Photography by Ape to Gentleman
Featuring Chris Beastall, Editor at Ape to Gentleman
I’ve owned my Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Métrographe watch for a month now- my second serious Swiss watch in addition to my IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII, so I thought it worthwhile reporting on it’s mechanical ability, style and my emotional connection to it.
Mechanically it’s superb- wound 30 times and worn all day, it can be left unworn for forty-two hours before it stops. It keeps perfect time in between, but I tend to wear it all day every day so rarely have a requirement to reset it and wind it. The automatic, chronograph movement is renowned for its reliability and I can a-test to that.
Being able to see the beautifully crafted inner workings of the back side of the watch case is a daily reminder of how much effort has gone into creating this piece- something I saw for my own eyes at the various Parmigiani Manufacture facilities last month.
Style wise- the 40mm case is a good size, not small by any stretch but not overly big and in your face, it’s understated but noticeable. An ideal middle ground in my eyes. As you can see, the dial is black indexed via Rhodium plated appliques with luminescent coating and finished in a snailed exterior, opaline centre and luminescent counter with delta-shaped hands and luminescent coating. The folding clasp in stainless steel took some getting used to but it’s really secure and makes total sense once it becomes familiar. This helps fix the seriously high quality, black Hermès Epsom calfskin strap in place. It’s a truly handsome piece.
Emotionally, before I understood the quality of the Parmigiani Fleurier I was wary- after all, it feels good when someone recognises your watch and asks, “is that an IWC?”. A watch is the closest a man can get to a legitimate piece of jewellery, a true style accessory- so various boxes must be ticked. Form, function, style and crucially- the way it makes you feel.
Those embedded deep into the world of Swiss watches have no problems acknowledging Parmigiani Fleurier as one of the best, but beyond that- it’s not as well known as say Rolex or indeed IWC but after a month of wearing it, I like that fact. I like that it’s a fantastic watch in every respect, and that it’s under the radar, it’s not just another Rolex. But best of all, when someone asks what brand it is, and I pass it over for them to handle, they can ‘feel’ the quality and then they understand Parmigiani Fleurier. And this makes me happy.