Immersion into the heart of purism
Parmigiani Fleurier is rewriting watchmaking in its two-pronged quest for purism and innovation. In contrast with the mainstream, Parmigiani Fleurier speaks the language of rarity, meaning, form and content, traits shared by all the new models presented at Watches and Wonders 2023. Through world premieres, a celebration of platinum and an exceptional trilogy, Parmigiani Fleurier is breaking new ground, yet remains faithful to the founding spirit of the company and its fundamental hallmarks of purity, discretion, and minimalist sophistication, all driven by the desire to innovate in order to make watches lifelong companions.
Enthusiasts are invited to embark on an initiatory journey, one that began last year and which places the demand for purity at the core of the creative process with one sole objective: horological complications revisited to ensure user friendliness.
Good things come in pairs! Parmigiani Fleurier presents the TONDA PF Minute Rattrapante, a new world premiere embodying functional continuity with the TONDA PF GMT Rattrapante launched in 2022. The TONDA PF Minute Rattrapante is not the brand’s only high-impact new release.
Platinum, the rare and precious metal that has gradually become one of Parmigiani Fleurier’s signatures, has notably been chosen for the iconic TONDA PF Micro-Rotor – a glowing tribute to the model that laid the foundations of the new collection – as well as the TONDA PF Tourbillon, which this year features a platinum dial tinged with Milano blue.
TONDA PF Minute Rattrapante
Innovation in terms of complications, paired with simplicity of use: true to the spirit of the brand, Parmigiani Fleurier presents the TONDA PF Minute Rattrapante, a new world premiere following on from the TONDA PF GMT Rattrapante.
The TONDA PF GMT Rattrapante caused a sensation in 2022 as a world premiere reinterpreting the meaning of horological “complication” by propelling it towards intuitive innovation. Parmigiani Fleurier is naturally pursuing this theme by presenting a new world premiere: the TONDA PF Minute Rattrapante.
Its birth was guided by the idea of reinterpreting one of the most common watchmaking functions while helping it evolve to become an absolute innovation.
The basic premise: to perform the function usually operated by the graduated bezel on a diver’s watch via the movement itself. The result: user friendliness, excellent legibility and apparent simplicity right the way through to activating the function.
While TONDA PF GMT Rattrapante enables a distinction between local and home time in one-hour increments, this new development of the function now serves to display the minutes in five and one-minute increments respectively.
The dial features an hour hand along with two superimposed minute hands – of which the premiere in rhodium-plated gold indicates real time coupled with the hour hand. It conceals the other hand in 18ct rose gold, which will calculate minutes in five or one-minute increments on demand.
In both cases, pressing on either pusher will make the rose gold hand jump according to the desired increment: five minutes by the pusher located at 8 o’clock, one minute by the one positioned at 10 o’clock.
The period of time to be measured will have elapsed when the rhodium-plated hand has reached the position of the 18ct rose gold hand. It is returned to its position by means of the crown-integrated pusher, in a similar way to the split-seconds function.
The function enables on-demand fine calibration of the minutes over a specific period of time for any occasion or event requiring measurement of the minutes count.
The contrast is striking. This is very much a complication, yet in the Parmigiani Fleurier spirit. The TONDA PF Minute Rattrapante is graced with pure and essential proportions featuring sophisticated aesthetic codes and finishes.
A complication that is intuitive, efficient and extremely simple to use, in harmony with the spirit that guides the brand.
Just as a tailor crafts the folds formed by the drape of a fabric, the Manufacture structures the silhouette of the TONDA PF Minute Rattrapante, a watch distinguished by great formal simplicity designed to become as one with the aesthetes that make it their own.
TONDA PF GMT Rattrapante
One of the most remarkable launches in 2022, the TONDA PF GMT Rattrapante, world premiere, renewed the genre of the horological complication by combining purity and minimalism with a resolutely innovative mechanism.
This iconic timepiece returns in 2023 in an integral 18ct rose gold version, graced with a Milano blue dial featuring a finely barleycorn guilloché pattern.
