Introducing the Parmigiani Fleurier × Revolution Tonda PF Micro-Rotor ‘Purple Reign’
Our new collaboration with Parmigiani Fleurier pairs a subtle purple dial with the quietly dynamic Tonda PF for a timepiece that is visually compelling and versatile.
It gives me great pleasure to introduce our new limited edition collaboration with Parmigiani Fleurier, a stunning Tonda PF nicknamed “Purple Reign.” This timepiece features a dial that shifts chameleon-like in color according to the light, from a gray-inflected claret to a deep ruby hue, expressing brand CEO Guido Terreni’s mastery of chromatic expression. In the mere two years since the Tonda PF was launched in 2021, it has perfectly tapped into the zeitgeist of the global collectors’ collective consciousness, engendering a true cult following. Every person that tries on a Tonda PF becomes a devotee, because it is, to my mind, the most perfectly proportioned, ergonomic and subtle, yet resplendently detailed integrated bracelet watch in existence today.
There is something you can do with a Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF that you can’t do with any other integrated bracelet, sports chic watch on the market: You can undo its deployant buckle and let the bracelet dangle in an open position. You can then rotate your wrist 90 degrees back and forth. Miraculously, the watch stays exactly in place without shifting or sliding off your wrist. That’s how brilliant its creator Guido Terreni’s focus on unparalleled ergonomics is.
To be fair, he’s already had a lifetime’s worth of experience playing a key role in the creation of Bulgari’s revolutionary Octo Finissimo. So when it came to the Tonda PF, he knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish.
Terreni explains, “The result has been one of the greatest success stories in modern watchmaking. More than that, it has completely turned around the fortunes of the technically brilliant but once-struggling Parmigiani Fleurier. Terreni’s Tonda PF brings four major achievements to the forefront for the brand.
Major League Achievements
The first is total perfection in terms of proportion and balance. The watch is 7.8mm in thickness, a result of it being driven by the brand’s ultra thin PF703 micro-rotor caliber. Couple that with a 40mm diameter, it is an absolute masterpiece from a design perspective. The lithe Constantin Brâncuși profile, contrasted with the sculptural muscularity of the watch, is one charged with dynamic energy. The Tonda PF feels alive and in motion while most other watches feel static and dormant.
Secondly, it boasts the greatest focus on ergonomics for any modern integrated bracelet sports watch. The reality is, the vast majority of these watches feel flat, so when they are attached to a heavy steel or gold bracelet, they have a tendency to shift on the wrist like a bangle. The Tonda PF, because of its intense attention to following the form of the human wrist and the way its flared lugs curve to conform to this shape, fits better than any other watch on the market.
To me, not since Louis Cartier elongated and bent his Tank to create the Tank Cintrée in 1921 has there been a watch that has paid so much attention to human morphology. The result is that the Tonda PF is a watch you’d want to wear all the time.
Says Ahmed “Shary” Rahman, famed collector and former GPHG jury member, “It’s funny, but when I come home and I’m feeling tired and want to relax, I’ll put my Tonda on my wrist because it just feels so good.” Likewise, when I write articles, I almost always take my watch off and put it on my desk because I’m otherwise too conscious of it. The one exception is the Tonda PF.
One major part of the watch’s magic is the way in which the lugs are flared and curved, meaning that they are positioned at the very extremity of the watch head and they then flow perfectly into the bracelet to create a seamless compound curve that just hugs the wrist.
Guido Terreni’s third achievement regarding the Tonda is the creation of an all-new, immediately identifiable design language that has become the DNA of Parmigiani Fleurier: Terreni has made the brand the King of Subtlety. Everything about the Tonda is about nuance; there is nothing about the watch that shouts. Indeed, if the Tonda PF were a person, it would be one who speaks softly with the most educated sense of eloquence.
The signature grain d’orge guilloché on the dial is so small that it turns invisible in certain light. This pattern is hand-crafted into each dial. Says Terreni, “I pushed our team to make a pattern as minute as possible to convey a sense of modernity to a finishing usually seen as old fashioned. Actually, we even came up with a pattern smaller than this, but when we fitted the sapphire crystal to it, the pattern became totally invisible.”
Similarly, the fluting on the platinum bezel is so minute that it almost begs to be examined under a loupe. But when viewed with the naked eye, you experience an intense rush of visual richness, even when you are not certain where it is coming from. That’s the beauty of the Tonda PF; it’s so filled with subtle details that you discover more of them each time you wear the watch. Another example of this is the mirror polishing applied to the inner flange of the flared lugs. Cast your eye over every detail of the Tonda PF. Look at the quality of finishing of the hands and the indexes — you’ll find that every element is perfect.
Finally, Terreni has also ushered in a new era to Parmigiani Fleurier and that is to become the Master of the Subtle Complication. This is best expressed by two of his creations that are world premieres: the 2022 GMT Rattrapante and this year’s Minute Rattrapante. These are watches that hide their complications unless you decide to activate them. The two hour hands of the GMT Rattrapante are superimposed until you travel and decide to deploy the second time zone. Similarly, the two minute hands of the Minute Rattrapante move together in synchrony, until you deploy the bottom one to create a countdown display.
