fleurier was born out of Michel Parmigiani's passion for watchmaking, classical culture, the observation of nature, and his vast experience in restoring the world's most sophisticated timepieces and automata. “I embarked on my entrepreneurial adventure in 1976 when the quartz crisis was ravaging the watchmaking industry. I remember feeling a bit like a pariah, starting this adventure against all advice. Restoring antique timepieces saved me from nihilism. Working, as I was during this period, on so many wonders from times gone by, made the idea that traditional watchmaking might disappear absolutely unthinkable to me. He and his main client, the Sandoz family, owner of a peerless watch and clock collection, decided to take his unique knowledge and expertise and put it to new use. Parmigiani says, Restoration gave me the confidence I needed to pursue my watchmaking dreams, despite the naysayers. On May 29, 1996, in the Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland, the watchmaking founding acts of the Parmigiani Fleurier brand took place. A total of 52 timepieces were introduced, ranging from simple to the highly complicated, and including the visionary Toric Perpetual Calendar Retrograde. The bar was set, high, and for 25 years now, Parmigiani Fleurier has created several timepiece collections, ranging from sport-chic to classical, from slim to highly complicated while staying true to its original ethos: imperceptible refinement, entire dedication to exclusivity, modern permanence, in the maison's own words.

Over the course of 25 years, Parmigiani Fleurier has also created over 30 in-house movements, like, for example, the groundbreaking integrated split seconds, solid gold, skeletonized, Caliber PF361 fitted in the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire, or the streamlined, just 2.6-mm thick PF700, and, of course, the 8-day, twin-barrel, tonneau-shaped PF110. Parmigiani Fleurier's set of watchmaking skills extends to the chronograph, to the split-seconds chronograph, and to tourbillons. High frequency, high power reserves, high complications, minimal case heights, minimal aesthetics, Parmigiani Fleurier's approach to watchmaking aims to combine rarity and excellence.

Parmigiani Fleurier has always tried to find the right balance between appeal and poise, abundant details, and streamlined design. Not surprisingly, the Toric, Kalpa, and Tonda collections are thus aimed mostly at experienced collectors.

The 40-mm Tonda PF Micro-Rotor is available in stainless steel (Ref. PFC914-1020001-100182) and has a list price of $22,900; the rose-gold version (Ref. PFC914-2020001-200182) is $53,900.

On the Tonda PF Micro-Rotor, the date window is placed at 6 o'clock, and the date disk repeats the warm gray color of the matte guilloché dial.

Parmigiani Fleurier's new CEO, Guido Terreni, explains, “To come up with the most simple watch [design) is the most difficult exercise that you can do. What we wanted to do was to create a style for a very savvy customer, because when you have a Parmigiani, you have already everything. You don't need anything else. You have your Rolex, you Patek. You don't buy a Parmigiani as your first watch. To have such an exigent client, you have to give him something that he hasn't seen before. By taking away, you are doing something very pure, and this watch is full of purity.”

By this watch,' Terreni is referring to the new Tonda PF, an elegant and contemporary collection designed for purists,” that is also celebrating Parmigiani's 25th Anniversary. Seven integrated bracelet models make up the new collection that was introduced during Geneva Watch Days (Aug.30 - Sept. 3, 2021), including a slim two-hander with date, a 5-Hz integrated chronograph, an annual calendar with retrograde date, and a 25-piece limited edition integrated split-seconds chronograph whose case, bracelet and dial are made of platinum.

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