The TONDA PF GMT Rattrapante appears totally unassuming at first glance, with hours and minutes sweeping gracefully around the broad dial. Yet beneath this traditional watch face lies a complication powering two superimposed hours hands, one in rhodium-plated gold and the other in rose gold.
Pressing the 8 o’clock pusher makes the 18ct rose gold hand dedicated to local time perform a one-hour jump, revealing the rhodium-plated gold hand displaying home time.
Once the dual-time information is no longer required, pressing the crown-integrated pusher enables the 18ct rose gold hand to resume its place above the rhodium-plated gold hand in the manner of a chronograph split-seconds hand.
The TONDA PF GMT Rattrapante is a perfect instrument for globetrotters juggling time zones. There is nothing superfluous on this sleek and elegant model indicating only the hours–in home-time and local-time mode–and minutes.
This original mode of operation, unique in watchmaking history, was achieved through the integration of a sophisticated and innovative mechanism. The implementation of this intuitive complication enables purists the luxury of choosing to free the dial surface from any time display that is unnecessary at that particular moment.
This action reduces the amount of information to bare essentials, promotes instinctive reading and helps reveal the quality and care lavished on each detail.
Cultural calendars trilogy sets
An exceptional trilogy of platinum cultural calendars
Parmigiani Fleurier presents three timepieces displaying three different calendars: Gregorian, Islamic and Chinese.
This exceptional trilogy, made in platinum, is issued in a strictly limited edition of three box sets, reflects the crossroads of culture, civilisation and history, as well as the fine watchmaking to which the brand gives unique meaning. Three collectors will thus have the pleasure of enjoying a calendar trilogy unique in the world.
Human history has always sought to control time, its flow and its predictability, in order to organise and impart a distinctive rhythm to social, religious and agricultural life.
The calendar is a universal concept enabling us to identify dates that appear like milestones in the flow of time. All civilisations have created them according to their own sensitivity and perception, based on the path of the Sun, Moon or both.
While time is the same for everyone, its reading and measurement are specific to each human society.
The calendar functions expressed by a timepiece are among the most fascinating.
Mirroring civilisations and societies, receptacles of beliefs and inexpressible phenomena such as moving shadows, alternating seasons and the lunar cycle, they remain at the very heart of human activity. This cultural phenomenon has long fascinated the brand and its founder, Michel Parmigiani, for whom “the calendar is an eminently fascinating watchmaking complication, as it really is the mirror of civilisations”.
Parmigiani Fleurier’s calendar watches bear witness to Swiss watchmaking culture (involving the craftsmanship of mechanical watchmaking and art mechanics), which appears on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. They explore the role of art mechanics in measuring the life of societies and civilisations.
TONDA PF Gregorian Calendar
The beauty of the Retrograde Gregorian Calendar lies in the fact that wearers need to adjust their watch only once a year.
While the date automatically adapts to the respective length of 30- and 31-day months, it counts 29 days for the month of February whatever the year. This means that once a year – or rather three out of every four years – at the end of February, the wearer of the TONDA Gregorian Calendar must slip the watch off their wrist and reconnect with its subtle mechanism by setting the date manually.
It will then keep faultless track of the date for the next 365 days. The retrograde date indication never hinders the reading of the moon phases at 6 o’clock, placing this lyrical complication in the spotlight. To ensure perfect clarity, the day of the week and the month are indicated in separate apertures at 9 and 3 o’clock respectively.
The Precision Moon Phase:
The moon phase of the TONDA Gregorian Calendar complements the date indications. It is called a “precision moon” because it requires only one correction every 122 years.
This remarkable accuracy involves compensating for the discrepancy between a classic lunar cycle (29 days and 12 hours) and the real lunar cycle (29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds).
The TONDA Gregorian Calendar displays two depictions of the Moon – viewed from the Earth’s Northern and Southern hemispheres – so as to match any wearer’s geographical location. The moon subdial and moon lozenges in solid rose gold stand out against an aventurine glass sky that poetically evokes the twinkling of a star-filled galaxy.
The Gregorian Calendar, Successor To The Julian Calendar:
Until 1582, Christendom used the Julian calendar instituted by Julius Caesar and based on the assumption that the length of the tropical year (the time between two transits of the Sun at the vernal point) is exactly 365.25 days.