A Play on Purple
Now that I’ve made clear that I am a true Tonda PF evangelist, let’s look back at last year’s limited edition watch that Parmigiani Fleurier created for Revolution. That timepiece, which we named “Serenissima,” was inspired by the sunrise over the Adriatic Sea in the Gulf of Venice. That watch on the wrist resonated with an infectious sense of optimism befitting a timepiece with a dial inspired by a new dawn breaking.
Our latest collaboration for 2023 is called “Purple Reign,” and offers to me one of the most visually enticing dials I’ve ever seen. Purple is created by mixing the primary colors red and blue in equal part. In color theory, red is the hue of passion and fiery intensity, while blue is associated with tranquility and calm. When blended together, the resulting color purple is the embodiment of power and dignity. Dating back to ancient times and even today, purple is regarded as the color of royalty. It is believed that the Emperor Caligula was so incensed that King Ptolemy of Mauretania arrived at the Roman court wearing a purple cloak that he later conspired to have him assassinated.
The color worn by nobility was specifically Tyrian purple, which in both ancient Greece and Rome was often controlled by legislation and reserved for only the highest ranking members of society. It is this association with royalty that inspired our timepiece’s evocative sobriquet, “Purple Reign.” Color has always held a special fascination for me, particularly in the way the subtle control and modulation of hue is capable of extraordinary expression.
Terreni concurs and explains, “I was deeply influenced by Le Corbusier’s 1931 color keyboards expressing his theory for harmonious colors across 43 shades of the most perfectly modulated hues, including burnt sienna and ochre. Purple, for example, with the wrong expression can be overwhelming. But with the right modulation, the influence of some gray tonality, we’ve created a hue of purple that is so soft and subtle that it can combine perfectly with anything you are wearing, yet is powerful and singular enough that it is highly visually compelling when viewed in the steel and platinum case of the Tonda PF.”
Indeed, one of my favorite aspects of “Purple Reign” is the way the high polished white gold hands and indexes stand out in spectacular contrast to the deep ruby dial.
Sure enough, Terreni was right about the appeal of the color. In my recent trip to Montecito, California, for an event held by Louis Vuitton, everyone who saw the Tonda PF on my wrist, from the artist Wes Lang to Hodinkee’s founder Ben Clymer, to Revolution’s new West Coast editor-at-large Stephen Pulvirent, immediately noticed the watch. “Is that a purple Tonda?” they typically asked. Then, as they tried it on and watched as the Southern California sun played over its grain d’orge texture causing tiny rivers of contrast throughout, and witnessed how the color went from almost gray to a stunning purple depending on the light, they invariably replied, “The color is great!”
The Parmigiani Fleurier × Revolution Tonda PF Micro-Rotor “Purple Reign” goes with everything from a discreet navy suit to a black bomber jacket, to the more riotous look of a Hawaiian shirt and jeans, so well executed is its color. The resulting character of the watch is different from that of the Tonda PF “Serenissima,” which was more playful and bright. It is quietly seductive, with a sensuality to the soft purple that makes you think of the wine-stained lips of a beautiful woman accompanied by the hypnotic undercurrent of Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain.
Says Terreni, “This was the objective: a watch with a purple dial that is so perfect in tonality that it can adapt to any situation and any style.” I have to agree. It is the perfect adaptable dial in the perfect wearable integrated bracelet sports watch, and since I put it on almost a month ago, I have been unable to take it off — so compulsive is its hold on me.
The Parmigiani Fleurier × Revolution Tonda PF “Purple Reign” is created in a 50-piece limited edition, priced at CHF24,200 each, excluding taxes. It is available on RevolutionWatch.com on 2 November 2023, 10pm SGT / 4pm CET / 10am EST. For enquiries, email [email protected].
Parmigiani Fleurier × Revolution Tonda PF Micro-Rotor “Purple Reign”
Movement: Self-winding caliber PF703; 48-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes and date
Case: 40mm; polished and satin-finished stainless steel with platinum knurled bezel; water resistant to 100m
Dial: Purple; rhodium-plated applied hour markers
Strap: Polished and satin-finished stainless steel bracelet
Price: CHF 24,200, excluding taxes
Availability: Limited and numbered edition of 50 pieces
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FEATURED FROM THE SHOP
|Movement||Self-winding caliber FBN 229.01 with natural escapement; 72-hour power reserve|
|Functions||Hours, minutes and small seconds|
|Case||40mm; stainless steel; water resistant to 30m|
|Dial||Verdant green, with sector track; applied, white rhodium treated gold Arabic numerals and hour markers|
|Strap||Brown calf leather with Alcantara lining, stainless steel pin buckle; additional Milanese bracelet in stainless steel|
|Limited Edition||Limited edition of 15 pieces|