December 2, 2022
Ovale Pantographe

The genesis of the Ovale Pantographe is well-known. The Parmigiani Fleurier workshops are home to many exceptional examples of the watchmaker’s art, including an exceptionnal oval pocket watch dating from 1780, fitted with a system in which two pawls in a cam enable the hands to extend and retract. This technical feat piqued the Manufacture’s curiosity, leading it to explore its own ways of solving this challenge. Of course, the antique pocket watch itself held the solution. It was Parmigiani Fleurier’s task to transfer it to a wristwatch, which places more demands on this device, highly ingenious though it is, due to the range of positions the watch adopts throughout the day. The challenge lay in finding the perfect compromise between the weight of the components, the balance of the system and the reliability of the watch.
With this note, you’ll know what I mean when I say that this Parmigiani Tonda 1950 Meteorite white dial (debuted on aBlogtoWatch here) is going to be considered a future (as well as a contemporary) exotic dial to get the Tonda 1950 collection. Parmigiani overall is excellent at making piece unique or rare versions of their watches, slowly seeding the planet with increasingly more exotic watch dials (and they do create some of the coolest ones on the market). This view already understands its future (the one it hopes for) because it states “Edition Speciale” on the back of this case, as a good bottle of tequila might.Forget not that Parmigiani additionally makes this titanium-cased variant of this 39mm wide Tonda 1950 along with other meteorite dial colors such as black and a metallic blue (which also comes in a gold case if you like). This white-dialed model could be the runt of the litter, but it still has potential once you want a light dial color that is not grey. White-colored meteorite is not common most likely because viewing the dial details isn’t as simple with the lower-contrasting colours of a white dial. Therefore, it might be reasonable for a watchmaker to never expect just as much need for a subtle variant of a dial that people buy because of its visual pattern.If there’s just another thing Grand Seiko has taught us, it is that watch lovers, even now, adore subtle details on a dial that are not always clear from afar. I’m speaking of course of the Grand Seiko “Snowflake” dial, which can be white with a light feel that’s invisible by a few feet away. There will be those collectors who love the appealing geometric geography of sliced meteorite, but who at the exact same time value a bit of privacy and discretion. I am not sure I could select that type of person out of a crowd, but I know them to stand out there.

Ovale Pantographe

The Ovale Pantographe revealed another secret: rather than making this architecture – where everything moves – more rigid, it required flexibility. This is true of the “pantograph” hands, articulated structures comprising more than 30 elements in continuous movement. Looking at the dial, they appear static. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. There is only one material in the world, an aluminium alloy with a magnesium base used in the automotive industry, able to meet the exacting specifications, whereby no immobility is permitted.

Ovale Pantographe
To add further complexity to the equation, the manual-winding PF111 Calibre is made entirely from rose gold. It powers the hours, minutes, power reserve (8 days) indicator at 12 o’clock, and the date at 6 oclock. The ductility of the gold proved a major constraint when it came to machining the watch. Similarly, polishing, engraving, and creating a shine on a metal which adheres to the tools used to work it meant that brand new techniques had to be employed.

Ovale Pantographe

The “barley grain” pattern on the dial adds a further touch of sophistication to this refined piece. The indices, replacing the transfers used on the previous model, lend it a richness and brilliance.

With its Hermès strap and rose gold ardillon buckle, the Ovale Pantographe is a limited edition of 50 watches. It is also available in white gold, with the same red gold movement.

Ovale Pantographe