Celebrating its 20th anniversary at SIHH 2016 Parmigiani Fleurier unveiled the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire. The Maison’s first integrated chronograph movement and consequently a milestone of watchmaking competence.
SIHH 2016 Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire Integrated Chronograph
In luscious gold as befitting the the Anniversary celebrating the tradition of the chronograph, the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire is Parmigiani Fleurier’s first integrated chronograph. The complexity of assembly and manufacture of such a movement in series production is testament to the Fleurier manufactuer’s growth from hairspring and component maker to top names in horology like Patek Philippe to full fledged artisan watchmaker.
“To successfully create an integrated chronograph, one must first master its imposing, meticulous assembly of constituent parts; not just their manufacture, but also their operation and function at the heart of a calibre; one must appreciate both their limits and potential. For this reason, an integrated chronograph is necessarily the work of an experienced manufacture. The Tonda Chronor Anniversaire is a reflection of 20 years of work.” – Michel Parmigiani announcing the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire at SIHH 2016
Prowess and Competence: Birth of a Watchmaker’s Milstone
Increasing the challenge, Parmigiani Fleurier decreed that each element had to be integrated to the movement and restricted to a single main plate. The new integrated chronograph introduced by Parmigiani at SIHH 2016 is a manually wound movement including chronograph, a split second function and a large date, all on the same main plate. As a result, the Calibre PF361 ensconced within the SIHH 2016 Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire is a cutting edge demonstration of watchmaking at its apex.
Features of Calibre PF361 Integrated Chronograph:
Like another legendary chronograph, the Zenith El Primero, the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire is a high-beat 5 Hertz chronograph. With an oscillation frequency of 36,000, the calibre can measure time in increments as small as a 10th of a second.
Utilising column wheels instead of a cam, the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire’s Calibre PF361 is structured around a central column wheel, the mark of a well constructed chronograph, the six column component achieves a level of technical and artistic elegance greater than the humble cam; as a result, actuation (also referred to as activation ergonomics) of the Chronor Anniversaire’s chronograph is smoother than most traditional chronographs. The split seconds or rattrapante function is itself governed by its own column wheel in perfect synchronism.
The swift sweep of chronograph seconds at start without perceptible jump found on regular chronographs betrays the technical accuracy of the vertical clutch in place of a horizontal clutch, allowing for greater timekeeping precision.
With all the movement and running components within the chronograph, each click and shift begins a tidal wave (in relative terms) of activity across the movement, in anticipation, Parmigiani has conceived of a balance secured by a cross-through bridge instead of a single attachment point or “cock”. As a result of the double attachment points, the balance which regulates the movement is a vision of stability in the chaos of mechanical activity. Furthermore, the cross-through bridge isn’t just fixed safe harbour in a tempest, it’s designed to be adjusted so it can adapt it precisely to the rest of the movement.
SIHH 2016 Parmigiani Celebrates 20 Years with Gold
Every aspect of working with gold during a manufacture process was complicated. Gold sticks to the tools; it is malleable and easily deforms; all the machines must be completely recalibrated and each cutting parameter needs changing. Successfully manufacturing a movement this complex from gold demonstrates an imposing level of expertise.
Its decoration, no less technical, required more than 50 hours of work for each unit. Each movement has bridges which are cut concentrically from the balance, with the latter framed as
the epicentre of the fresco. These bridges are openworked to reveal the mechanism which beats at its surface, and the two symmetrical column wheels parallel to the crown’s staff.
This assembly is enhanced by the sandblasted satin finish, while the internal angles on the bridges play with the light, accentuated by the gold’s reflections.
SLIM PROFILE LARGE DATE
The Tonda Chronor Anniversaire comes with the increasingly popular Large Date complication integrated into the calibre PF361, it’s a technical development which manages to keep the movement (and thus watch case profile slim) while retaining technical reliability.
Available in white gold or rose gold case, each of SIHH 2016 Parmigiani Tonda Chronor will be produced in a limited run of 25 pieces to mark this anniversary. The watches come in two flavours of ”grand feu“ enamel with colours to match each case. The most compelling of dial choices is the deep blue, “Bleu Roi” (royal blue) Parmigiani Fleurier’s latest addition to its very rich palette of hues. The royal blue dial of the Chronor Anniversaire changes with each angle, turning a dark purple in some instances.