At the upcoming SIHH 2011 industry event, the Swiss watchmaker is going to refresh its Tonda line with an elegant Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 (ref. PFC267-1002400-HA1241). The timepiece is going to be presented in a perfectly balanced, flawlessly proportioned case and will feature only the data that you really need: hours, minutes and seconds (just to make sure that the watch didn’t stop all of a sudden.)
Sporting a classic “small seconds” dial layout and coming in a slim and finely crafted 39 mm case, the new member of the Tonda family is clearly aimed to make a dent at the market of “classic” watches, which is now totally dominated by the elegant Patek Philippe Calatrava series.
Although retaining the styling cues of the original Tonda line, the 1950 version is way more elegant and refined.
As you can see on the pictures, the new watch comes in a slimmer case sporting a more delicate version of the brand’s iconic lugs design.
The new case comes courtesy of the new 30 mm x 2.6 mm Caliber PF 700 manufacture-made ultra-slim self-winding movement with an off-center micro-oscillating weight in platinum 950 and a single barrel mainspring, while the rest of the line features a double-barrel PF331.01 movement that stores more juice, but is also thicker.
The relative shortness of the mainspring in the PF 700 is partly compensated by a relatively slow frequency of the balance wheel that oscillates at just 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour (an average modern watch usually has a movement whose balance wheel beats at 28,800 vph and there are also so called “high-beat” mechanisms like Zenith El Primero and TAG Heuer that operate at even more impressive 36,000 vph,) but the guaranteed power reserve of just 42 hours is still fairly underwhelming in a world where a luxury watch with a three-day power reserve rarely produces anything more enthusiastic than a muted “okay” from a person who follows current trends in watchmaking.
On the visual side, there are changes, too. Gone are the Arabic numerals, calendar display window and the completely unnecessary second chapter ring.
The new set of hour indexes, which is applied to a grained dial (graphite for the white gold version and white for the rose gold watch,) is also a classic example of understated beauty that we are more used to admire on the timepieces from the German town of Glashuette.
It is reported that the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 will be offered at a pretty much affordable (for a dress watch in a gold body) price of some $20,000, give or take. Makes it a nice choice for a well-to-do lawyer or an attorney, I don’t know.
Parmigiani Fleurier is currently working on another version of the PF 700 caliber with a small date indicator. I sincerely hope that they will not ruin this classic beauty with a date window.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Parmigiani Fleurier
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 (ref. PFC267-1002400-HA1241) specification:
Price range: $20,000 – $25,000
Movement: Caliber PF 700, 30 mm in diameter, 2.6 mm thick, in-house, Swiss Made
Winding: Automatic (self-winding)
Cadence of balance: 21,600 vph
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: White gold or Rose gold
Case size: 39.00 mm
Case height: 7.80 mm
Dial: Graphite (White gold) and Grained white (Rose gold)
Hands: White gold or Rose gold, luminous
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Alligator strap with ardillon buckle in rose and white gold, polished finish
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective