An Evening With Michel Parmigiani With Thinnest Automatic Flying Tourbillon Movement

Oarmigiani Fleurier has the look of a classic watch brand. There is something honest about the typographic logo, the often restrained styling, and the simple use of case shape and material quality to set it apart from other brands at first glance. But this is not an old brand. 2016 will see the 20th anniversary of Parmigiani’s foundation.

An Evening With Michel Parmigiani With Thinnest Automatic Flying Tourbillon Movement

Parmigiani Tonda 1950 Tourbillon (ultra thin, approx. $130,000)

An Evening With Michel Parmigiani With Thinnest Automatic Flying Tourbillon Movement

First off, the new Tonda 1950 Tourbillon — hands down my favorite watch of the evening. This watch was just announced a few months ago by Parmigiani, and boasts an ultra thin flying tourbillon with titanium cage. The watches overall thickness of 8.65mm puts it among the thinnest tourbillon watches in the world. The finishing is superlative, but even more impressive are the dial choices.

An Evening With Michel Parmigiani With Thinnest Automatic Flying Tourbillon Movement

Michel brought with him a black jade dial, and a deep blue Geneva-striped dial. Soooooo gorgeous.You can see that the black jade dial is not uniform in color. This is one of the great properties of jade, be it black or green.

An Evening With Michel Parmigiani With Thinnest Automatic Flying Tourbillon Movement

Contrast that with black onyx / obsidian, which is an intense, deep black — as evidenced by another model that just happened to be on hand:

Parmigiani Tonda 1950 Squelette. A finely skeletonized and decorated watch, with micro-roto automatic movement. The overall style is not my favorite amongst the wide variety of haute skeleton watches on the market today, but this was a delightful watch nonetheless.

Parmigiani Bugatti Aerolith in white gold (ref PFC329-3400600)

This chronograph watch has the old school Bugatti logo just below center of dial and above the tri-date window. What is most special about this design is the integration of the chronograph pushers. So as not to disrupt the long flowing lugs with typical pushers, Parmigiani opted to integrate the pushers into the lugs on the left side of the case in a very discreet manner.

Additionally, the tourbillon features a variable inertia balance as opposed to a more traditional screw balance. This reduces the protrusions on the outer rim of the balance and streamlines the whole effect. It is also an incredibly neat presentation of the balance and one that is no less watchmaker-friendly when it comes to adjustments. The principles of an inertia balance are simple (pretty much identical to a screw balance). Four eccentric “nuts” sit on the balance wheel arms. This can be rotated to chance the poise of the balance.

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