Hands-On: The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Special Edition Meteorite 'Abyss Blue'

The Tonda 1950 Special Edition Meteorite’s dial can look altogether different, contingent upon how the light hits it.

These different companies aren’t possessed by Parmigiani fundamentally; rather, Parmigiani, just as different components makers we visited were (and are) important for an arrangement of horological firms claimed by the Sandoz Family Foundation, which was established in 1964 by  édouard-Marcel Sandoz, the child of one of the fellow benefactors of Sandoz Pharmaceuticals (among the company’s additional fascinating accomplishments was the revelation of the psychotropic properties of LSD). The Foundation has, as you may expect, huge capital assets and its brief was and is to empower business venture by giving startup financing, and advancing position creation, which it without a doubt has done in horology. Parmigiani Fleurier was dispatched in 1996, by Michel Parmigiani and with the help of the Sandoz Family Foundation. 

With every one of these assets available to its it completely beguiled me with respect to why the company was as moderately obscure in the USA as it was in 2009. Indeed, even today, for most watch aficionados it’s strangely underexposed.

The dial starts with a flimsy cut taken from a real shooting star, which is then gotten done with a galvanic coating.

As a for example, we should investigate the Tonda 1950 Meteorite Abyss Blue. The sell here, at any rate at first, is the very dark blue dial, which relying upon how the light hits it can look either practically dark and absolutely featureless or a brilliant cerulean with inconspicuous, yet unmistakeable and curiously fluctuated, cross-incubating on the dial that comes from the precious stone construction of the shooting star from which the dial’s made. The dial begins with a slender cross-part of a real shooting star, which is then treated in a progression of corrosive showers to complement the surfaces of its glasslike structure. At last, the dial is given a galvanic surface covering, bringing about the exceptionally soaked blue shading you see here.

The Tonda case, with its unmistakable drags, is one of two generally conspicuous in Parmigiani’s portfolio, alongside the tonneau-formed Kalpa. The Tonda is the most traditionalist case shape offered by Parmigiani, however it has a similar tear profile hauls the Kalpa has and that is the thing that makes it recognizable a good ways off as a Parmigiani Fleurier design.

Now, you may come for the dial, yet in case you’re a colored in-the-fleece development nerd you’ll remain for the type PF701.

Caliber PF701 is an extra-level, miniature rotor fueled development with a 42-hour power reserve.

The PF701 is a very flawless development, and a significant level one at 2.6mm; for comparison, Piaget’s 1200P miniature rotor development is 2.35mm thick. The general development of the development is genuinely average for a miniature rotor type, in which design limitations are forced by the need to discover room, pretty much on a similar level, for the rotor, programmed winding framework, barrel, and going train. Underneath we can see the actual rotor, and, going counterclockwise, the extension for the programmed winding train, the scaffold for the origin barrel and focus wheel, and the three-lobed scaffold for the awkward extra person wheel, fourth wheel, and getaway wheel. The equilibrium is upheld by an equilibrium rooster (instead of an equilibrium connect) and is freesprung (that is, there’s no controller record). The equilibrium spring is level, with a regular external terminal dogleg; for the most part, in extra-level developments, an overcoil balance spring isn’t utilized as it adds tallness. The overall degree of finish appears to be very acceptable. There are no sharp inward corners to be seen here, yet on the other hand, there aren’t any in the Piaget 1200P or Patek 240 either, so you can’t thump Parmigiani for that. In any event not comparative with its competition.

The development completing is stifled, clear, and elegant.

So here we have an extremely appealing, generally estimated (39mm x 7.97mm) extra-level dress watch, with an intriguing and all around made development, an unmistakable case, and an exceptionally pleasant piece of added an incentive in the surprising dial, all at a cost ($20,500) that puts it sensibly in competition with comparable watches from other haute horlogerie manufacturers. Value savvy the lone major gotcha for Parmigiani Fleurier that I can consider here is the new Lange Saxonia Thin 37mm  at $14,800. In any case, the Lange isn’t self-twisting (however it is more intricately completed than basically some other watch from some other producer at that value point) and also, 37mm is marginally on the little side for some contemporary tastes. (Furthermore, in case we fail to remember, the 40mm form of the Saxonia Thin is about $10,000 more costly). Besides, this is definitely not a particularly abnormal watch subjectively for Parmigiani; since the company was established they have made some similarly, if not more, lovely and in fact intriguing watches.

