Parmigiani Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante — An Everyday Complication With Grand-Complication Functionality
It was foreseeable that Parmigiani would extend its Tonda PF line this year. After its launch in September 2021, this new watch family garnered a remarkable amount of attention. Through the Tonda PF, Parmigiani finally has earned the appreciation it deserves. Now, the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante shall take the same path. Accordingly, the expectations are high. And you know what? You won’t be disappointed!
Let me clarify one thing right from the start — this rattrapante is not a chronograph. While this information might dampen the enthusiasm of those who expected an extended version of Parmigiani’s awesome split-second chronograph from last year, it is excellent news for almost all of us. This watch is also not an unobtainable artifact with a price tag that few dare to read out loud. This watch costs just a bit more than the base model, the Tonda PF Micro Rotor. But what is it? A GMT watch with a rattrapante function? How could that work? What does it do? Well then, let me introduce this innovation that appears so self-evident that it’s hard to understand why it didn’t exist already.
Continuing an impressive design
To begin with, the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante is everything the Tonda PF Micro Rotor is and more. It has the same gorgeous bracelet, the characteristic knurled bezel in platinum, and the impressively delicate guilloché pattern on the dial. You find an exhaustive description of all the details of this design in my article on the Tonda PF Micro Rotor. Admittedly, the case of the GMT Rattrapante is thicker than that of the base model. It’s a necessary measure to house the added functionality. Its thickness is 10.7mm, in comparison to the 7.8mm of the base model. The diameter, however, remains at 40mm. Hence, while this watch is no ultra-thin piece, it is still a fairly thin watch, all things considered. In addition — you have seen it in the images — the dial of this model is blue. It’s the same blue that Parmigiani used for the dials of a few other models. In this model, however, the date window has vanished.
At the 8-o’clock position, you find a pusher. This pusher alone could be a reason to buy this watch, simply due to its outstanding design. It’s got the same shape as the pushers on the Tonda PF chronograph, and it protrudes from the lug like a natural extension. The outline of the pusher is the same as that of the lug, just a bit smaller in scale. Therefore, this pusher appears as an integral part of the case. There are very few watches with integrated pushers. In most of these watches, the integrated design is intended to hide the pushers. Here, the design doesn’t hide the pusher. Rather, it is a beautiful and organic extension of the lug.
A GMT watch with a surprise
Pressing this pusher on the left side of the case moves the hour hand one hour forward. This way, you can set the local time in your current location. Changing the position of the hour hand in this fashion reveals another hour hand that was hidden underneath. To differentiate one hour hand from the other, the lower one is made of rose gold. It shows your home time. So, if you are at home, only one hour hand is visible because the local time is identical to your home time.
Other GMT watches usually have rather prominent GMT hands. And that may well be appropriate in many cases. But what if you are at home or at least in your local timezone? Then, the GMT hand becomes useless and cumbersome because it indicates the same time as the regular hour hand. And this is the whole concept of this watch — don’t show what isn’t needed.
And what about the rattrapante function? There is another pusher integrated into the crown. When you press this pusher, the GMT hand for the local time jumps above the hour hand for the home time to hide it again. You could also achieve this result by repeatedly pressing the pusher at 8 o’clock. But the rattrapante function, obviously, is far more sophisticated.
That’s it! Sounds like an obvious solution, doesn’t it? Still, nobody has done this before, at least as far as I know. Should you know better, please share your knowledge in the comment section.
What else is new?
To enclose the pusher for the rattrapante function, the crown is bigger than the one on the Tonda PF Micro Rotor. In my review of that watch, I mentioned that the crown does feel a bit small. Accordingly, I welcome the bigger crown on the GMT Rattrapante. The pusher inside the crown is made of rose gold. This adds a little accent of color. I’m not sure if I like it, but it’s a minor detail. It’s nothing that would prevent you from buying the watch if you don’t like it but like everything else. But it’s not really a logical color code either. Pressing this pusher doesn’t move the rose gold hour hand, but the silver-colored one, which is made of white gold, by the way. Well, anyway, this annoying little watch journalist probably just needs something to complain about.
When you look at the rear side of the GMT Rattrapante, the display back reveals a familiar sight. Parmigiani’s PF051 movement inside this watch is the PF702 with a module for the added functionality. The PF702 is the no-date version of the PF703 inside the Tonda PF Micro Rotor. An obvious difference is the color of the micro-rotor itself. Here, it’s made of rose gold rather than platinum. The price of gold currently is almost twice as high as that of platinum. Therefore, this change even increases the value of the movement and the watch. After all, without a doubt, this is a luxury watch, and hence, a gold rotor is appropriate.
Do I like it?
Yes, I do! In my review of the Tonda PF Micro Rotor, I made it clear that I’m straight smitten with the overall design and that gorgeous bracelet. Here, we have an even more complicated version of that watch. The pusher at 8 o’clock does impair the symmetry slightly. But this pusher is a stunning piece of design by itself, and therefore, I wouldn’t want to miss it. The functionality of this watch is as simple as it is persuasive. The fact that the GMT hand isn’t visible when you don’t need it puts a big smile on my face. And applying a rattrapante function to a GMT complication is a brilliant idea, wouldn’t you say?
The Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante is a fantastic-looking, amazingly comfortable, and extremely smart watch. If I didn’t own the Tonda PF Micro Rotor already, I would have a hard time deciding which of these two to choose. The price is CHF26,000.
Find more information on this watch on Parmigiani’s website, and do let us know your thoughts about it in the comments below!