By Nancy Olson
Milestones are important in the life of a company, marking notable achievements and insuring consistent forward momentum. And Parmigiani Fleurier is sharing yet another of its many accomplishments with the introduction of the new limited edition Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue, released this week at Watches & Wonders Shanghai.
The Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue draws inspiration from its Tonda brethren, including 2016’s Tonda Chronor Anniversaire, which comprises the Manufacture’s first in-house integrated chronograph—the PF361. Maintaining the gravitas of that milestone, the new Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue is fitted with the in-house PF071, a COSC-certified automatic integrated chronograph, which is based on its predecessor. This is the first integrated chronograph within the Tonda GT collection, which was launched earlier this year.
Here’s a rundown of some of the new timepiece’s notable elements, all of which point to Parmigiani Fleurier’s masterful expertise in watchmaking. Incidentally, save for the hands, crystal and rubber strap, all the components are made within the Parmigiani Fleurier manufacture—from the screws to the balance spring, escapement to the case and dial. I’ll start with the mechanics.
The PF071 uses a single central column wheel instead of a cam for smoother operation, and a vertical rather than a horizontal clutch is employed for greater accuracy. Also, the balance is secured by a shock-resistant cross-through bridge instead of the more-common single attachment point, thus making it more stable. The movement has a power reserve of 65 hours.
Obviously, the higher the oscillating frequency, the more precise the chronograph: the PF071 beats at 36,000 vph, making it accurate to the nearest tenth of a second. Finally, the big date aperture is integrated into the movement rather than included as an additional module.
The caseback of the Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue provides a view of the intricacies of the movement and warrants more than passing attention. All the visible surfaces are embellished by hand, and the internal angles are beveled and polished, also by hand. The oscillating weight is 22-karat gold beneath which are the “angel wing” bridges.
The 42mm case of the Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue is water resistant to 100 meters and exhibits the recognizable half-fluted bezel first seen on Michel Parmigiani’s Toric from back in the day. The warm tone of the rose gold complements the blue dial, which is further accentuated by the “clou triangulaire” guilloche that adds dimension without being distracting. Delta-shaped hours and minutes hands with black luminescent coating traverse the dial, while three subdials are engaged for small seconds and chronograph functions. The big date display is at 12 o’clock.
The collection, limited to just 25 pieces, is fitted on either a bracelet ($65,500) or a blue rubber strap ($41,000). While the bracelet is certainly up to Parmigiani Fleurier’s excellent standards, I like the blue rubber strap, which provides a sportier look while supplying some visual respite from the dressier gold.