In this episode of On the Wrist, we give you our review of the truly outstanding Parmigiani Tonda 1950 Meteorite in Rose Gold. Let's check it out!
Founded in 1996, Parmigiani is a very young company by watchmaker standards, but it will be a huge mistake to write them off as anything less than what it actually is. Its founder, Mr. Michel Parmigiani, was an elite antique watch restoration specialist in the 70s, a time when almost the entire watch industry was flirting with the idea of producing the on-trend quartz watches in order to stay in business. Determined to preserve the traditional skills of restoring mechanical watches, Mr. Parmigiani made a name for himself in this highly specialised part of the horology world and eventually got introduced to the most important client in his career: the Sandoz family of Switzerland (the same family that created the famous Sandoz Family Foundation).
Having excelled in taking care of the Sandoz family's prized pocket watch collections, Michel Parmigiani was offered the opportunity to set up his own watchmaking venture, with the financial support from the Sandoz Family Foundation. In 1996, Parmigiani Fleurier was founded. Since then, the company has established itself as one of the very few watch companies (amongst Rolex and Seiko) who can achieve close-to-total vertical integration in its production chain, meaning every single part of its watches (except for components such as sapphire glass etc) is created in-house, instead of being acquired from a third-party supplier. In fact, Parmigiani the company has become so good at creating and crafting watch parts, that it has supplied some of the biggest names in the business - no short of the mighty A.Lange and IWC, for instance - with watch parts. The watchmaker currently boasts an annual production of around 6,000 watches, making it one of the more exclusive watch brands in the world. And today we will be studying the latest addition to Parmigiani's quintessential Tonda collection.
Tonda 1950 Meteorite Rose Gold - Of Restraint and Character
The specific model we are reviewing here comes in a dial-case combination which we believe is the most attractive: the rose gold case and blue meteorite dial. The same model is also available in titanium case option and black meteorite dial option, but we couldn't be happier with the one we handled this time. Gold and blue are two colours that come together so well and are certainly majestic-looking. While the unique pattern shown on the meteorite dial might not reveal itself visibly when looked at from a distance, it certainly gave the wearer a secretive, almost exclusive sense of satisfaction, knowing that the captivating rock is quietly resting right there just to serve the purpose of telling you the time. While there's definitely restraint being exerted in its appearance, the watch is 100% a character, and we mean it in the best possible sense.
The Movement: Calibre PF701 (and Something More)
Greeting us from the other side of the watch is the in-house Calibre PF701, an automatic movement with off-centered micro rotor and a power reserve of 42 hours. The micro rotor - made in platinum, by the way - is an important arrangement because its unobtrusiveness allows the rest of the movement to be completely exposed and be appreciated by the viewer, unlike conventional automatic movements with rotor plates usually on the larger end which inevitably obscure at least half of the movement at any given time.
Oh, and did we mention the watch strap is crafted by none other than Hermès? You bet. Each strap that comes with this Tonda is made of alligator skin and as far as leather watch strap is concerned, no one tops Hermès. What's not to love here?
We understand that premium dress watches are not for everyone. Some find them too dull, too simplistic, too blend for the amount of money one needs to pay to acquire them. But the Parmigiani Tonda 1950 Meteorite Rose Gold proves again exactly why it's totally worth the money. In the world of Haute Horlogerie, it's the dedication and manual effort that went into perfecting the watch that counts. And once in a while we are happy to see something refreshing thrown into the formula to keep things interesting, such as the meteorite dial in this case. This time around, the Parmigiani Tonda 1950 Meteorite really hits the ball out of the park by exerting restraint and character under the same hood.
For full specs of the watch, visit here. Its retail price in Hong Kong is ~HKD170,000 - HKD180,000.