Parmigiani Fleurier: Tonda PF a testament to 25 years of horological excellence

Parmigiani Fleurier celebrates its 25th anniversary with a new addition to the Tonda series that’s tailored to withstand the passage of time and trends. CEO Guido Terreni introduces the Tonda PF

Tonda PF Annual Calendar in rose gold. Photo: Parmigiani Fleurier

Parmigiani Fleurier was created in 1996 as a result of Michel Parmigiani’s determination to preserve the craft of mechanical watchmaking. Having spent 20 years restoring important timepieces for the Patek Philippe Museum and Watch Museum of Le Locle, the Swiss native launched his own brand with the support of the Sandoz Family Foundation and a commitment to design, produce, decorate and assemble every last component at an in-house manufacture.

Now, 25 years later, Parmigiani Fleurier has cemented its reputation for creativity, innovation and a continuous quest for excellence. All of these qualities – together with a mature, sartorial approach to watchmaking – come together in the new Tonda PF collection, said to be the brainchild of the maison’s new CEO.

Guido Terreni joined the Parmigiani Fleurier family in January 2021 during the height of the pandemic. Despite missing the opportunity to travel, meet with staff and clients, and actually hold the watches in his hands, Terreni found the timing of his appointment worked in his favour.

“It was almost paradoxical that this forced isolation made me dive into the soul of the brand,” he says. “I believe very much in exploring who you want to be and what you want to convey. This is something that can only be decided from within. You cannot look at what others are selling and ask how to do more sales. You have to ask, ‘Who are we? Who do we want to be? Who is our client? And what is the style we want to convey?’ These are very intimate questions.”

When it came to determining Parmigiani Fleurier’s preferred client, Terreni discovered an unprecedented trend in the luxury business. “In all my experience, I’ve never seen attention to niche brands like you have today,” he says, noting that the true luxury client is one who is looking for something unique and not the same watch all their peers are wearing. “That’s who we want to address, someone who enjoys private luxury, someone who is forward-thinking and who is setting what is cool in the future. It’s easy to be different and do something extravagant. But that’s not who we are – we are extremely tasteful, extremely elegant and refined.”

Tonda PF Split Seconds Chronograph in platinum; Parmigiani Fleurier CEO Guido Terreni. Photo: Parmigiani Fleurier

The Tonda PF, therefore, had to fulfil these three criteria while remaining true to Parmigiani Fleurier’s esteemed aesthetic and technical know-how. “That’s why I call it a sartorial approach in watchmaking, because when you look at the details they are not immediately visible – you have to have an educated eye to see all the finishings we have placed on this watch. Not everybody can appreciate them.”

Indeed, each of the four models in the collection subtly presents the brand’s aesthetic codes and unveils novel variations of its iconic movements while focusing squarely on texture, form and detail. The 40mm Tonda PF Micro-Rotor is a sleek everyday timepiece with an uncluttered warm grey, matte guilloché dial. It features hours, minutes and date, with the latter two creating a consistent colourway. In addition, it inaugurates a new ultra-slim, 3mm calibre PF703 that is self-winding due to a full platinum micro-rotor.

Premiering new 22-carat rose gold oscillating weights are the 42mm Tonda PF Chronograph and Tonda PF Annual Calendar. The former employs an integrated, column wheel calibre PF070 with a high frequency of 5 Hz paired with small seconds and two registers. Its lightly sandblasted minute track and counter outlines on the guilloché blue dial give it a near-flush surface.

Meanwhile, the Tonda PF Annual Calendar maintains its hallmark calibre PF339 which presents day, month, a retrograde date and 122-year moon phase. A balance between design and layout is achieved with the date pushed outwards onto the minute track and the counters discretely outlined on the warm grey guilloché dial.

Finally, the Tonda PF Split Seconds Chronograph is the showstopper of the collection with its case, bracelet and dial all crafted in platinum. Limited to 25 units, the timepiece adopts a new high-end calibre PF361 with exceptional attributes – 18-carat rose gold mainplate and bridges, extensive openwork with satin finish and bevel, an integrated split-seconds chronograph of a high frequency – to allow for optimal timekeeping.

Further differentiating themselves from previous collections with an objective to provide their insider clientele with a sensual and intimate experience is the new PF logo nestled in a vertical, oval, double-edged appliqué. “All of these elements have to be harmonious,” Terreni says. “They all have to be working together like an orchestra; they all have to play the same music.”

Before looking ahead to how Parmigiani Fleurier will continue to evolve and develop its unique identity, Terreni emphasises the importance of the Tonda PF and what it represents to the brand. “The key thing is to be true to yourself, and be consistent and disciplined,” he says. “We must have an obsession with being pure and be uncompromising in what we do.”

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