Hands-On: Angus Davies gets hands-on with the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Lune
An in-depth review of the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Lune featuring live pictures, specification and price.
Some watches transcend the mere telling of time, they are objects of beauty. The proportions of a true horological masterpiece are carefully considered and the contours echo the curves found in nature. The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Lune is such a watch. It is more than just a timepiece, it is a ticking work of art.
Recently, I had the pleasurable experience of wearing this watch for 10 days, witnessing its flowing profile at close quarters and feeling its unobtrusive caress. I make no apologies, I fell for its sweet silhouette and wish to share this horological love story for the delectation of fellow horological romantics.
The black opaline dial seems like a visual metaphor for the sky at night. This is a romantic’s watch with the moon depicted in rose gold and both hemispheres revealed in all of their breathtaking beauty. The moon phase is calibrated to show the lunar month of 29½ days with the lunar cycle of new moon, first quarter, full moon and last quarter replicated in tasteful form.
Luminous Delta hands collaborate gracefully with the applied triangular shaped batons, proclaiming the time with quiet, clear tone. There is nothing showy or gauche about this timepiece of good breeding, everything is delivered with absolute decorum.
Occupying the southern aspect of the dial, an elongated aperture reveals the date. The crisp black numerals are easy to read and presented in seemly fashion.
There is no risk of misunderstandings, all indications are lucidly conveyed and readability is assured.
Parmigiani Fleurier craft exquisite cases with all of the balletic poise of a prima ballerina en-pointe. The case of the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Lune proves to be no exception.
The articulated lugs arc gently, mimicking the natural contour of the wrist. They exhibit a becoming fluidity, dancing with light in a bewitching courtship ritual and casting fascinating deep shadows along their form.
Measuring 39mm in diameter, the case will prove suitable for the average-sized wearer but, alas, I found the watch a tad too small for my bulky wrist. This is a shame and leaves me hoping that the maison from the Val-de-Travers will choose to release a larger version of this eye-catching timepiece at some future point.
Much mechanical mastery is housed within the case of a Parmigiani Fleurier timepiece and it is therefore pleasing to be able to see the automatic movement via a pane of sapphire crystal.
The matt alligator strap, produced by the prestigious house of Hermès, is paired with a stainless steel deployant granting a comfortable marriage with the wearer’s arm. The strap along with the rubies populating the movement and the sapphire crystals are the only items not made in-house by Parmigiani Fleurier, a feat few other brands can match.
The calibre PF 708 is a manufacture movement par excellence. Courtesy of a micro-rotor positioned opposite the winding crown, the sole barrel is wound automatically. When fully wound the tensioned mainspring confers 48 hours of autonomy.
The micro-rotor is adorned with Grain d’orge motif, while adjacent petit perlage stands testament to the adroit hands who work at the company’s Fleurier atelier.
Hand-bevelled bridges deliver a gleaming edge between the bridge surface and flank. The 45° edge is of consistent width, with no evidence of undulation. The Côtes de Genève motif is wonderfully defined with each stripe beautifully expressed. The screw sinks are charmingly polished and the wheels are circular grained. In terms of horological etiquette, this timepiece reveals an impressive degree of breeding.
The balance wheel is fitted with masselottes set in-board, mitigating turbulence and, by default, aiding precision.
This is a undoubtedly purists’s movement.
I have not been able to hide my profound fondness for the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Lune. It is beautiful in form and exacting in its creation.
The casual reader may justifiably assume I perceive this exemplar of haute horlogerie as perfection, however, I do not, but the only criticism I have for this watch is that it is only available in a ‘normal’ 39mm size. I would, therefore, like to see a version of this watch created for more generously proportioned souls and suspect this impressive maison is capable of sating my desires with an artistic creation worthy of any gallery wall.
Case: Stainless steel; diameter 39.1 mm; water resistance 3 ATM (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and case-back
Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date; moon phase indicator
Movement: PF708; Self-winding movement; frequency 21,600 VpH (4Hz); 29 jewels; 211 components; Power reserve 48 hours
Strap: Black alligator leather strap presented with folding buckle
Price: £10,300 (RRP as at 6.9.2017)
Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.