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PARMIGIANI FLEURIER Tonda PF Sport Chronograph

In broadening Parmigiani Fleurier’s line of Tonda PF Sport offerings, the luxury watch Maison has introduced a trio of new chronograph models to its collection for the year.

Offered in stainless steel builds, the assortment of new time-tellers are presented in an elegantly crafted 42mm watch case, boasting polished and satin finishings complete with a knurled bezel. In bringing out its sporty appeal, the watches are paired with complementing rubber straps that come with a Cordura-treated look.

In line with Parmigiani Fleurier’s usual tone, the new Tonda PF Sport Chronographs arrive in three new understated yet elegantly sporty colorways: Artic Grey, London Grey and Milano Blue. Each of the options is paired with its namesake hues on the dial, coming in the form of the timer flange and subcounters.

The dial plate arrives in a clou triangulaire guilloché pattern, where it’s paired with rhodium-plated skeletonized delta hands and appliques. A closer glance at the dial will reveal that the background for the date windows echoes the coating for the lumed indices.

Powering the references at the core are the PF070 Manufacture movement, a COSC-certified automatic caliber that comes with an integrated chronograph. Geared with 65 hours of power reserve, the piece ticks at a frequency of 36,000 vph, where every movement including its 22-carat rose gold oscillating weight, is proudly on display through its transparent caseback.
I’d happily admit to being smitten with Parmigiani Fleurier’s new look. The hits seem to be coming thick and fast this year, following the brand’s Watches and Wonders novelties. After the focus on the rebirth of the Toric, we get three new versions of the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Sport Chronograph this time.

Parmigiani’s intricate dial treatment and a newfound air of minimal cool suits it well. While I’m a fan of earlier Tonda designs with quirky asymmetric overlapping registers, the clean, new look is suave. For me, Parmigiani Fleurier has simply become a very good alternative to the usual suspects, and maybe it’s about time.
The minimalist PF range has become the new calling card for the brand, and the “regular” micro-rotor PF is anything but. With its broad and sleek take on integrated-bracelet chic, the vibe is modern. Too many other brands are following the coattails of Genta and Hysek too closely when it comes to design, but not Parmigiani. The genre might have been created half a century ago, but this is the Fleurier-based brand’s take on it with a wide bracelet or strap and an easily recognizable design. The dials sport Parmigiani’s triangular hobnail guilloché (clou triangulaire) and offer a clean aesthetic framed by the trademark knurled bezel. You can order a bracelet for the Tonda PF Sport, but on a strap, this is about the casual-chic look. It’s a juxtaposition of luxury and sports that we know from the Oysterflex-equipped Yacht-Master and Vacheron Overseas, and it is becoming increasingly popular. The comfortable, wrist-hugging textile-patterned rubber straps from Parmigiani have the right blend of comfort and toughness. Well, perhaps I should say “perceived toughness” as I’m not sure I’d engage in any extreme sports wearing a €30K+ watch, but if you would, you have my respect. After all, a well-worn watch is a happy watch, right?
The last time we saw the Tonda PF Sport range, it was a case of panda cool. And for me, the blend of elegance and sporty lean has made it a great alternative to two greats. Cost-wise, the Tonda PF Sport is close to the slightly more expensive Overseas, while the Daytona is less expensive at retail but, as we all know, very hard to get. However, the main difference is a more open outlook on diversification, with three colors expanding the previously four-reference monochrome range. Adding these three quietly colorful versions also says a lot about the brand’s faith in the Tonda PF Sport line and its success.
The case’s 42mm diameter and 12.9mm thickness remain, but now we see a deep Milano Blue, a warm London Grey, and a crisp, blueish Arctic Grey adding a flourish to the range. The colors might be muted, but with the tonality of the fabric straps, the look is one of restrained, casual swagger. The colorways are named for the sub-dials and outer minute track, and each variant comes with a matching woven-look rubber strap. Inside, the chronometer-certified manufacture caliber PF070 with its 65-hour reserve is the same as before, an obsessively finished piece of micro-machinery. Its mix of satin-finished bridges and hand-beveled edges is visible through the sapphire crystal on the back, as is its skeletonized, polished, and sandblasted 22K rose gold rotor.
So many brands are jumping on the bandwagon of integrated-bracelet watches, with some claiming to have reinvented the genre. However, what a watch design might gain in cohesiveness it often loses in versatility. The end-link compromise does not look good when changing from bracelet to strap. But this is where Parmigiani designers have risen to the task. Here, it looks natural, and I love it when a watch can be imbued with multiple personalities. The Tonda PF Sport Chronograph exemplifies the smooth transition from a wrist-hugging strap to a slim case for an automatic chronograph.
If you’re a WIS, you will notice the lug interface, but it is one of the smoothest around. I tried on the Tonda PF Sport Chrono in delicious rose gold at Geneva Watch Days last autumn, and I can say it felt natural. It’s not a small watch at 42mm wide, but with the 12.9mm thickness and the trademark curved lugs, it feels soft on the wrist and temptingly comfortable. Without seeing any sales figures, I’m sure the last three years have seen a massive rise for the brand, and it is all deserved.