However, the actual length of the year is 365.24219 days, so that the recurrent events represented the equinoxes and solstices were moved forward by one day every 128 years: around the year 1500 CE, the spring equinox occurred ten days earlier than in ancient times, on 11 March instead of 21 March.
In addition, the calculation of the date of Easter, which involves the Moon, had become completely wrong. The Council of Trent therefore commissioned Pope Gregory XIII to redress the situation.
With the help of scholars Christopher Clavius and Aloisius Lilius, he first removed ten days, so that the day after Thursday 4 October 1582 would be Friday 15 October. He then decided to eliminate three leap years in four centuries: only the century years divisible by 400 would remain leap years: this meant that 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years, whereas 2000 was.
This solution proved satisfactory and the Gregorian calendar, while not immediately adopted by all countries, is now used around the world, although some religions and societies retain their own calendar for ritual reasons.
TONDA PF Xiali Calendar
The intercalary or leap month appears according to precise rules and is assigned the number of the month that preceded it. The calculations are complex but serve to keep track of the seasons and to set the Chinese New Year at the arrival of spring, which varies between 21 January and 19 February in our calendar.
Unlike the Gregorian calendar, which names the months and numbers the years, the Chinese calendar names the lunar years and numbers the months. The names of the years are repeated on a sexagesimal (60-year) cycle, but the calendar including dates, days and months is calculated on the basis of astronomical observations and naturally varies.
It is therefore impossible to make a Chinese perpetual calendar. Parmigiani Fleurier’s creation goes as far as possible in offering the most complete form of the Chinese calendar. The numbering system of the time units is based on the combination of a decimal cycle with the ten Heavenly Stems and a duodecimal cycle with the twelve Earthly Branches.
The ten Heavenly Stems serve to designate the diagonal directions, the seasons, the elements – water, wood, metal, fire and earth – the planets, as well as colours, flavours and virtues.
The twelve Earthly Branches correspond to the signs of the zodiac: each of the twelve Branches is represented by an animal, which designates the years of the sexagesimal cycle and will influence the destiny and character of human beings born in that year.
A Wealth Of Complex Information:
All this corresponds to a wealth of complex information, which Parmigiani Fleurier has succeeded in condensing on a dial.
Hours and minutes, display of the month and its numbering, an additional month when applicable (displayed every three years), short month (29 days) or long month (30 days), twenty-four solar terms corresponding to twenty-four 15° divisions of the Sun’s path along the ecliptic (the Sun’s trajectory seen from the Earth), year hand and name, indication of the animal and the elements with alternating colours depending on whether it is Yin or Yang, numbering of the days and moon phases.
All the displays are quickly adjustable via the various correctors located on the two sides of the case middle.
It conceals an extremely sophisticated mechanism serving to display this information in classic Chinese characters. As the Chinese calendar is not cyclical, the complication is mechanically programmed and covers a twelve-year period by means of a cam system.
At the end of these twelve years, the watch must be reset for a new equivalent period. During this period, all information is provided without any need for intervention, as long as the watch does not stop. If the watch does stop, corrections are made simply by correcting the day and month number, with a rapid corrector where necessary to facilitate corrections of long periods.
TONDA PF Hijri Perpetual Calendar
The origins of this timepiece now appearing in a wristwatch version date back to 2011, with the launch of a table clock inspired by a pocket watch displaying an Arabic calendar that was restored in the Manufacture’s workshops. The expertise developed led the brand to develop the Hijri Islamic calendar in wristwatch form, a feat of miniaturisation that won the 2020 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) Innovation Prize.
Calculation Of Islamic Time:
In the Islamic world, the calendar is based on lunar cycles. The Islamic or Hijri lunar calendar consists of 12 months of 29 or 30 days – depending on the phase of the moon – and is used to identify Muslim festivals.
Known as the Hegira (meaning “flight), the prophet Muhammad’s escape in 622 CE from Mecca to Medina (now in Saudi Arabia) is the starting point for the calculation of Islamic time, representing the moment when the first Muslim community was founded.
