Time will tell with Parmigiani Fleurier

As the watch brand celebrates women’s watches, we take a closer look at the GPHG prize-winning Tonda PF 36mm

Swiss watchmaker Parmigiani Fleurier has maintained a long-held reputation for crafting elegant, stylish watches for both men and women, and has received plaudits for a number of models. The brand was originally founded in 1996 by master watchmaker and legendary timepiece restorer Michel Parmigiani, basing its business model on what it describes as a “sartorial approach to design”, affording the maison the opportunity to follow its own vision without being confined to the standard gender stereotypes.

Indeed, step into any of Parmigiani’s boutiques across the world and one will be welcomed by an array of stylish models suitable for any wearer. And with the brand having toiled away at the forefront of this trend for years, the movement is finally breaking into the mainstream, with multiple esteemed brands now also offering mixed-gender designs that vast swathes of the watch market have been asking for.

How this trend manifests itself can vary wildly, from smaller cases to a specific array of colours or materials used in a model’s creation. Parmigiani’s Tonda PF collection, launched in 2021, is a superb example of this shift toward ungendered designs, with a shimmering – yet not ostentatious – take on the modern unisex watch. And it is clearly turning heads in the women’s watch sector.

In November the maison graced the stage at the prestigious Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) 2022, to claim the award for best new design in the Ladies’ Watch category for its Tonda PF Automatic 36mm – the latest entry in the Tonda PF collection.

The Tonda PF Automatic 36mm is worth its weight in gold: as the name suggests, this new design is a smaller variation of the watchmaker’s flagship Tonda PF template. Parmigiani says the new design is the brand’s: “affirmative response to the many requests for a version of this timepiece in a format adapted to a slenderer wrist”.

The new model retains the wide dial opening and subtle chromatic variations which made the original line famous and features extraordinary guilloché dials with baguette-cut diamond hour markers. The new design also comes in three new colour variations; Silver Sand and Warm Grey – both steel versions with platinum bezels – and Deep Ruby, for stand-out 18ct rose-gold option. All models are adorned with the PF logo, standing alone in the centre of a sapphire plate.

Under the hood of this sleek but dainty model, meanwhile, is a different beast altogether. The brand has integrated its powerful new Calibre PF770 movement into the design – it was developed specifically to fit inside the new 36mm case and endowed with a 60-hour power reserve. Furthermore, the piece is water resistant up to 100m.

And more innovative and line-blurring designs appears to be just over the horizon. In a response to the Tonda PF Automatic 36mm’s GPHG prize, Parmigiani CEO Guido Terreni offered an optimistic, ambitious view of the Maison’s future.

“This award demonstrates that watchmaking has yet to reach the limits of innovation,” he said. “We simply need the courage to change our views and practices. Finding the creativity to meet great watchmaking challenges has always been in the DNA of Parmigiani Fleurier.”


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