HANDS-ON: The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Minute RattrapanteFergus Nash
Since their management overhaul became something of a fairytale success story, Parmigiani Fleurier operate under a keen eye from the wristwatch community. From brand confusion to elation, any release from their Tonda PF range is bound to become somewhat of a sensation. When they released their Rattrapante GMT last year, the notion of a perfectly hidden third hand in a refined and robust package had collectors and reviewers alike gushing its praises, and things are no different with this new release. Evolving the hidden-hand premise to a unique complication, the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante is the latest release to be added to many people’s grail list.
It can be difficult to describe the case shape introduced by the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF range, as its fusion of influences gives it a unique silhouette with just a hint of familiarity. Its lugs that slope almost seamlessly from the bracelet actually overshoot the case slightly, creating a little jutting ledge that gives it an overall wide stance. Although the diameter is only 40mm and the thickness is 10.7mm, those subtle and shapely elements offer a large presence on the wrist. The finishing is also an aspect of that effect, with glistening polished areas on the outer surfaces and a brushed core which draws your eye to the extremities.
The steel case of the Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante is offset by a semi-fluted platinum bezel, displaying a slightly different lustre and infusing the watch with a sophisticated quality. Protruding from the case are two pushers on the left and a combination crown/pusher on the right, helping to balance out the symmetry of the piece. You probably wouldn’t want to take it swimming, however the water resistance of 60m helps to provide some peace of mind in the event it gets splashed or dropped in a puddle.
Press photos depict the dial of the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante as an almost golden shade, but in reality this sandy-beige bares just the slightest hint of honey. Depending on the lighting it can blend in to the white metals of the case, or glow with warmth in a near-purple hue. In any case, the d’orge guilloché pattern of the dial forms a rich texture for the skeletonised hands to stand out against. There’s also an outer ring of sandblasting which helps your eye transition between the dial and the smooth bezel, as well as making the minute markers more legible. The applied hour markers stand out thanks to their finishing, but otherwise free up a lot of negative space on the dial thanks to their miniature size.
The real magic of this model is of course the secret behind the minutes hand, as a disguised copy made from 18k gold can be conjured from beneath it. Advanced in either one or five-minute increments from the pushers on the left side of the case, you can set this additional hand as a countdown timer as time passes. It’s perfect for cooking, parking meters, or even just playing around without the urgency and sports-based nature of a chronograph or timing bezel. It’s a refined take on the complication, and wonderfully unique. Pressing the 18k gold pusher on the crown snaps the hand back into its place, hidden until needed.
Displayed from a sapphire caseback is the Parmigiani Fleurier in-house calibre PF052. This is essentially the same movement which was used in the Rattrapante GMT, however modified for the purpose of minutes instead of hours. The plates are finished with hypnotising decoration, and the gaps between them reveal glimpses of the innermost workings. Busy gears and components will operate before your eyes, and the 22k gold micro-rotor will swing about to show off its deep engraving. It features a 48-hour power reserve, and beats at 3Hz.
The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante pricing and availability:
The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante will be available from September 2023. Price: CHF 28,000
|Model||Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante|
|Case Dimensions||40mm x 10.7mm|
|Case Material||Stainless steel with a platinum bezel|
|Power Reserve||48 hours|
|Availability||Available from September 2023|