Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe

Angus Davies reviews the new Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe, recently launched at SIHH 2014. This watch is designed to appeal to a young and dynamic clientele.

This detailed review of the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe includes live images and specification details.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe (including live pictures)

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Métrographe – ref PFC274-0002400

Parmigiani Fleurier, a brand based in the heart of the Val-de-Travers, is an exemplar of haute horologerie. It is a vertically integrated watch company, producing every component save for the sapphire crystals and the luxurious straps, supplied by Hermès.

The no-compromise creation of Parmigiani Fleurier timepieces is well known to the most discerning watch collectors. Inevitably, with excellence comes commensurate pricing which, regrettably, often results in the most complicated timepieces being beyond the financial grasp of many young buyers.

Parmigiani Fleurier has recognised this and launched two new collections at SIHH 2014, the Métropolitaine for ladies and the Métrographe for men. At its presentation to assembled journalists, the company explained the rationale for the new timepieces and stated it has designed the new collections to appeal to “young and dynamic” individuals.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe (including live pictures)

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Métropolitaine – ref PFC273-0000900

With regards to this article, my attention centres on the men’s collection, the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe.

The dial

Parmigiani Fleurier has provided two dial variants in the “standard” range, grained white and black. Both models are available on co-ordinating Hermès calfskin straps or stylish, rather contemporary-looking, metal bracelets.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe (including live pictures)

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Métrographe – ref PFC274-0001401

In addition, the brand has also created a “special edition” model delivered with a pale green or “crème de menthe” dial, supplied on a metal bracelet. No picture can fully do justice to the alluring appearance of this particular timepiece.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe (including live pictures)

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Métrographe – ref PFC274-0005600

All dial variants feature applied indexes. In the case of the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe with a grained white dial, the indexes are gold plated and Arabic numerals feature at 3 o’clock, 9 o’clock and noon.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe (including live pictures)

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Métrographe – ref PFC274-0001401-B33002

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe (including live pictures)

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Métrographe – ref PFC274-0002400-B33002

Delta shaped hour and minute hands remain faithful to the design language of the maison. A central chronograph seconds hand stands to attention until called upon by pressing the push piece at 2 o’clock.

A 30-minute chronograph counter is located adjacent 9 o’clock and a 12-hour chronograph counter resides above 6 o’clock. Both the counters are presented like a skewed figure of eight, interfacing with each other in a flourish of style. Interestingly, while all models share this arrangement of the chronograph counters, each dial employs different colours and texture, resulting in every model having a distinctly individual persona.

The black dial features Superluminova on the counters along with a snailed hour ring. By contrast, the grained white dial has snailed chronograph counters and no hour ring.

Located in the lower portion of the 12-hour chronograph counter is an elongated date aperture, delivering the date with matchless legibility.

The inventory of functions is completed with a subsidiary seconds display, positioned at 3 o’clock. It exhibits a relatively shy character when viewed against the larger, neighbouring subdials but remains clear and simple to read.

While the architecture of all three dial variants is similar, the chosen hues employed, confer very different characters and may well appeal to different buyers. Personally, I like all three dial variants and have repeatedly contemplated which would be my preferred choice. Each day my answer is different and the reality is all three options offer much appeal.

The case

A case diameter of 40 mm should have widespread appeal, suiting a broad spectrum of wrist sizes. Moreover, the articulated lugs, another house style that has been retained for this model, encourage the strap to envelope the wrist comfortably.

The casual observer may initially miss the asymmetrical profile of the case.The lugs adorning the left hand side of the case are shorter than those on the right. The lugs on the right accommodate the oval shaped chronograph push pieces and protect the crown.

Every element of the case transcends the perfunctory and, in so doing, delivers a graceful profile, employing curving lines to magnificent effect.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe (including live pictures)

An exhibition caseback, secured with four screws, allows the connoisseur to admire the refined execution of the self-winding movement within.

The movement

A new movement has been created for the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe, the Calibre PF315.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe (including live pictures)

It is self-winding and, despite the model being the new entry point to Parmigiani Fleurier ownership, features bevelled bridges and Côtes de Genève motif. In truth, this latter decoration is becoming more commonplace on lower priced watches but, where the competence of the Parmigiani stands out, is in the execution of the Geneva Stripes. They are beautifully defined, but smooth and look resplendent when viewed in bright light.

The complexity of the movement is demonstrated by the number of components it contains, an impressive 351 individual parts.

The only area that did seem a little disappointing was the power-reserve which is only 42 hours, despite the movement containing two series-coupled barrels. It is a small criticism and should not detract from what is fundamentally an impressive timepiece.

Conclusion

The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Métrographe is a handsome watch with many subtle details to enhance owner enjoyment. Furthermore, despite this model being positioned as the entry-level to PF ownership, it appears to be a high quality timepiece and I cannot discern any shortcuts being taken with the specification.

As a former marketing professional, I understand the rationale for engaging with younger buyers who will hopefully remain loyal to the brand, purchasing more complicated and, by default, more expensive products in the future.

In this regard, Parmigiani Fleurier may well succeed in attracting “young and dynamic” clientele. However, in this instance they have also created a timepiece that appeals to this middle-aged watch journalist, whose only problem is deciding which is his favourite dial option.

Technical Specification

  • Model: Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Métrographe
  • Case: Stainless steel; diameter 40 mm; height 12.2 mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date; chronograph.
  • Movement: Calibre PF315, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz), 46 jewels; power reserve 42 hours; 351 components
  • Bracelet / Strap: Titanium and steel bracelet or calf skin leather strap dependant on model

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