All Cultures and Civilisations:
Compared to the first version, the TONDA PF Hijri Perpetual Calendar has evolved to reflect the Maison’s new aesthetic codes. The case and knurled bezel are in 950 platinum, the platinum bracelet is seamlessly integrated and the sandblasted platinum dial bears solid gold hour-markers, logo and hands.
In terms of content, the movement designed and developed by Parmigiani Fleurier remains identical to that of the model awarded the GPHG prize in 2020. The complete calendar information shows the hours, minutes, date in Arabic numerals, the name and length of the months in Arabic calligraphy, the days of the month and the years. The ninth month is marked in green on the counter at 3 o’clock. It also displays the double moon phase for both Northern and Southern hemispheres.
The Muslim Calendar At The Beginning Of The Islamic Era:
The Hijri calendar, which is the Islamic calendar, has some connection to nomadic traditions, but its primary basis is religious.
The calendar is based on the lunar cycles and was first introduced in 622 CE, when the Prophet Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Medina. This migration, known as the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic era and the start of the Hijri calendar.
However, it is also worth noting that the use of a lunar calendar was common among pre-Islamic Arab tribes, including nomadic ones, who used the moon to track the passage of time and the seasons for practical purposes such as knowing when to move their herds.
Platinum Atomic Number78
Platinum, the signature of parmigiani fleurier
Platinum is one of the keynotes of the collection.
The brand opens up endless horizons of absolute aesthetic refinement, discretion and personal pleasure. Platinum holds a special place among precious metals. This noble and prestigious metal is white, slightly shiny, extremely discreet and very high-density. Its reflections distinguish it from white gold and endow it with undeniable charisma.
Non-magnetic and resistant to abrasion, corrosion as well as tarnishing, platinum has many qualities from a purely metallurgical standpoint. It is also rare, with an estimated 10 tonnes of ore needing to be mined and processed to produce 30 grammes of platinum.
Greatly appreciated by collectors and enlightened amateurs, this metal above all epitomises elegance and extreme refinement when worn on the wrist.
To celebrate this noble material, the brand is launching the iconic TONDA PF Micro-Rotor, alongside the TONDA PF Tourbillon, which this year features a sandblasted platinum dial in a Milano blue shade.
And Parmigiani Fleurier is not stopping there, as the brand is also offering a series of three box sets, each containing three platinum complication models embodying its own special expertise in the field of calendar functions. Gregorian, Muslim and Chinese calendars thus compose an exceptional and exclusive trilogy.
TONDA PF Micro-Rotor
The foundations of these values were laid with the introduction of TONDA PF Micro-Rotor. Purity, refined minimalism and discretion have come to characterise the entire TONDA PF collection since its launch in September 2021. The subsequent models launched by Parmigiani Fleurier have all been born of this original matrix that established the brand’s watchmaking codes and fundamentals.
After steel with a platinum bezel, and after 18ct rose gold, the iconic TONDA PF Micro-Rotor is evolving into an all-platinum case, bracelet and dial version. The watch is driven by its ultra-thin 3mm self-winding movement with platinum micro-rotor, Calibre PF703. This small oscillating weight is integrated into the thickness of the movement, unlike a classic half-moon-shaped rotor that would have covered it.
This enables a significant reduction of thickness, meaning the TONDA PF Micro-Rotor measures only 7.8 mm on the wrist, synonymous with comfort, refinement and elegance. Most of the overall finishing is done by hand, both for the movement and for the case elements.
While Parmigiani Fleurier watches are contemporary and modern, they all obey the intangible rules of top-flight watchmaking craftsmanship.
The displays of the TONDA PF Micro-Rotor are entirely focused on essentials – hours, minutes and date – reflecting the aesthetic spirit that guided its creation. This pure and understated model reinterprets the tenets of watchmaking classicism in a very contemporary and noble perspective.
With its 40 mm diameter and a pared-down, sandblasted platinum dial, the TONDA PF Micro-Rotor is capable of multiple transformations in accordance with various metals and colours, while at the same time asserting its undeniable sovereignty.
