We recently sat down with Parmigiani Fleurier, for a hands-on look at their incredible Tondagraphe Tourbillon Chronograph. Initially launched in 2009, this updated 2013 model’s dial features some aesthetic upgrades, and the case now has pump pushers instead of the standard pushers from the previous version.
Underneath the dial, the hand-wound tourbillon chronograph movement, caliber PF 354, has stayed the same. Beating at 3Hz (21,600 vph), the movement has 295 components, 29 jewels, and a 72-hour power reserve. Every component is hand finished to perfection, from the hand bevelled and polished main plate and bridges, to the blackened screws, the polished tourbillon bridges.
Function include hours, minutes, small seconds (at 9 o’clock), a crescent-shaped power reserve indicator (at 12 o’clock), and a 1/4 second chronograph (large central seconds, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock).
The rose gold case measures 43 mm x 13.3 mm, and is fully polished. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal, as is the casebook. Water resistance is 30 meters. Each piece is individually numbered X/30, and this is engraved on the caseback.
An open worked dial exposes the components beneath, including Geneva stripes on the back of the mainplate, as well as circular graining. On the outer edge, the chapter ring is dark gray with small luminous applied indexes, and a printed gilt tachymeter 1000 scale. The large luminous Lance-shaped hour and minute hands are in rose gold, with a signature Parmigiani logo counter-weight for the central chronograph seconds hand.
Prominently visible at 6 o’clock is the one-minute tourbillon which rotates the regulation system to counteract the affects of gravity which in turn increases rate accuracy and stability. The bevelling of the two tourbillon bridges alone requires 20 hours of work to achieve the required quality of finish, and the cage will take almost 40 hours.
The Tondagraphe Tourbillon Chronograph is an exquisite timepiece, finished to the highest standards, and complemented by a Hermès alligator with 18K rose gold ardillon buckle, with a polished finish. As far as tourbillons, there are many to choose from on the market, but not many have this level of detail and functionality.