Hands-On: The Parmigiani Fleurier Pantographe, A Unique Oval Wristwatch With Telescoping Mechanical Hands

Hands-On: The Parmigiani Fleurier Pantographe, A Unique Oval Wristwatch With Telescoping Mechanical Hands

The Pantographe is important for the Ovale Collection, and highlights remarkable extending “pantograph” hands.

The fundamental thought behind the Pantographe is a basic one: in a non-round watch, the distance between the tips of the hands and the border of the dial changes as the hands go round. This is, you may say, a non-issue, and obviously, human inventiveness being what it will be, it is a non-issue which has called forward an answer, and one which is praiseworthily Rube-Goldberg-esque: mechanical extending hands.

The Ovale Collection Pantographe is really founded on a lot more established watch, from around 1800, when high-exactness watches had not at this point become common, however when mechanics – which had by then become progressed enough to permit the making of some genuinely noteworthy, if not strange, automata, for example, the universally famous Digesting Duck of Vaucanson – permitted an all the more free rule to the minds of watchmakers than at any other time. Indeed, these were the halcyon days that gave us the tourbillon, the detent escapement, the main pragmatic marine chronometers, without any end in sight; this is likewise the period in horological history that gave us exotica like the pocket watch with ruby-set equilibrium beating once each second (which is either a philosophical proclamation, or a down to earth joke) in the Sandoz Collection – and an oval pocket watch, with extending hands, by the English watchmakers Vardon and Stedman. A really complaining, basic, or all the more essentially useful individual may say something like “Why make a round watch?”, yet to Vardon and Stedman (at any rate, for one brilliant, sparkling, reckless second in the generally sullen chronicles of British horology) watchmaking wasn’t regarding why, it was concerning why not.

The Pantographe depends on this English pocket watch from 1800.

A more critical gander at the first pocket watch’s extending hands.

The Pantographe is a similar essential thought, yet in a cutting edge wristwatch, with a development that has an eight-day power save. The development is a significant one for Parmigiani Fleurier; it’s fundamentally type PF110 (which was initially made for the Kalpa Hebdomadaire group of watches, dispatched in 1999). With the module for the pantograph hands however, it’s type PF111. The name is taken from that of a drafting apparatus comprising of cross-connected mechanical arms, which was utilized to scale up or downsize drawings; the arms of a pantograph look very much like the extending hands of the Pantographe watch.

The instance of the Pantographe is accessible in rose gold (appeared) or white gold.

The case shape and drags give the watch extremely agile bended lines.

The hands themselves are made of blued aluminum; one of the difficulties in planning them was ensuring that the hour and moment hands could never be excessively close long to one another (the better to guarantee intelligibility of the watch regardless of the time).

The complex, extending hands are made of blued aluminum, and gradually change long as they travel around the dial.

Even here, there’s a noticeable distinction long between the two hands.

Caliber PF111 was serious when it previously turned out in the last part of the 1990s, when week long force holds in wristwatches were not actually thick on the ground, it’s still lovely in fact and outwardly great today. The development has two barrels, running in arrangement; and it’s 13 x 10 1/2 lignes, or about 29.3mm x 23.6mm. It’s likewise one of not many formed (for example non-round) hand-twisted developments out there; the watchmaking business has not placed a lot of energy into the improvement of high evaluation hand-twisted developments in late many years, for the very even minded explanation that most watches are round: they’re simpler to sell. The shortfall of a rotor and a scaffold for a programmed winding train implies that regardless of the long force hold, type PF111 isn’t appallingly thick, at simply 4.9mm. The enigmatically flower lines of the scaffolds give it a marginally resplendent feel that is an extraordinary foil to the more specialized properties of the movement.

The development depends on one of the first in-house developments by Parmigiani.

The particular states of the development spans give the development a quickly conspicuous appearance.

Above, the three-lobed scaffold for the going train (right).

It’s a cunning and enchanting complication, and no better or worse off for having been considered 116 years prior in England. The lone drawback, truly, is that you need to see the hands telescope continuously, which, given the gradualness with which they move, isn’t actually conceivable (however you do get a decent show when you set the watch). Nonetheless, perhaps it’s cutting edge tastes and an advanced feeling of time that would bring up that as a criticism – maybe the general purpose is to see a masterful, slow change in the components of the hands over time. 

Seeing the hands move in realtime isn’t actually conceivable, however a progressive change is unquestionably noticeable.

Here the moment hand is at its longest, and the hour hand moving toward its shortest.

The allure of this watch is altogether different from – indeed, anything from any other individual, I assume. An oval case can appear to be somewhat of a gesture, or possibly a capriciousness, particularly when anything veering off from roundness can be a capital punishment to the commercial possibilities of a watch, yet the combination of the oval case and extending hands bodes well, though in a totally repetitious design.

The pantograph hands add extensively to the thickness of the watch, however not unduly so.

A date show and force hold make for a fair, however not jumbled, dial.

Thanks to the bended hauls, the Parmigiani Fleurier Pantographe is a comfortable and rich presence on the wrist.

It helps me a little to remember what John Gardner expounded on Nabokov’s Pale Fire – it’s a gem that focuses completely by its own light (to reword a piece). Generally speaking, the Parmigiani Pantographe is a mentally and genuinely engaging watch that exemplifies the enjoyment that the innovators of the pantograph hands more likely than not felt at their own creativity, a century and more ago.

The Parmigiani Fleurier Pantographe as demonstrated here in red gold is valued at $55,000 (there is additionally a white gold adaptation). For additional, visit Parmigiani on the web .

Case, 45mm x 37.6mm x 12mm; water opposition 30m. Dial, white polish completion; “Pantograph” hands. Development, type PF111, hand-wound, Eight-day power save running in 28 gems at 21,600 vph. Tie by Hermès in indigo blue alligator.