In our era of accelerated technological change, mechanical watchmaking offers us a haven, an analogue alternative to the digital information overload that marks our lives. The 20th century has seen an explosion of methods for measuring time, and although some functions and mechanisms have remained unchanged for decades, the era calls for innovation.
Indeed, while watchmaking tends to freeze into its generic formulas for displaying GMT functions and dive time calculations, there are exceptions that break with convention.
Parmigiani Fleurier is the perfect example. The Maison has succeeded in redefining its relationship to time with two unprecedented innovations: the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante and the Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante. These modern timepieces are not only a response to the speed of our daily life, but they also offer a new way of perceiving, feeling and mastering time itself.
Parmigiani Fleurier’s Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante and Minute Rattrapante transcend the simple quantitative measurement of time as embodied by Chronos and appropriate the more philosophical Greek concept of Kairos that refers to the qualitative time of life.
The beauty of the complications made by Parmigiani Fleurier
An invitation to reset our relationship to time, these refined timepieces deliver instantaneous and intuitive measurements that capture the rhythm of contemporary life. The beauty of these complications lies in their extreme user-friendliness. The ingenious mechanics behind these deceptively simple-looking watches alter the way countdowns and dual time complications are viewed and activated. In a departure from conventional graduated rotating bezels, an additional gold hand concealed under the minute hand executes the task – minute countdown on the Minute Rattrapante and GMT indication on the GMT Rattrapante – without marring the understated elegance of the Tonda PF.
The “rattrapante” denomination of both timepieces describes the motion performed by the extra hand when it jumps back to its concealed position, similar to a split-seconds chronograph hand. Parmigiani Fleurier’s Rattrapantes fuse pragmatic, intuitive complications with the luxurious, understated aesthetic that defines the Tonda PF collection.
The Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante appears unassuming at first glance
One of the most remarkable launches in 2022, the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante refreshed the dual time complication with a resolutely innovative mechanism that respects the purity and minimalism of the Tonda PF collection. The Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante is the perfect instrument for globetrotters juggling time zones. There is nothing superfluous about this sleek, elegant model indicating local and home time. This iconic timepiece returns in 2023 in a full 18ct rose gold version, graced with a Milano Blue dial featuring a refined barleycorn guilloché pattern.
The Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante appears unassuming at first glance, with the hours and minutes sweeping gracefully around the elegant hand- 28 guilloché dial. Yet beneath this traditional face lies a complication powering two superimposed hour hands; one in rhodium-plated gold for local time and the other in 18ct rose gold for home time. The pusher at 8 o’clock advances the rhodium-plated hand for local time in one-hour increments; home time is displayed by the gold hand. When the dual time function is no longer required, the gold pusher integrated in the crown allows the local hour hand to “catch up” (rattraper) like the split-seconds hand of a chronograph and hide beneath the gold home time hand.
This original mode of operation, unique in watchmaking history, relies on a sophisticated and innovative mechanism. Intuitive and simple to use, this complication lets purists enjoy the luxury of an uncluttered time display and enjoy the quality and care lavished on each detail.