Parmigiani Introduces the Tonda PF Collection

Sports watch refined and enhanced.

When I spoke with Parmigiani chief executive Guido Terreni earlier this year, he described his plans for the brand’s product as having a “new direction for design, which is less ostentatious”, adding that Parmigiani will ” go back to the craft and excellence of the early days… with an eye on the world of today.”

With the new Tonda PF collection launched to mark Parmigiani’s 25th anniversary, Mr Terreni appears to have pulled it off.

Made up of four watches – ranging from a time-only to a pricey split-seconds – the Tonda PF is a synthesis of Parmigiani’s recent integrated-bracelet sports watch and its earlier Toric timepieces that were classical and Breguet inspired.

The result is a sleek case and integrated bracelet matched with a refined yet minimalist guilloche dial featuring solid-gold hands and indices.

Initial thoughts

In a review two months ago, I wrote that liked the Tonda GT sports watch, though I thought the dial could be done better in several ways. The new Tonda PF does exactly that.

It keeps everything that was good with the Tonda GT and enhances the rest. The dial has been stripped of superfluous elements while gaining a barleycorn engine turning. In fact, the dial is almost Moser-ish in its restraint, with the only marking being a small “PF” logo, which is made of solid 18k gold.

And the upgrades in materials continue with the case, with all the steel model getting a knurled platinum bezel.

And the movements have been enhanced. The base model, for instance, gets an extra-thin calibre with a platinum micro-rotor, as opposed to the thicker, full-rotor movement found in the Tonda GT. And the chronograph has an integrated movement, instead of the modular calibre found in the steel Tondagraph GT.

For all their elegance and upgrades, all of the Tonda PF watches have screw-down crowns and 100 m depth ratings. The emphasis is on luxury, but they are still sporty watches.

All that, however, comes at a price. While the Tonda GT in steel cost US$14,500 on a bracelet, the Tonda PF Micro-Rotor costs US$22,900. While the Tonda PF is arguably still a fair buy given the quality of build – though the split-seconds is a bit of a stretch – it doesn’t offer the same value that the Tonda GT did.

My favourite of the lot is the Micro-Rotor in steel, which is still passable value. Price aside, the split-seconds in platinum is a gorgeous watch – the movement is a marvel and it surely has an impressive weight, along with a price of over US$170,000.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that the time-only Tonda PF does bring to mind the Octo Finissimo, the extra-thin watch that’s been a hit for Bulgari. It was introduced while Mr Terreni was in charge of Bulgari’s watch division so the resemblance might not be a surprise. Be that as it may, the Parmigiani is unquestionably better finished and more refined, making it a better watch intrinsically, albeit at a higher price.

Tonda PF Micro-Rotor

The entry-level model is the Tonda PF Micro-Rotor that’s 40mm wide and a deliciously thin 7.8 mm.

Its simplicity is outstanding and thoughtful. The tone-on-tone date at six o’clock manages to be useful while not taking away from the balance or symmetry of the dial.

Tonda PF Annual Calendar

The Annual Calendar is larger and thicker, though it still retains elegant proportions. And the dial is legible, though the calendar displays appear quite small.

Of the watches in the Tonda PF line, this seems like a missed opportunity in terms of dial design. The watch retains the traditional trio of sub-dials found on Parmigiani’s other annual calendar models. A simpler, wind0w-based display would have suited the Tonda case design better.

Tonda PF Chronograph

An impressive in-house movement makes the Tonda PF Chronograph the highlight of the line. The defining model for most sports watch designs is a chronograph, and Parmigiani has done well with here, especially in terms of mechanics.

An integrated chronograph with column wheel and vertical clutch, the PF070 inside is one of the few modern, high-frequency chronograph movements. It operates at 36,000 beats per hour (5 Hz), while still having a 65-hour power reserve.

Tonda PF Split Seconds

And finally the top-of-the-line model, which is a no-expense spared rattrapante with a platinum case and bracelet. Even the sandblasted dial is solid platinum, and matched with markers and hands in solid gold.

The PF361 inside is similarly preciously, with its bridges and base plate are 18k rose gold.

It’s derived from the automatic calibre found in the Tonda PF Chronograph, so it’s also a high-frequency, 5 Hz movement. But it is hand wound, revealing its striking, skeletonised bridges, all of which are finished by hand.

It’s the only limited edition in the range – just 25 will be made – but that comes as no surprise since the retail price is US$171,600.

