Parmigiani Fleurier Launches New Tonda Reine de Mai
The new watch expertly marries mechanical watchmaking and métiers d’art
Parmigiani Fleurier continues to showcase its dedication to métiers d’art and high watchmaking with the launch of the Tonda Reine de Mai collection. Inspired by the bucolic landscape in Switzerland surrounding its manufactures and the flowers found there, it combines Parmigiani Fleurier’s commitment to in-house manufacturing, fine finishings, and artistry. Nature and the beauty of the golden ratio are enduring sources of inspiration, and the Manufacture uses a wide array of artistic techniques to bring them to life in this release, including hand-chiseling, hand-diamond-setting, hand-polishing, hand-sandblasting, and marquetry.
The Tonda Reine de Mai features a beautiful bouquet of mother-of-pearl, rose gold, and diamond-set flowers, akin to the snow-white Daisy May buds often seen into late Summer. Machined to achieve their perfect shape, they are finished by hand before being placed atop a white mother-of-pearl dial comprised of 23 different marquetry elements. The six mother-of-pearl flowers are particularly challenging to decorate, as the material is quite delicate and fragile. The base of each flower is sandblasted by hand; then, each petal is polished and engraved by expert artisan hands resulting in varied matte and polished finishings that give more depth and dimension. The dial features an additional six Daisy May flowers, three in rose gold with alternating polished and engraved petals, and three in white gold and handset with 117 diamonds. This brilliance and texture give subtle depth to the unique dial making it seem as if the flowers overlap like they would in nature. Each dial takes 24 hours to craft and requires the work of many artisans skilled in different métiers d’art. This version is limited to five pieces, and each dial is slightly different as the bouquet is placed at different angles on each one.
The Tonda Reine de Mai is powered by the PF310 automatic movement, which Parmigiani Fleurier created in 2014 in its vertically integrated manufacture. It adheres to the strict codes of craftsmanship and finishings that the atelier is revered for, as well as Michel Parmigiani’s penchant for creating a secret for the wearer. The movement is impeccably finished, and features signatures like Côtes de Genève stripes, perlage and beveled bridges. For the first time, it features a 22K gold rotor that is as highly decorated as the dial and, with 20 hours of work required for each one, it takes nearly as long to create. It is hand-chiseled in a delicate motif that accentuates four mother-of-pearl Daisy May flowers, a precise, time-consuming technique that is rarely seen on a rotor. The flowers are crafted with the same methods as those on the dial, featuring sandblasted and polished surfaces, as well as engraved details, all done by hand. It is a true secret for the wearer and illustrates Parmigiani Fleurier’s dedication to excellence and the level of attention to detail paid to every element of a timepiece, even those rarely seen. This stunning rotor means the entire watch is like a jewel, and it is clear that each component was designed to be beautiful from every angle. While beautiful, the movement is still robust, revered for its accuracy. The watch is also water resistant to 30m and has a power reserve of 50 hours, expertly uniting mechanical watchmaking and métiers d’art.
The bezel, lugs, and bracelet are fully diamond set with the highest-quality F-G near colorless, and internally flawless and VVS- stones, not often seen in watchmaking. The 36mm rose gold case features a crown with a white opal cabochon; it is polished and set with 70 diamonds totaling 1.95 carats, while the bracelet is meticulously set with 906 diamonds totaling 8.04 carats. The bracelet is beautifully integrated to the case thanks to its teardrop-shaped lugs, a Parmigiani Fleurier trademark, and was carefully designed to ensure great comfort.