Watches and Wonders 2022: A review on the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Skeleton.

Apr 17, 2022,08:09 AM

Parmigiani has a lot of fans, here, on WatchProSite, and rightly so. With Parmigiani watches, we are far from trends, bubbles, hype. Their watches are made with an extreme care of the details. They are the essence of Horology. 

Some of their watches caught my attention, this year. Two of them, to tell you all: The Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante, which works like a split seconds, but here, this is a Split GMT, which means that once you are back home and that the second time zone is not useful for you, you just have to activate the pusher on the crown to make the GMT hand jump under the hour hand. Sober, astute, clever, original, and extremely well made. 

The second watch which caught all my attention is the Tonda PF Skeleton, which comes in two versions: A steel / platinum and a full rose gold. 

The steel platinum: 

The Rose Gold. 

As you can see, the dials and the movements receive the same decoration and finishings, the only thing which changes is the metal of the case, crown and bracelet. 

- The case is 40 mm big and only 8, 5 mm high, with a blend of satined and polished parts which play with light. The long and slim lugs are very elegant. Do we have a new sport chic watch, here? I do think so, and the fact that it doesn't play the " Genta Card " is an excellent point. 

The outside part of the  bezel is knurled while the inside is polished, and, for the steel version, made in platinum. I am not a big fan of knurled or fluted bezels, I must say, and this Tonda PF Skeleton is no exception to that. But the idea to use platinum for the bezel pleases me. I would have just loved to have smooth bezel on this watch. 

The crown is a small one, with a diameter of only 4, 3 mm which reinforces the preciousness of this watch, its extreme elegance. 

On the back side, you will see the movement through the sapphire, which is, in this case, a very good idea, or better said, the only solution since this watch has a skeletonized movement. And here, there is something to see! 

To be complete, this watch is water resistant to 100 meters, which will allow you to wear it without fear, even in your " water activities ". 

- The dial and the movement are intimately linked, here. Both are Graphite, a dark grey, contrasting with the applied indices and hands made in rose gold. Of course, the steel version looks colder, but not less eye catching, for me. Both sides are satin and sandblasted finished, which literally catches the light and enhances the artistic dimension of the dial / movement. The angles of the bridges are beveled. Well, to sum it, we have a pure and true work of Horology. 

The warmer rose gold version: 

What I like a lot is that the Skeleton is not Baroque at all. It is light, aerial and modern. I am pretty sure that it will age timelessly. 

The movement, Cal PF 777 characteristics: It is automatic, with a discreet rotor which doesn't hide anything of the movement beauty, it beats at the pace of 28, 800 alternances per hour, it is made of 187 parts, and offers a good power reserve of 60 hours. 

This watch is one of my 2022 Watches and Wonders  " coup de coeur ", I must say. There were not so many, only 8, truth to be told, and this Tonda PF Skeleton, especially in steel, is one of them. 

Because it blends with originality refinement and sports. 

Because it doesn't borrow the now too common Genta's style of the Royal Oak and other Nautilus. It has its own identity. Bravo for that.

Because the level of quality is obvious. 

Because it is a true piece of Artistic Horology, which is not always evident with Skeleton watches, often a bit outdated... 

Now, the knurled bezel disturbs me, a bit. But maybe it can also be seen as a part of this watch's DNA? 

The last point which bugs me is the price: 59, 000 CHF in steel, 88, 000 CHF in rose gold. That is ambitious, to say the least, but the quality is here. 

Looking forward to reading your comments and thoughts,



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The steel is almost perfect!

 By: KCLQMULKU : April 17th, 2022-08:22
I am pleased they chose platinum for the bezel, and I actually find the ridged pattern to be in keeping with the engine-look of the timepiece.

The watch is wonderful

 By: piccolochimico (aka dsgalaxy1) : April 17th, 2022-08:40
And they do play in the same league of high (crazy?) prices for a luxury sporty watch. That's the trend, PF is second to none in terms of finishing and craftsmanship.

Yes…. But imo only in this case.

 By: Bruno.M1 : April 17th, 2022-10:29
Their others are imo very fair priced I mean the tonda PF and GT This skeleton however… well I didn’t know the price and must confess I’m surprised… much more than I expected or at least than I hoped lol Nicolas, thanks for a fantastic review

How would you rate this compared to the GP skeleton in steel?