Key facts and price

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Micro-Rotor
Ref. PFC914

Case diameter: 40 mm
Height: 7.8 mm
Material: Steel with platinum bezel or 18k rose gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: PF703
Features: Hours, minutes, and date
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 48 hours

Strap: Matching bracelet in steel or gold

Availability: From Parmigiani and select boutiques worldwide
Price: US$22,900 in steel, US$53,900 in gold

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Annual Calendar
Ref. PFC907

Case diameter: 42 mm
Height: 11.1 mm
Material: Steel with platinum bezel or 18k rose gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: PF339
Features: Hours, minutes, and annual calendar with moon phase
Frequency: 28,000 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 50 hours

Strap: Matching bracelet in steel or gold

Availability: From Parmigiani and select boutiques worldwide
Price: US$38,700 in steel, US$77,500 in gold

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Chronograph
Ref. PFC915

Case diameter: 42 mm
Height: 12.4 mm
Material: Steel with platinum bezel or 18k rose gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: PF070
Features: Hours, minutes, date, and chronograph
Frequency: 36,000 beats per hour (5 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 65 hours

Strap: Matching bracelet in steel or gold

Availability: From Parmigiani and select boutiques worldwide
Price: US$31,000 in steel, US$69,700 in gold

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Split Seconds
Ref. PFC916

Case diameter: 42 mm
Height: 15 mm
Material: Platinum
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Dial: Solid platinum

Movement: PF703
Features: Hours, minutes, and split-seconds chronograph; solid gold bridges and base plate
Frequency: 36,000 beats per hour (5 Hz)
Winding: Hand wind
Power reserve: 65 hours

Strap: Matching bracelet in platinum

Limited edition: 25 pieces
From Parmigiani and select boutiques worldwide
Price: US$171,600

For more, visit

Correction August 31, 2021: The specifications of the Annual Calendar and Chronograph were transposed in an earlier version of the article. 

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Bulgari Revives the Gerald Genta Retro Disney Mickey Mouse

A cartoon watch for serious money.

Having tested the market with a handful of Gerald Genta-branded limited editions, Bulgari has just revealed during Geneva Watch Days 2021 that the Genta name will be revived. And the inaugural model for that venture is the Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde Mickey Mouse, a Disney-themed watch that harks back to the 1990s Fantasy watches of Gerald Genta.

Initial thoughts

The commercial opportunity with the Gerald Genta name has been obvious for several years, given the enduring popularity of a narrow set of his designs, namely the 1970s sports watches like the Royal Oak and the later Fantasy watches with Disney characters, all of which sell for handsome sums on the secondary market.

While all the 1970s sports watch belong to the brands that Genta designed them for, Bulgari does have the Octo, which was created long after Genta himself left the brand. And now Bulgari has resurrected the Arena Retro Mickey Mouse.

Like the Octo, the Arena case was created after Genta departed the namesake company when Bulgari acquired it, but the new Mickey Mouse Retro successfully channels the spirit of the 1990s originals in style and complication.

And in terms of mechanics, it’s also more sophisticated than the originals, in that it is powered by a variant of the in-house Bulgari BVL 191 “Solotempo” calibre, instead of the ETA movements found in the originals.

The Mickey Mouse reissue, however, does come at a steepish price of about US$17,500. That’s slightly more than the most desirable original models go for, which is logical in today’s strong market for high-end watches.

Jumping for joy

The Arena Retro has a 42 mm steel case that’s entirely polished, with the fluted sides and crown guards that defined the Arena design.

Displayed on a radially-brushed silver dial with a leaping Mickey Mouse, the time indication is straightforward: a jumping hours in a window at four o’clock, with Mickey’s extended arm functioning as the retrograde minutes hand.

Bulgari hasn’t specified the calibre inside, but it’s almost certainly a variant of the BVL 300 found in the recent Gerald Genta Arena Bi-Retro limited edition. That’s essentially Bulgari’s workhorse in-house movement, the BVL 191, with the retrograde and jump-hours module on top.

Key facts and price 

Bulgari Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde Mickey Mouse
Ref. 103613

Diameter: 41 mm
Height: Unavailable
Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: In house
Functions: Jumping hours and retrograde minutes
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 42 hours

Strap: Red fabric with folding clasp

Limited edition: 150 pieces
Availability: Starting early 2022 at Bulgari online store and boutiques
Price: CHF16,000, €16,500 (equivalent to about US$17,500)

For more, visit


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Greubel Forsey Unveils the GMT Earth Final Edition Titanium

Saying goodbye in a lightweight metal.

