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Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950

A dress watch
by Chester Lau on February 1, 2020
Overview
Brand

Parmigiani Fleurier

Complication / Type of Watch

Time-only

Recommended Retail Price

US$10,600

Parmigiani’s staple elegant dress watch has a slim profile, complete with an attractive looking movement. The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda is now available in a matte navy blue dial in a stainless steel case.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950

The Case and Dial

The Parmigiani Tonda 1950 is cased in stainless steel and measures 7.97 mm in thickness and 39 mm in diameter. Thanks to the slim 2.6 mm micro-rotor movement, the Parmigiani is comfortably sized for a dress watch. Easily recognized is its iconic lugs design, which can be interpreted as a cross between a cow horn and tear drop lugs. Sapphire crystal is used both on the front and back, with anti-reflective treatment on the dial side crystal.

The dial is a straightforward matte blue with a seconds at 6 subdial. Applied hour indices decorate the otherwise plain dial. The subdial is recessed which lets the seconds hand sit lower on the dial without raising the hours and minutes hands.

The dial is well balanced, with the focus on the wide alpha hands with applied lume. While luminosity is good for low light visibility, some dress watch purists would rather have no lume on the hands.

The side profile shows the thin applied indices and perhaps the star of the watch, the round tapered lugs. The crown sits nicely into a recessed groove in the case which keeps the crown tight and protected without it sticking out.

The Movement

The see-through caseback reveals the PF 701 movement. The movement is based on a Vaucher VMF 5401. A slim 2.6 mm thick self-winding caliber which owes its slim dimensions to a micro-rotor design. The finishing of the movement is exemplary, and reminds us of L.U.C movements. That said, for those familiar with L.U.C movements, it is perhaps closer to the caliber 3.96 with some distance away from a Qualite Fleurier or the legendary caliber 1.96.

The main plate is made with nickel silver; it’s sand-blasted, circular-grained and then rhodium-plated. The bridges are sandblasted, and decorated with “Côte de Genève”, then bevelled by hand and, finally, rhodium-plated. Also note the attractive finish of the micro-rotor, with an engraved guilloche main finish and bevelled edges.

Concluding thoughts

The watch looks good, is slim, has a unique design and is priced competitively at approximately US$10,600. It has a good looking movement, capable for its simple time-telling task. While it is not entirely in-house, it does bear the brand’s unique finishing that few brands can replicate.

The downside to buying a watch with a supplied movement instead of an in-house however, is running the risk of newer, yet unknown brands with the same base caliber. After all, Vaucher has a business to business focus targeting new micro brands to use its movements or its end-to-end suite of design and manufacturing services.

As mentioned earlier in the article, L.U.C Chopard is the closest competitor with a similar price offering for their steel pieces. But of course, the real deal comes with the QF models. Another micro-rotor movement with similar complication is the Patek Philippe Caliber 240. The movement is used in the two-hands thin 5120. Patek of course comes in precious metal, a smaller case size and a higher price tag.

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