Parmigiani Fleurier is an independent brand that has, in recent years, gained its status as an underdog in the world of watchmaking. They occupy a very interesting space within the world of Swiss watch brands. In my mind, Parmigiani Fleurier is a “more than meets the eye” kind of manufacturer. In other words, ‘understatement’ is their design mantra. They are also a brand that draws most of its watchmaking expertise from the art of restoration. For that reason, Parmigiani Fleurier is not a brand you typically hear watch collectors often rave about, but what makes the manufacture so special is the fact they have produced some absolutely stunning watches over the past two decades.
Refined lines, an exquisite case profile, ergonomically-correct proportions, and a timeless aesthetic with subtle elegance - these physical attributes define the essence of the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda collection.
Today, we proudly introduce the Tonda PF Micro-Rotor 40mm in stainless steel, but not just any regular Tonda PF, this is in fact, a 25-piece limited edition Tonda PF “Serenissima” (derived from the word ‘serenity’) with a stunning salmon dial, made in collaboration with Revolution and The Rake.
The Tonda PF coming in a contemporarily sized 40mm x 7.8mm stainless steel case may initially appear unassuming from a distance. However, upon closer examination, it becomes evident that this timepiece possesses hidden depths; there is more to this Tonda PF than meets the eye. It exhibits many of the distinct stylistic elements that Parmigiani Fleurier had so deftly established for its predecessors: a meticulously hand-knurled bezel, beautiful flared lugs, and in this case, a well-made integrated bracelet with alternating polish and satin finishing on the links that interplay with the light wonderfully.
Moving over to the masterfully crafted salmon dial, you will find an oval ‘PF’ cartouche at 12 o ‘clock, a set of open-worked hands, a date window aperture at 6 o ‘clock with a dial-matching date wheel, as well as refined hand-guilloché grain d’orge (barleycorn) motif on the dial – which is, one of the finest forms of guilloché finishing in modern watchmaking today. For those who know Wei Koh, it is no secret that he holds a deep fondness for salmon dials, and even poetically likened this dial colour choice to renowned Italian painter of the Early Renaissance - Sandro Botticelli painting the first light rising over the Gulf of Venice, at the north of the Adriatic Sea.
Breathing life into this Tonda PF is Parmigiani Fleurier’s magnificent 160-part, 29-jewelled, self-winding Cal. PF703. It features enticing architecture and a gorgeous micro-rotor made from platinum with the same matching guilloché grain d’orge that is found on the dial. As far as power reserve is concerned, the Cal. PF703 holds a capacity of 48 hours.
I must emphasize my sincere admiration for the flawless fit and remarkable comfort of the Tonda PF, especially since I tend to prefer small case sizes. As depicted in the photographs, the Tonda PF seamlessly complements the contours of my wrist. The careful integration of subtle design elements showcases the exceptional craftsmanship and technical expertise of Parmigiani Fleurier. To a certain extent, it evokes the quality typically found in significantly higher-priced timepieces with integrated bracelets. It is truly a sight to behold when examined up close, revealing a timepiece that has the power to astonish anyone, despite its understated and refined aesthetics.
Overall, the Tonda PF range is a very compelling collection because it represents the essence of Parmigiani Fleurier’s styling and design ethos. Watches from this collection are generally quite sporty, refined, ergonomic, and balanced in design. Despite this being a sports watch, there is still a very subtle touch of softness on the watch that is very pleasing to see and feel, which I think contributes to how well it wears on the wrist and how it can be easily worn as a daily option. It goes on to demonstrate the level of attention to detail by Parmigiani Fleurier although this is in essence, a mere time-only sports watch. For all of the reasons I have elaborated above, this particular Tonda PF “Serenissima” right here is, in my mind, a compelling masterpiece of a modern sports watch that can effortlessly complement any serious collector’s watch box and daily rotation.