After its tremendous success with the start of the Tonda PF collection in 2021, it was clear that Parmigiani would have to extend it. And indeed, the brand was able to surprise us again with the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante. It is an exquisitely elegant take on the common GMT complication and, stylistically, is absolutely in line with the core characteristics of the Tonda PF Collection. The skeletonized dial of the Tonda PF Skeleton, however, provides a rather technical yet fairly traditional design. Does it suit the modern Tonda PF?

When I saw the first images of the Tonda PF Skeleton, I was disappointed. Yes, absolutely! I felt so for two reasons. First, what I love so much about my Tonda PF Micro-Rotor is its reduced and discreet appearance. A skeletonized dial is striking, almost conspicuous. That seemed to be a clear violation of the design language of the Tonda PF. The second reason for my disappointment was my initial impression of the execution of the skeletonization. One of the first Parmigiani watches that really caught my attention was the Tonda 1950 Squelette. That watch presented an opulent amount of explicit hand-finishing. The bridges forming the skeletonized dial of the Tonda 1950 Squelette were jam-packed with sharp inner angles, each one perfectly articulated. In the images of the Tonda PF Skeleton, however, I only noticed round shapes.

What was Parmigiani doing to the Tonda PF? Could a face-to-face encounter with the Tonda PF Skeleton prove my prejudice wrong?


Inspecting the details of the skeletonized dial

In October, I visited The Show, a fair for jewelry and watches in my hometown of Hamburg. For watch enthusiasts, the highlight among the exhibitors at this fair was Parmigiani Fleurier. At the brand’s booth, I spotted the Tonda PF Skeleton in steel, and I couldn’t wait to get it in my hands.

My most urgent question was: is the dial finished by hand? Inspecting that dial with my bare eyes and through the macro lens of my camera allowed me to breathe a sigh of relief. Honestly! The number of sharp angles meticulously articulated by hand is significantly lower than in the Tonda 1950 Squelette, but they are there. You find the most prominent sharp angles next to the top of the PF logo medallion at 12 o’clock, as well as at ten-thirty, nine, and seven o’clock. Another wonderful detail that sets a watch nerd’s heart aflutter is a purely decorative protruding tip that you find toward the one-thirty position from the center of the dial. All bevels along the bridges are chamfered and mirror-polished by hand, so I could eliminate one of my concerns instantaneously.


Taking a step back to receive an overall impression of the dial

The color of the dial is actually graphite. But, as you can see in the images, it often appears much brighter when the surfaces reflect incident light. There are different styles of skeletonization. Floral patterns are most common, but you also often see straight bridges that exude a more industrial charm. The skeletonization of the Tonda PF Skeleton exposes a more organic style with flowing circular patterns. The dial has two levels which are emphasized through different finishing. The upper level exhibits straight graining, while the lower level has a sandblasted surface.

Rose gold skeletonized alpha hands, rose gold hour indexes, and the PF logo at 12 o’clock form minimal color accents on the mostly monochromatic dial. The inner tips of the mirror-polished hour indexes float above the dial’s outer rim, thus creating better contrast and increased depth. The contrasting accents provide good legibility, which is not self-evident in a skeletonized dial.


The complete package, attached to your wrist

The signature fluted platinum bezel of all steel Tonda PF models encircles the dial. It even suits the much busier dial of the Tonda PF Skeleton perfectly. The case is very similar to that of the Tonda PF Micro-Rotor. It has the same diameter of 40mm, but it is slightly thicker at 8.5mm in comparison to the 7.8mm of the base model. Like the other Tonda PF models, the Tonda PF Skeleton offers water resistance to 100 meters.

The Tonda PF Skeleton certainly has the typical Tonda lugs. Attached to them is that gorgeous bracelet, which not only looks amazing but is also superbly comfortable.

The eponymous skeleton movement

Parmigiani has designed a new movement especially for this watch — the PF777. The brand designed the PF777 as an open-worked movement right from the start. Therefore, the term “skeleton” is actually misleading as it denotes a regular movement from which a significant portion of the plates has been removed in an artistic way. The bridges of the movement have the same graphite color that we already know from the dial. The finishing is more industrial than on the dial, but the winding rotor is special.

Unlike the movements of other Tonda PF models, this one has a central winding rotor. This rotor is made of rose gold and is reduced to a minimum. The designers paid particular attention to the PF logo. It is attached to a sapphire disk, so it seems to float within the rotor. The PF777 beats at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz). Two barrels provide a power reserve of 60 hours.


So, what about my reservations?

If you have read the article up to this point, you already know that my face-to-face encounter with the Tonda PF Skeleton made all my reservations vanish. It no doubt exposes a different style than the Tonda PF Micro-Rotor, but it also certainly looks awesome. This watch offers the ideal mixture of restrained elegance and technical artistry that a seasoned watch connoisseur craves.

The current price of the Tonda PF Skeleton is €62,500 / US$65,300. And this is my only concern about this watch, I must admit. It is almost three times the price of the Tonda PF Micro-Rotor. The incredible demand for Parmigiani will ensure that the watch sells, even at this price. But even though this is an exceptional watch with a smaller number of prospective buyers and a dedicated movement, I find that price steep. The brand also offers this model in rose gold on a matching bracelet for €93,300 / US$97,400.

Do let us know what you think of the Tonda PF Skeleton in the comments. You can find more information on the brand and the Tonda PF collection on the official Parmigiani Fleurier website.