In 2014, Parmigiani Fleurier introduced the Tonda Metrographe chronograph collection. Those who are familiar with this high-end niche watchmaking house will know that Parmigiani Fleurier is best known for impressive watch complications and expensive avant-garde timepieces.
However, the stainless steel models and lower price points of the Tonda Metrographe lineup was a clear indication that the brand was reaching out to a younger (and perhaps more price-sensitive) audience. Here’s a quick overview of the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe chronographs.
Design: Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe
In terms of design, the Tonda Metrographe chronographs sport 40 mm stainless steel cases. The cases are about 12 mm thick – which isn’t bad for an automatic chronograph. Interestingly, the Tonda Metrographe does not include a large and marked bezel like so many other high-end chronograph watches do. Instead, it features a slim steel bezel and a standard minute/seconds track around the periphery of the dial. There are no tachymeter, pulsometer, or telemeter scales here.
The dial of the Tonda Metrographe, which is available in a few different colors, is home to the usual chronograph subsidiary dials: minute counter, hour counter, and running seconds indicator. Yet, in true Parmigiani Fleurier fashion, the layout itself is far from traditional.
For instance, the minute and hour counters are outlined together, forming a distinct “8” shape. Some dial executions within the collection even use luminous material for the outline, emphasizing the silhouette even more. There’s also the oversized date window tucked into the 12-hour register at 6 o’clock.
For this chronograph, Parmigiani Fleurier opted for delta style center hands and tapered baton indices. Depending on the edition, the Tonda Metrographe is offered with either a titanium and stainless steel bracelet or a Hermès (yes, that Hermès) leather strap.
The heavily stylized lugs of the Tonda Metrographe are a distinguishing feature of the watch. Not only are they oversized and dramatically curved, but if you look at the side of the case with the chronograph pushers, you’ll also see that the pushers are actually placed inside the lugs.
Along with offering an intriguing design touch, this approach was probably done to offset the fact that the winding crown is positioned lower than the chronograph pushers – a telltale sign of a modular movement.
Movement: Caliber PF315
If you turn the watch around, you will see the Caliber PF315 through the sapphire exhibition caseback. Interestingly, Caliber PF315 is actually a mix of an in-house base movement (Caliber PF331) fitted with a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module.
The Caliber PF315 operates at a frequency of 28,800 beats per hour and has a power reserve rating of 42 hours. As it would be expected from Parmigiani Fleurier, the automatic movement is beautifully decorated and expertly finished, complete with hand-shaped bridges and “Côtes de Genève” stripes.
With its quirky lugs and unconventional dial, the Tonda Metrographe is certainly not a chronograph designed to suit everyone’s taste. But that’s the point of the Parmigiani Fleurier approach – to make high-end watches for those who appreciate atypical designs executed to the highest watchmaking standards.