Quick Time: Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire
Parmigiani Fleurier celebrates its 20th anniversary with a new high-frequency split-seconds chronograph, the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire
Creating an integrated chronograph movement from scratch is expensive, time consuming, and downright impossible without the right watchmakers. This explains the common practice of sourcing for them externally, with the Valjoux 7750 and the Zenith El Primero being industry top favourites. To mark its 20th anniversary, Parmigiani Fleurier has unveiled the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire, which houses the brand’s first in-house integrated chronograph movement, in what Michel Parmigiani considers a sign of the manufacture’s maturity.
Why develop a chronograph, instead of another mark of high watchmaking such as the tourbillon? There are those who do not know this but many watchmakers including independents like Kari Voutilainen actually consider a chronograph to be more difficult to manufacture and assemble than a tourbillon, due to its number of parts and the precision required when adjusting them. This is doubly so for the Tondor Chronor Anniversaire’s PF361 movement, which has a split-seconds chronograph. Also known as a rattrapante chronograph, the complication allows two simultaneous events to be timed separately, with the additional split seconds hand controlled by the pusher on the crown.
To increase the chronograph’s reliability and accuracy, Parmigiani Fleurier has included several technical features in PF361’s design. For one, the movement sports two column wheels – one each for the chronograph’s main and rattrapante functions. Although more difficult to manufacture than its counterpart, the cam, a column wheel offers better tactility as the pushers yield a more constant resistance before actuating with precise clicks. The chronograph itself is driven by a vertical clutch system, which is more accurate than a horizontal clutch as it avoids issues of hand backlash and flutter when it is activated. PF361 is also a high-frequency movement oscillating at five hertz; besides being more accurate, it also allows the chronograph to measure elapsed times down to 1/10th of a second. As for the finishing touch? The movement’s bridges and main plate have all been open-worked, and are executed in solid gold in lieu of brass.
Technical elements aside, the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire maintains the understated design typical of the collection. The timepiece is also extremely legible, with visually distinct timekeeping and chronograph functions thanks to the use of different materials for their hands. A large date display at 12 o’clock completes the package. The timepiece is limited to 25 pieces each in white and rose gold, with options of both white and blue grand feu enamel dials for each case material.
- Dimension: 42.1mm
- Functions: Hours, minutes, oversized date, small seconds, split-seconds chronograph
- Power Reserve: 65 hours
- Movement: Manual-winding PF361 movement (5 Hz balance)
- Case: White or rose gold
- Water Resistance: 30 meters
- Strap: Black or Etruscan alligator leather with ardillon buckle
Text by Jamie Tan
This story first appeared in WOW Magazine.