The world’s second largest annual watch trade show, SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève), took place last week in Geneva following a very tough year for the watch business in 2016. And so, not surprisingly, the watch introductions during the one week show were more conservative compared to recent years.
There were more line updates and extensions, as opposed to all-new watches. More watches in stainless steel, as opposed to precious metals, than I can ever recall at this show. This is a good thing, as the two concerns we hear most often in the online community are related to price and case metal. Collectors want stainless steel watches and more reasonable pricing. The watch landscape (the way that watches are marketed from the products being made to how they are being communicated to the consumer), has changed significantly in the past few years, and companies, of course, need to adapt.
Parmigiani Fleurier has answered with a more affordable, stainless steel version of their Tonda 1950. Available in either a silver opaline or a black opaline dial, the stainless steel Tonda 1950 is 40 mm x 8.2 mm case, which is 1 mm larger in diameter and 0.4 mm thicker than the Tonda 1950 in gold, which we reviewed in 2013. It is essentially the same watch, just with a marginally larger case, a new dial that now features graduations in between the 5 second and hour markers on the sub dial and main dial, respectively.
The movement, caliber PF 702, is also a slightly revised version of the PF 701, that powers the existing Tonda 1950. Consisting of 160 components, including 29 jewels, caliber PF 702 is an in-house automatic off-center tungsten micro-rotor equipped movement that beats at 3Hz and is finished to perfection, like all of the company’s movements. The size is now 30 mm x 2.6 mm, and the power reserve has been increased from 42 to 48-hours.
Delta-shaped hour and minute hands, with a luminescent coating, indicate the time, along with a baton-shaped hand at 6 o’clock that shows the running small seconds, which now has one-second markings that allow you to set the time more precisely, to the second.
Water-resistance is 30 meters. The watch comes with an alligator leather strap and steel folding buckle. The retail price is $9,900. By comparison, the white gold variant is $16,900. (Ref. PFC288-0000100-XA1442 – silver dial, PFC288-0001400-XA1442 – black dial)