TONDA PF Flying Tourbillon
Platinum rules once again, in a version combining the precious metal with one of the supreme Haute Horlogerie complications: the Tourbillon.
Following on from the 25-piece limited edition presented in 2022, this year’s TONDA PF Tourbillon features a special characteristic: its platinum dial appears in a Milano blue shade that is a favourite with Parmigiani Fleurier. The choice of colours highlights the generous opening at 7 o’clock, providing a chance to admire the magic of the perpetual moving regulating organ.
This new interpretation remains true to the brand spirit, magnificently expressing the stylistic vision of the Maison and its approach distinguished by discreet yet strong added value. TONDA PF Tourbillon embodies perfect purity.
Concealed beneath the Milano blue dial, the calibre developed within the Watchmaking Centre – a flying tourbillon movement with automatic winding via a platinum micro-rotor – reveals some of its 207 components through the transparent case back.
Designed, produced and assembled by the artisans of the Watchmaking Centre, this 32.6 mm-diameter Reference PF517 movement is accurate, lastingly reliable and finished to the highest fine watchmaking standards (bevelling, circular-graining, Côtes de Genève) and measures a mere 3.4 mm thick.
The TONDA PF Flying Tourbillon belongs to the exclusive circle of iconic timepieces, a stature accentuated by its finely knurled and polished platinum bezel.
TONDA PF Split Seconds Chronograph
An absolute immersion in rose gold that conceals a world class masterpiece caliber, but in a resolutely Haute Horlogerie iteration. Dedicated to short-time measurement, manual winding TONDA PF Chronograph Rattrapante, with its two column-wheels belongs in the category of exceptional watchmaking instruments and is powered by a movement beating at a rate of 5 Hz or 36,000 Vph.
This reinterpretation comes with an entirely 18ct rose gold case and bracelet, delivered with an additional alligator leather strap secured by a pin buckle. This model allows the wearer to admire the 18ct rose gold movement with a barrel featuring the signature of Michel Parmigiani, who created it to mark his brand’s 20th anniversary.
Split-seconds chronographs represent the best of this complication category. Designed to measure intermediate (split) times, they are equipped with two superimposed chronograph hands.
Activating the 1 o’clock pusher makes the two hands turn together. Pressing the 4 o’clock pusher stops the upper hand while the lower hand continues running. Another press at 4 o’clock brings the upper hand back to the second one in a move that has led to the French term “rattrapante” (“catch-up”) for this function.
The split time is measured at the first stop. This highly sophisticated function is one of the most difficult complications to create, on a par with a tourbillon or a minute repeater.
The TONDA PF Chronograph Rattrapante is all about performance. Its integrated Manufacture movement includes all the indispensable attributes of a sophisticated mechanism.
A high 5 Hz frequency, along with two column-wheels each playing different roles: one dedicated to the chronograph and the other to operating the split-seconds function via the crown-integrated pusher. The Calibre PF361 naturally incorporates a vertical clutch and the balance is held in place by a cross-through bridge in 18ct rose gold–a material featured on the entire structure (baseplate and bridges) holding the moving parts.
The movement of the TONDA Split Second Chronograph is a “racing machine” with 309 components, 35 jewels and a 65-hour power reserve.
This timepiece single-handedly symbolises the expertise of an integrated Manufacture. In addition to the chronograph measurement, the dial displays tachymeter and pulsometer scales, while the split-seconds hands adopt different colours, as do the counters appearing slightly above the crown axis.
The tenth-of-a-second precision and the challenge of shaping the gold that is such a malleable material are assets that every devotee of fine watchmaking will appreciate.
The construction is designed to ensure the movement’s longevity and enable it to withstand shocks. The decorations adorning the movement components meets the standards of Haute Horlogerie, which are those of Parmigiani Fleurier.
This creation displays all the aesthetic elements of the TONDA PF collection. The case and bracelet are integrated into a fluid overall design ensuring excellent readability of the chronograph on the date-free dial framed by the brand’s signature knurled bezel.
Discover more from the Parmigiani Fleurier TONDA PF Collection at our boutiques, or online.