To kick off the new year, Parmigiani Fleurier announced two new timepieces utilizing their unique “Galaxy” method of texturizing dials. The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Galaxy Gold Bracelet and the Tonda Métropolitaine Selene are the newest unofficial (maybe official at some point) “his and hers” dress watch offerings from the brand. Interestingly enough, pricing is significantly lower than the previously released Tonda 1950 Galaxy Set.
To create these striking and statement-making dials, Parmigiani Fleurier use a technique that requires dropping “Aventurine,” which is a hybrid copper and glass material, into the midnight blue dial creating what looks like stars – hence, “Galaxy.” Personally, I find this decoration interesting with an almost poetic charm, and I’m excited to see these additional models brandishing the unique technique.
If the dial looks familiar, that’s because two years ago, Parmigiani Fleurier released the original Tonda 1950 Galaxy Set, which came on a glossy black leather strap with a diamond bezeled rose gold case. While the Tonda 1950 Galaxy Gold Bracelet may bear a new reference number, it’s the same watch as before with the star of the show being the new sleek solid rose gold bracelet with folding clasp. While I don’t necessarily want to spend too much time delving into the technical details of a watch we already covered (you can read all about it in the link above), the addition of the bracelet gives this watch a far more handsome look.
Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of the glossy leather included in the first run and feel that the gold brushed center links with polished edges on the bracelet fit the watch better. The diamond studded polished case measures in at 39mm with a slim 8.4mm thickness, carries a .65 carat weight, and features a sapphire caseback (we will post pictures as they become available) – displaying the Côtes de Genève decorated PF702 in-house movement. Water resistance is pretty standard for a dress watch at 30m.
Of the two watches, I feel that the best addition to the Parmigiani Fleurier portfolio is the Tonda Métropolitaine Selene. The Métropolitaine line is expansive, filled mostly with guilloche heavy or mother-of-pearl dials and Parmigiani Fleurier has done a fantastic job of marketing them towards women. Which is why I was surprised when looking back and realizing that there wasn’t a “Galaxy” dial included until now. When the Tonda 1950 Galaxy set was released, a consistent complaint was that it looked feminine.
The polished stainless steel case measures in at 33.1mm with an 8.6mm thickness – big enough to appreciate the dial, but small enough to maintain maximum classiness. The bezel features 72 diamonds producing a total carat weight of .496 (triggering many OCD tendencies). Additionally, and like its big brother, the watch features a sapphire caseback showcasing the Côtes de Genève decorated PF310 movement. Featuring a 50-hour power reserve, the PF310 movement utilizes a recessed 60-second sub-dial at 6 o’clock and a date window centered inside of it.
Which brings us to the dial, where the sharp white gold applied indices contrast nicely against the midnight blue dial. In fact, the entire watch utilizes a simple white gold color scheme that makes what could be a busy dial superbly legible. In lieu of the solid lume-filled hour and minute hands of the original, Parmigiani Fleurier opted for skeletonized hands so as not to detract from the dial – something I wish the Tonda 1950 Galaxy Set did. My only complaint is the date window that spans a 3 day date-span – something I think should have been a smaller, single-day window to keep away from the “tennis-y” feel that it gives it. The watch will come with a blue alligator leather strap or a blue fabric strap.
Parmigiani Fleurier is less than 25 years old, and they’ve accomplished an impressive amount of watchmaking in that short period of time. Overall, these are two solid offerings from Parmigiani Fleurier. The solid rose gold bracelet gives a bit more heft to the Tonda 1950 model, and the addition of a ladies’ version of the “Galaxy” dial provides an option that I feel was overdue for the Métropolitaine collection. The new Tonda 1950 Galaxy Gold Bracelet model is $9,900 while the Tonda Métropolitaine Galaxy Selene is $15,900. parmigiani.com