Parmigiani Fleurier Dazzles With The Tonda PF Skeleton In Rose Gold
As 2022 draws to a close, it’s the time of year to get festive and flaunt those dazzling colors. For Parmigiani, this final week is the “golden hour.” We can totally get behind that and put the spotlight on the brand’s rose gold models in its flagship Tonda PF collection. Looking through the lineup, there is one reference we have yet to present. By pure serendipity, as we’re all in the mood for some indulgence, it is a top-of-the-line gold Tonda, the PF Skeleton Rose Gold.
The golden lineup
If I hadn’t made a tally, I wouldn’t have realized that Parmigiani Fleurier had pretty much covered all bases with rose gold versions this year. It certainly tells us something about the independent brand’s upward positioning, hence pricing, given the overnight success of the collection’s debut in 2021. Recently, we looked at the GPHG-winning Tonda PF 36mm Rose Gold Ruby here. Before that, there were the three rose gold versions of the 40mm Micro-Rotor, the 42mm Annual Calendar, and the 42mm Chronograph.
The Tonda PF Skeleton Rose Gold follows the same iconic form factor as the other models in the lineup. The design conforms to founder Michel Parmigiani’s guiding principles by employing the golden ratio, the divine proportion that results in aesthetic balance and beauty in nature. The build falls into the slender mid-size camp with a 40mm diameter and an 8.5mm slim profile. Completing the picture is the fluid integration of the beautifully constructed gold bracelet into the case with the signature PF lugs. The bracelet’s high-polished outer links contrast with a muted, satin sheen on the wide center links for a classy, “restrained” appearance.
The steel version
To get a real sense of this mechanical marvel, I should say, you have to see it in the metal. It is a shame we don’t have any live images of the Tonda PF Skeleton Rose Gold. The press photos do absolutely no justice to its beauty, depth, and presence. Perhaps the closest thing we can share is Andreas’s recent hands-on review of the steel version here. It is the same model, only in a different metal. In his article, Andreas discusses extensively the high-level finishing, the new PF777 movement, and the on-wrist experience.
An artistic craft
The star of the show, nevertheless, is the namesake skeleton construction. Parmigiani has taken an artistic approach to skeletonize the movement with what the brand calls “meticulously hand-chamfered latticework.” During my time in the business, I have experienced the development processes of high-end skeleton watches. It is an artistic craft to design the openwork with a refined aesthetic appeal while preserving the integrity of the movement’s architecture. Parmigiani has done just that, allowing light to seep through to the very heart of the PF777 caliber. It draws your eyes through the intricate openwork to the inner workings, allowing you to feel the volume and depth.
All the while, the latticework creates an elegant pattern on the graphite-colored dial side. Equally pleasing to the eye and visible through the case back are the 22K rose gold rotor and the artistically crafted bridges. Notably, the latter dons both screws and jewels in a monochromatic theme. It’s not often that we see a movement’s rubies in another color than red. The PF777 comprises 187 components and operates at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a power reserve of 38 hours.
For me, the only drawback of the Tonda PF Skeleton is the handset. The two 18K rose gold open-worked hands may fit the theme, but they are not the most legible against a skeleton backdrop with only a chapter ring to facilitate the time display. This goes for both the steel and rose gold versions. However, for overall balance, the rose gold version fares better in my view, framing the elaborate skeleton work better with a color and material contrast. But of course, the full-gold armor affords an entirely different visual impact, which may not be for everyone. Additionally, with a CHF 88,000 price tag, the Tonda PF Skeleton Rose Gold is certainly a rarefied choice.
For more information, visit the official Parmigiani Fleurier website.
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