The GMT and tourbillon have long been a favourite combination at Greubel Forsey, but the watchmaker is bringing the combo to an end – at least in its current form – with the GMT Earth Final Edition.

Greubel Forsey (GF) is closing the model’s run with a version in titanium, matched with an all-black palette, giving it a look and feel that’s sportier than the earlier GMT Earth models, which were primarily cased in precious metals.

Initial thoughts

GF has offered a variety of models with a GMT complication, with each having being iterated several times in small runs. But the GMT Earth has always stood out for its simplicity – compared with the model boasting twin double-axis tourbillons for instance – yet it packs in all the defining features of the brand’s travel-time watch, such as a fully-visible rotating globe that indicates day or night around the world and of course the 24-second, inclined tourbillon. That makes it ideal for someone who wants the essence of a GF travel watch in a simple (relatively speaking) package.

And the GMT Earth Final Edition the coolest looking of the bunch, with a dark dial that goes well with the greyish titanium case. It’s a good look that’s gives the watch a more edgy, futuristic design, setting it apart from the typical GF. And the darker colours should leave the 45.5 mm case appearing smaller.

Unlike other ultra high-end sport(y) watches, such as those from Richard Mille, GF is slightly restrained in terms of aesthetics, but that’s made up with finishing that’s amongst the best in class. And thanks to that the watch avoids the monotonous look of many all-black watches.

And the gilded wheels and polished bridges visible are on the front. In earlier versions of the GMT the components and the other moving parts didn’t add much to the dial due to the lack of colour contrast, but here they stand out against the cool, dark tone of the watch, adding a bit of classical refinement.

GMT and world time

Debuted three years ago, the GMT Earth was an update to the original GMT launched exactly a decade ago, with the primary difference being a rotating globe that’s visible from all angles – front, side, and back.

Uber-complicated with 453 parts, the movement incorporates a several useful functions. To start with, the local time is presented on the top right in a sub-dial. A power reserve indicator sits just below – a useful feature since this is a hand-wind watch.

The second time zone indication is also fairly conventional, shown with a triangular red hand on top left. And that can be easily adjusted with a pusher at 11 o’clock.

And from there, the rest of the displays are exotic, literally. A three-dimensional globe that makes one revolution every 24 hours indicates the approximate time at any point around the world. It can be read by picking a spot on the map and reading the corresponding time on the 24-hour sapphire ring.

The precision of telling the time based on a tiny a map isn’t stellar, so Greubel Forsey includes a more useful feature on the case back: a 24-city disc encircled by a ring that indicates summer time and an additional, outermost ring to indicate winter time – making it a world time display that takes daylight savings time into account.

Key facts and price

Greubel Forsey GMT Earth Final Edition

Diameter: 45.5 mm
Height: 16.18 mm
Material: Titanium
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: GMT Earth
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, GMT, world time, day and night indicator, and tourbillon
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Winding: Hand wind
Power reserve: 72 hours

Strap: Rubber

Limited edition: 11 pieces
Availability: Now at Greubel Forsey online shop and authorised retailers
Price on request

For more, visit


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H. Moser & Cie. Introduces the Streamliner Perpetual Calendar

Complication presented simply.

After the Streamliner made its debut in chronograph form last year, H. Moser & Cie. has just grown the line of luxury-sports watches to include the Streamliner Perpetual Calendar.

As is typical of Moser’s house style, the new perpetual calendar is streamlined in design and presentation, with the dial indicating the date and month while remaining minimalist, avoiding sub-dials entirely.

The inaugural version of the Streamliner Perpetual Calendar gets a black fumè dial, giving the watch a subtle palette that’s fitting for its minimalist aesthetic. Notably, the monochromatic, shades-of-grey livery also harks back to the limited edition chronograph that was the opening model of the collection.

Initial thoughts

Compared to the two earlier Streamliner models – chronograph and time-only respectively – the latest is the most representative of Moser because of the ingenious movement within. A movement that made Moser’s reputation when it was resurrected in 2005, the calibre is one of the few that truly reimagines the perpetual calendar. While the Streamliner chronograph has an equally ingenious movement, the perpetual calendar movement is Moser’s own, which makes it that much more special.

While appearing similar to the other versions of the Streamliner, the Perpetual Calendar differs in a few respects, which makes it stand out against its siblings in the Streamliner range, and more appealing for that reason.

