By Nancy Olson
The Tonda PF, which debuted last fall, is welcoming the just-introduced Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante to the collection of elegant, understated, and often-complicated timepieces. But before we get into the specifics of this world premiere, here’s a quick review of the rattrapante and why it’s important.
If French is not your forte, you may know the rattrapante by other monikers: split seconds chronograph or a flyback. Very briefly, it’s a chronograph function that can time multiple simultaneous events, thanks to the two chronograph seconds hands that sit atop one another. A special pusher makes it possible for the rattrapante hand to be repeatedly stopped so that split times may be read. It may then be instantly synchronized with the main seconds hand by “flying back” to coincide with its position. The term comes from the French word rattraper, which means, “to catch up.”
Parmigiani’s Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante
Parmigiani has put a new spin on the respected complication with a split GMT rather than split seconds: the watch features two superimposed hour hands, one in rhodium-plated gold and the other in rose gold. The pusher at 8 o’clock causes the upper rhodium-plated hand to jump forward in one-hour increments to local time, thus exposing the rose gold hand that indicates home time. Both hour hands, like the minute hand, are skeletonized and delta shaped.
The automatic PF051 manufacture movement is responsible for this user-friendly attribute, practical for the intrepid traveler keeping track of multiple time zones. It is fitted with a 22-carat rose gold micro-rotor expertly decorated with Grain d’Orge guilloché, while other parts (there are 207 components in all) are enhanced by perlage and Côtes de Genève. The 31-jewel movement offers a power reserve of 48 hours and frequency of 3 Hz.
When not in use, the rose gold hour hand is perfectly concealed behind the other, thereby giving the Grain d’Orge guilloche dial a restrained look in keeping with the Tonda PF collection’s goal of perfect proportion. Its Milano Blue color is a subtle shade that leans into gray, depending upon the light, and the hand-applied indices are rhodium-plated 18-karat gold. The Parmigiani Fleurier logo at 12 o’clock—indicative of the collection—is the only other bit of occupied real estate on the otherwise minimalist dial.
The 40mm stainless steel case features both satin and polished finishes, while the platinum 950 knurled bezel presents an elegant touch of luxury. The crown at 3 o’clock has an 18-karat rose gold “back-home” pusher that extends a bit beyond its knurled confines, so the watch’s overall appearance is completely harmonious when the rose gold hand is in play.
The sapphire caseback offers a great view of the movement in all its decorated glory, and the metal framing the exhibition window is engraved, “Parmigiani Fleurier” along with the serial number of the timepiece. The case is water resistant to 60m and it is fitted on a stainless steel bracelet with a steel folding clasp. The Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante is priced at 26,000 CHF.