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Review: Parmigiani Tonda 1950 White Meteorite Dial

An out of this world dial
by Chester Lau on March 11, 2017
Positives

Truly handsome timepiece, with an impressive ultra thin movement that is pleasantly well-finished. Value should be given to the level of craftsmanship required to pull off the delicately thin white meteorite dial.

Negatives

Case may feel on the wider side for some wrists, in essence due to the lugs extending beyond the main case.

Parmigiani released their latest Tonda 1950 variation at SIHH, now with a white meteorite dial. The elegant dress watch has a slim profile, complete with an attractive looking movement.

 

Parmigiani Tonda 1950 with white Meteorite dial.

 

The case

The Parmigiani Tonda 1950 is crafted in titanium. Measuring 7.97 mm in thickness and 39 mm in diameter, the watch is arguably in the ultra thin category yet with generous proportions on the dial side. Easily recognized is its iconic lugs design, which can be interpreted as a cross between a cow horn and tear drop lugs but with lesser tapering. Sapphire crystal is used both on the front and back, with anti-reflective treatment on the dial side crystal.

 

 

The meteorite dial is difficult to master on the Tonda, not only because of the delicateness of the material, but also from the need to maintain a thinness to fit the slim case.

 

The dial

Unpolished, irregular and fragmented – such are the characteristics of a meteorite. The meteor rock’s mineral structure is uneven and extremely hard. Consequently, working this rock is an extremely delicate process. After many tests, and skills honed from years of experience, the master dial-makers have come up with the perfect cut and this shade of silver white, using galvanoplasty – a world-first.

Unique to meteor rock its crystal structure which gives texture to its surface. This crystal structure is formed due to the rapid change in temperature when the meteor rock enters the atmosphere. To reveal this roughened texture, the rock has to be treated in a series of acid baths.

 

The unique rough crystal texture of a meteorite dial.

 

Fit on the meteorite dial are rhodium plated hour markers, and a pair of delta shaped hands. The white lume and polished appliques greatly complements the white dial. The overall look and feel of the dial is crisp and clean, yet with the rawness of a rare dial material.

 

The micro rotor self-winding PF 701 movement.

 

The movement

The see-through caseback reveals the PF 701 movement. 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 at times reminds us of L.U.C movement finishing. 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 each wheel, bevelled, sunk, circular-grained on both faces, then gilded before cutting.

 

The Parmigiani Tonda 1950 on the wrist.

 

The watch is said to be harder to come by when pit against other meteorite dial watches. In part due to its thinness and in particular the white meteorite color, which requires a tougher process of chemical treatment that its other color variant counterparts. Priced at CHF 19.500, the watch is arguably priced higher than other watches in its category, but what one pays for is an ultra-thin watch with a well-finished movement and a rare white meteorite dial.

 

MOVEMENT

  • CALIBREP F701
  • WINDING Automatic
  • TOTAL DIMENSIONS 13 ¼”’ – Ø 30.0 mm
  • THICKNESS 2.6 mm
  • FREQUENCY 3 Hz – 21’600 A/h
  • POWER-RESERVE 42 hours
  • NB OF COMPONENTS 146
  • NB OF JEWELS 29

FUNCTIONS

  • Hours, minutes
  • Small second

DIAL

  • COLOUR White
  • INDEX Rhodium plated appliques
  • FINISHING Meteorite
  • HANDS Delta-shaped with luminescent coating

CASE

  • DIMENSIONS Ø 39 mm
  • THICKNESS 7.97 mm
  • MATERIAL Titanium
  • WATER-RESISTANCE 30 m
  • BACK Sapphire
  • GLASS Anti-reflective sapphire

BRACELET

  • BRAND Hermès
  • MATERIAL Alligator
  • COLOUR Black

BUCKLE

  • TYPE Ardillon
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