Parmigiani Fleurier launched its Tonda GT collection this summer, with a pair of time-and-date-only models and a complicated piece integrating both a chronograph and an annual calendar. Earlier this week at Watches & Wonders Shanghai, Parmigiani added another member to the family, this one featuring an all-new integrated chronograph caliber, based on the one that powered its award-winning Tonda Chronor Anniversaire model from 2016.
The Tonda Chronor Anniversaire celebrated the 20th anniversary of the watchmaking maison founded by Michel Parmigiani and garnered the 2017 prize for best chronograph watch at the 2017 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. That timepiece’s Caliber PF361 was Parmigiani’s first movement equipped with an integrated chronograph function (rather than a module) and it provides the base for the new Caliber PF071 that beats inside the new Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue. The COSC-certified automatic caliber also incorporates a large date display and is noteworthy for several technical elements that maximize its built-in stopwatch’s efficiency.
Among these elements are its use of a column wheel instead of a cam, making for smoother operation; a vertical clutch rather than a horizontal one to increase accuracy by enabling the chronograph to start without an initial jolt; the use of a cross-bridge instead of a single attachment to better stabilize the balance; and a high frequency of 36,600 vph (5 Hz), which means the stopwatch can measure intervals up to 1/10 second. Few chronograph movements other than Zenith’s legendary El Primero can boast this level of accuracy. The big date is also an integrated feature rather than a modular addition, and required a clever optimization of the caliber’s surface space.
Like its predecessors in the GT collection, the new timepiece takes stylistic cues from the Tonda Chronor case as well as the “golden ratio” aesthetic that Michel Parmigiani has applied to his watch designs since his eponymous brand’s beginnings. Its defining characteristics include the gently curving teardrop lugs on the 42-mm, 18k rose gold case; the ergonomically sculpted bracelet in the same material, with brushed and polished finishes that flows seamlessly into that case; the fluted bezel reminiscent of those on Parmigiani’s Toric models; and the “clou triangulaire” guilloché motif on the dial, here in a vibrant blue. The Delta-shaped, openworked hands, another Parmigiani hallmark, are also made of gold.
Through a clear sapphire caseback, the high-end finishing on the new Caliber PF071 is on full display: chamfering and polishing done by hand, sandblasted surfaces, a sunray pattern on the 18k gold oscillating weight, and angel-wing-shaped bridges. Every component of the movement is made within the walls of Parmigiani’s family of factories, making it a true manufacture caliber. In addition to the gold integrated bracelet, the watch is available on an integrated blue rubber strap. Prices are $41,000 on the strap and $65,500 on the bracelet.