 By: ArmisE : April 17th, 2022-10:12
GP’s skeletons have always been impressive, especially with their ceramic versions. But I wonder, steel vs. steel, what would be the preference in the metal. Regardless of the comparison, this PF is very attractive with its own character. Thanks for posti... 

Interesting question

 By: chikai168 : April 17th, 2022-10:22
I have been asking the same question. I love the GP Laureato skeletons. (And I have the Neo bridges Earth to Sky, another beautiful open worked watch from them). Just from the pictures, the PF seems more elegant overall but the movement finishing seems on... 

I agree.

 By: amanico : April 17th, 2022-10:23

Your GP version is an excellent model. And I agree that the GP steel represented great value.

 By: ArmisE : April 17th, 2022-10:41
I’m not sure what the recent change is, but based on your comment it must be that the prices are shooting up. In comparison I can see what you and Nico are saying about the PF having a more elegant look overall, but the GP still holds its own. Thanks for ... 

Thank you Nico

 By: chikai168 : April 17th, 2022-10:16
This one caught my eye too. The whole package is beautiful, elegant and finely made, no doubt. The bezel is actually think is quirky in a positive way and I like it. But like you, I found the price in titanium/ steel a surprise (not a good one!). Maybe I ... 

Agree a lot!

 By: chikai168 : April 17th, 2022-10:23


 By: amanico : April 17th, 2022-10:24

Thanks Nicolas for a great report. I see we share

 By: MilDiver : April 17th, 2022-11:54
In too many occasions I noticed we share similar tastes I love the PF as a brand, one of the great watch companies out there As much as I like the brand and "want" to buy watches, not many of them fit my taste , but this new steel is beautiful, Not sure a... 

I would agree as well this to be one of the great releases from this year W&W!

 By: Chronometer (aka yacomino) : April 17th, 2022-12:47
One of the best open work release. In terms of design integrity for me this one is in the same league as say the GP Leaureto open work 👌👌👌


 By: Chronometer (aka yacomino) : April 17th, 2022-16:32

Dear Nico, thanks for sharing with us this exciting new PF.

 By: joenghenry : April 17th, 2022-14:38
It looks very promising and interesting. Wish can appreciate it in metal later on. Cheers, Henry

That GMT is one of the best I’ve seen

 By: Tchela1 : April 17th, 2022-16:21
Thank you for sharing!


 By: amanico : April 18th, 2022-07:19

They’re certainly heading in the right direction lately.

 By: Pour le Mérite : April 17th, 2022-17:20
Though, I’d like to see them caring for the other models as well, especially the Toric.

Your key points....

 By: InHavenPro : April 17th, 2022-17:33
the skeleton work is not 'Baroque'! Excellent, wholeheartedly agreed . It has its own style, not a Genta derivative. Lastly, but importantly - the price is definitely aspirational. Not that the quality isn't present, but that I would frankly expect this m... 

I was really impressed by this watch tbh

 By: Watchonthewrist : April 17th, 2022-18:56
Looks and feels amazing on the wrist Like you the price is the only downside imho ...  

The bezel does not bother me. But why is the crown so small?

 By: MichaelC : April 17th, 2022-19:03
I don't understand that. But you are right, whereas the AP and GP versions are so similar, this one speaks its own language. Bravo!

I like this watch.

 By: Cozmopak : April 17th, 2022-23:09
I especially like the GMT. Out of curiosity what were the 8 coup de coeur watches for you?

It's nice and thin...

 By: mdg : April 18th, 2022-01:54
...and they didn't add a date, which I like. On the plus side, the bezel will not look scratched up as much as a polished one would...

There's a discontinuity between its modern technical design . . .

 By: Dr No : April 18th, 2022-04:48
. . . and absence of a seconds hand imho, Nicolas. A two-handed movement makes sense in a traditional design but this one comes across as incongruous, kinda like a Porsche 911 with a diesel engine. 😕

Yes, same for the RO in my eyes . . .

 By: Dr No : April 18th, 2022-07:49
. . . so if I'm wrong, at least I'm consistent.

Another fine review: as sober and balanced as these two excellent watches.

 By: Age_of_Surfaces : June 9th, 2022-03:15
First thoughts: I've never been a fan of skeletonisation. Call me names but for me front is front and back is back. The tendency towards the "baroque" (as you so aptly put it) also makes to many watches of this kind look like cadavers on the wrist, even i...