Why, at that point, does an overall specialized stalwart brand that has its own particular tasteful language, and which has impressive monetary assets available to its, keep on being something of, indeed, not actually a peasant, but rather unquestionably something of a bit of hindsight for so numerous enthusiasts?

A more critical gander at the etching on the miniature rotor.

The development visuals and the dial treatment make for a perfectly incorporated design.

Several years prior, when I was still U.S. Manager in-Chief of Revolution Magazine, we ended up doing a meeting with Jean-Claude Biver, who, whatever else you may think about his impact throughout the years on watch configuration, is for the most part recognized to be a person who knows something about showcasing and selling watches. At a certain point he was asked by Revolution’s organizer Wei Koh for what valid reason he thought a specific brand was failing to meet expectations. He turned out to be more enlivened (more vivified than expected for Biver, which is saying something) and he said, “In light of the fact that they have no ICON!” He inclined forward and started slamming the tip of his pointer on the table, as though he intended to bore straight through to China, maybe to guarantee the world’s biggest developing business sector for watches of the earnestness of his commitment to horology. “You need an ICON,” he yelped. “Symbol. Symbol. Symbol. Symbol.” (He said this with the exasperated quality of a man who is every now and again compelled to rehash the conspicuous to those whom he presumes aren’t paying attention). 

The point was vehemently made, however all around taken, and it is enlightening while thinking about Parmigiani Fleurier. There is a lot of conventional watchmaking at Parmigiani, yet the actual company is still very youthful all things considered, and it essentially takes a lot of effort to assemble such a legacy that a large number of us expect (wittingly or not) to discover backing up brands that training customary watchmaking. It additionally can require some investment to locate a model that truly ascends to the situation with a symbol for a company, and you can, contingent upon the conditions, do very well without one. Nobody would debate that the Royal Oak is famous for Audemars Piguet, yet the company figured out how to make due without it for a very long time (however there is some inquiry how much longer they would have made due without it).

On the wrist, the Tonda 1950 Special Edition Meteorite is an unobtrusive however rich presence.

So is Parmigiani Fleurier fundamentally doing anything incorrectly? Fair and square of offering items subjectively competitive with different brands at its value level, the appropriate response is, for the most part, no. There are particular plans, and a truly great arrangement of haute horlogerie in-house developments that address a tremendous capital investment. On another level, it’s difficult to try not to feel the company could accomplish more to just get its watches out there a touch more among precisely the people and communities best prepared. also, normally slanted, to value them. The company’s concern, to the degree that it has one, is a marking issue, not a quality issue, and keeping in mind that many watch companies are inadequate either in marking exercises or item quality, I would wager 50,000 chronometers that the greater part of us would prefer to have the quality than the informing, in the event that compelled to decide.

However, it’s likewise obvious that a little consistency in mindfulness building goes far, and I can’t resist the urge to trust that Parmigiani will accomplish more later on to remind its customers, both present and future, that it exists as an intriguing option in contrast to the standard suspects. The Tonda 1950 Special Edition Meteorite Abyss Blue, meanwhile, is an appealing and rich watch with a great deal of character. We should trust it and its kinfolk stand out enough to be noticed from aficionados, and from Parmigiani itself, important to keep up some truly necessary and welcome variety in the horological ecosystem.

The Tonda 1950 Special Edition Meteorite: case, 39mm x 7.97mm, 18k rose gold; water obstruction, 3 bar/30 meters. Dial, “void blue” shooting star, galvanically wrapped up. Development, Parmigiani Fleurier in-house type PF701, additional level, 30mm x 2.6mm; 21,600 vph, self-winding microrotor development with 42 hour power hold. See it at parmigiani.ch.