The design is slightly more nuanced, possessing details like a barely-there, tone-on-tone logo as well as subtle red colour. On top of that, it’s the only hand-wind model in the range, explaining the power-reserve indicator at ten o’clock. And it also has the longest autonomy at seven days, which is enormously helpful for a perpetual calendar (to avoid having to set the calendar when the watch stops).

At certain angles, the logo on the dial disappears

Despite the complication, and because it’s hand-wind, the Perpetual Calendar is the slimmest Streamliner to date at just 11 mm high, giving it a sleek fit on the wrist.

At 42.3 mm, it’s slightly larger than base model, but a good size (the time-only model feels a bit small), giving it a thin and wide aspect ratio that’s desirable for a luxury-sports watch because it creates a sport yet elegant profile.

At around US$55,000, the perpetual calendar is the most expensive Streamliner to date, substantially more expensive than the chronograph in fact. Still, the price is fair in terms of intrinsic complexity, as well as relatively, when set again the going rate for high-end perpetual calendars.

Seconds and months co-axial

Beating inside the new Streamliner is the HMC 812, which is derived from the original Moser perpetual calendar movement, the HMC 341 that developed by watchmaker Andreas Strehler for Moser.

The most obvious change to the movement is the addition of a centre seconds, which replaces the small seconds found in the brand’s other perpetual calendar wristwatches. The central seconds is more legible, and looks sportier.

In fact, the outermost, “racing” minute scale has also been tweaked to include red hashmarks every five minutes, making the minute track even more striking than that found on the Streamliner Chronograph.

The red accents continues on the month indicator and the power-reserve scale

With the large date window and tiny month indicator that sits on the same axis as the hands, the dial is clean and easily readable. That’s true also at night, as the hands, as well as the month indicator and the date, are filled with luminescent material.

And on the back, the movement has been redesigned to give it a slightly more mechanical appearance to suit the Streamliner look. The bridges for the gear train have been skeletonised, amongst other things.

The least sporty – and most classical – detail of the watch is in the movement: the big, slow balance that beats at 18,000 vibrations per hour, or 2.5 Hz, like a 19th century precision pocket watch. One reason for that is the lengthy, week-long power reserve, which means the balance should consume as little energy as possible.

At the same time, the balance is free-sprung and equipped with an overcoil hairspring – traditional hallmarks of a precision movement – as well as a full bridge for maximum stability and shock resistance.

And the movement also boasts a signature feature of Moser movements: an interchangeable escapement. The balance assembly and escapement can be removed during servicing and swapped with a fresh module that’s lubricated, regulated, and ready to go.

Key Facts and Price

H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Perpetual Calendar 
Ref. 6812-1200

Diameter: 42.3 mm
Height: 11 mm
Material: Steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 120 m

Movement: HMC 812
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve indicator, and perpetual calendar
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 18,000 beats per hour (2.5 Hz)
Power reserve: 7 days

Strap: Steel bracelet

Limited edition: No
: From September at authorised retailers
Price: US$54,800, or 82,800 Singapore dollars (including taxes)

For more, visit


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Exhibition: Two Decades of the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch in Singapore

September 9-12, 2021.

Modelled on a navigation instrument of the second world war, the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch has since become the archetypal modern-day aviator’s watch for the Schaffhausen watchmaker – and reputedly a favourite of Formula 1 champ Lewis Hamilton.

As the Big Pilot approaches its 20th anniversary – the original ref. 5002 was introduced in 2002 – IWC is staging an exhibition dedicated to its oversized pilot’s watch in Singapore.

The exhibition will showcase 31 Big Pilots from the IWC Museum, including the legendary and quirky Big Pilot’s Watch Markus Bühler “Turbine” ref. 5003 (stay tuned for a few highlights from the exhibition, including the Bühler).

The exhibition is open to the public daily from September 9-12, but registration is required for entry.

Update September 7, 2021: Registration is closed as the exhibition has reached the maximum capacity allowed by government guidelines, as a result walk-in visitors cannot be admitted.

The watch that started it all, a 1940s Beobachtungsuhr, or “navigator’s watch”, made for the German Air Force

Exhibition details

The Big Pilot Exhibition
Design Orchard
250 Orchard Road
Singapore 238905

September 9-12, 2021
12 pm – 9 pm on weekdays, and 11 am – 9 pm weekends

Entry is free, but registration is required on

Update September 7, 2021: All pre-registration tickets have been taken up. Walk-ins will be accepted on a first-come- first-served basis, but subject to venue capacity.

This was brought to you in collaboration with IWC.

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