The Elegance Of The Everyday: The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda GT In Rose Gold
Master watchmaker and restorer Michel Parmigiani has a sterling reputation of being a “watchmaker’s watchmaker,” which earns his creations unmatched respect and admiration.
On the heels of a number of more rarefied product launches, like the Hijri Perpetual Calendar (a perpetual calendar timepiece based, for the first time in wristwatch form, on the Islamic lunar calendar) and a pair of tourbillon-equipped wristwatches (the colorful, bejeweled Tonda 1950 Tourbillon Double Rainbow and the classically refined Toric Tourbillon Slate), Parmigiani and his team, in a first-time collaboration with independent designer Dino Modolo, debuted three new GT editions of its popular Tonda timepieces, that carry the brand’s distinct DNA as a gentleman’s watch, but a gentleman’s watch for any occasion.
The Power of Three
Each of the three flavors is offered in polished, satin-finished steel or 18-karat rose gold.
Along with the very modern Tonda GT Black Edition, there is the Tondagraph GT. Powered by Parmigiani’s PF043 calibre, which brings an annual calendar and chronograph together (a unique coupling in the watch world), the Tondagraph GT is limited to 200 pieces and arguably the sportiest of the trio.
But it is the 42mm Tonda GT in rose gold on a blue rubber strap that immediately caught our eye (and a more traditional gold link bracelet version will also be available by the time you read this article).
Rose Gold Rebel
The execution of the Tonda GT in rose gold on the rubber strap really shows off the revised case lines and more integrated lug construction contributed by Dino Modolo’s fresh design. The fluted bezel on the shimmering case and exquisite triangular guilloche work on the deep blue dial invoke a sober classicism. Meanwhile, the hollow, black-lumed hands and indices, gleaming rose gold, tight-as-a-gasket integration of the shorter lugs, and textured black rubber strap bring a new level of universally appealing sportiness to the package.
Framing the presentation beautifully, a double gold-rimmed date window at 12 o’clock is balanced with a technical, double-ended hand small seconds sub-dial, which features dual-gauged, 180-degree concentric arcs for the 0 to 30 seconds and 30 to 60 seconds intervals.
The PF044 automatic movement that powers this beauty, wrought with a solid gold oscillating weight and finished with Côtes de Genève stripes visible through the back of the case, sports a 45-hour power reserve and, true to its dynamic intentions, is water-resistant to 300 feet.
In the Details
All of this unexpected design and technicality comes in a package that is not only extremely easy to wear; it is also exceedingly easy on the eyes. If we examine the through-line of the watch, strap end to strap end, we see that the textured black rubber mimics the blue guilloche dial pattern, but both executions are framed by neutral smooth areas that create a seamless “road” for our eyes to follow.
That seamlessness is further enhanced by the solid, short-cut integration of the strap into the case and lugs and the pattern’s visibility underneath the skeletonized hands. This approach doesn’t necessarily tone down the brilliant rose gold case but makes its use perfectly natural and not fussy in the least.
The unique dual-gauged small seconds sub-dial also reveals some understated flourish. The two 180-degree arcs nested together would seem natural for a half-circle “retrograde” type of indicator. But the designers chose not to break the classical space of a circular 6 o’clock sub-dial.
Thus, by the time the shorter end of the hand ticks away the first 30 seconds of a minute on the inside gauge, the longer hand has rotated into position to continue counting seconds 30 to 60 on the outside, larger gauge. That leaves the lower half of the sub-dial available to cleanly present its concentric circular pattern and carry the expected “automatic” label in a prominent presentation without taking up its own space on the dial.
The Elegance of the Everyday
So, it’s not so much despite these exacting design cues on such an easy-wearing timepiece but because of them that the new Tonda GT presents such a compelling daily-wearer. Parmigiani’s almost-religious dedication to the “golden ratio” rubric of good design and instinct to use the format and available space of a wristwatch in an interesting, often surprising, and balanced way delivers a timepiece that is as perfectly suited for your Sunday morning stroll to get a cup of cold-brew as it was for your Saturday evening gala the night before, and as it will be for your Monday morning board meeting the day after.
Pricing & Availability
The featured Tonda GT in rose gold on the blue rubber strap (reference number PFC910-1500340-X03182) is limited to 150 pieces and lists for $26,800. A price for the rose gold bracelet version (not shown) was unavailable at press time.