Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante
Similar to the rest of the Tonda PF series, the Minute Rattrapante is a watch that boasts of a minimalist design, intended to blend in seamlessly with the personal style of its wearer who values aesthetics.
Parmigiani Fleurier took its winning GMT Rattrapante idea and applied it to the minute hand in the aptly named Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante. The presence of three pushers here should alert you to hidden complexities in what the Parmigiani Fleurier manufacture is trying to accomplish. To begin with, there are two minute hands here (one in rhodiumised white gold, the other in rose gold), and one behaves reasonably, tracking the minutes as it should. The other, the rose gold hand, does something never seen in watchmaking as far as we can tell — it tracks ahead of the standard minute hand by increments of one or five minutes. This effectively allows it to act as a countdown timer, waiting for the standard minute hand to catch up. The pusher at 8 o’clock advances this hand by five minutes while the pusher at 10 o’clock advances it by one minute.
The above description shows how the watch might easily be used to mark elapsed minutes, but what is the pusher on the crown for then? It returns the rose gold hand back under the standard minute hand, where it moves in lockstep until called forth again. Now, this is the sort of complication that must either leave you scratching your head or grinning broadly, because this is a kind of chronograph yet is nothing of the sort. As the manufacture cheekily notes, this kind of function is typically done with a rotating bezel, but has now been literally complicated by being performed by the movement, the automatic calibre PF052 with micro-rotor. Personally, I use the bezel-operated function on my dive watch for this purpose, while I travel, to cover certain key timing events (how much time left before I need to head to the departure gate at the airport, for example). If I had the Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante, I would be using the pushers on the watch for the same effect.
You might fairly ask if this sort of thing really requires a new movement, and strictly speaking, it does because of all the increased action in the motion works, and the necessity for the pushers to interact with the same. That being said, having three pushers here challenges the aesthetics of the Tonda PF case, pushing elegance to the limit. The manufacture says the pusher system is in place to make the watch easy to use, and it certainly does that. A function selector, via the crown for example, would make the watch a little fussier even as it would potentially make the case cleaner and the watch more mysterious. The Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante from last year also probably made the decision to use pushers easier, since that watch looms large in the minds of many collectors.
In a lot of ways, this new Minute Rattrapante echoes its GMT predecessor, down to its 40mm diameter and 10.7mm thickness. The manufacture calibre, P052, seems like an evolution of the P051, which powered the GMT Rattrapante; examining it via the exhibition caseback, it looks exactly the same. This is unsurprising, given that all the action happens in the motion works, which you would only see if the dial was openworked, or in sapphire crystal. The watch is in steel, with knurled platinum bezel, and rest pusher in rose gold. At Watches and Wonders Geneva, the price was listed at CHF28,000.
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