(This article by Roberta Naas first appeared on Forbes.com.)
For decades, I have been traveling to Switzerland for all of the biggest watch exhibitions. They are always a great blend of excess: so many watches, so much newness, so much invention, so many friends, and so much food and drink. This year’s Watches & Wonders Geneva was no exception. I always find myself marveling at what else the brands will come up with. This year Parmigiani Fleurier did not disappoint. Here we take a closer look at the world premiere of the Parmigiani Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante.
My impressions of this watch at first glance are classic, elegant simple. And, while it does have a classic and elegant look, it is anything but simple. Much like Parmigiani itself, the complexity of this watch is downplayed. In fact, The Parmigiani Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante represents a “world’s first.”
It incorporates the Rattrapante concept typically used for chronographs — employing the Rattrapante hand as a secret minute hand that the wearer can set in one minute or five minute increments to act as a reminder of something needed to be done. For instance, if you know that you have a meeting at 10:00, you advance the 18-karat rose gold hand to 10:00 (via a pusher at 8:00 or 10:00 – depending on if you want the hand to jump by one minute or five minute increments — on the case). Then, as the regular rhodium plated minute hand gets closer and closer to that gold hand, it serves as a reminder that time is fleeting, and you better get a move on.
When done, the gold hand catches up to the rhodium minute hand — returning to its secret tucked-away place beneath the regular hand with the simple touch of the crown-integrated pusher, much like a Rattrapante hand on a split-second chronograph catches up. It is not the first watch to employ an alarm-like reminder but it is definitely a creative use of the Rattrapante. And it offers a fun interaction with time.
The new Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante comes one year after the unveiling of the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante, which had superimposed hour hands. This year, it is the minute hands that get the attention as Parmigiani Fleurier continues to reinterpret watchmaking functions.
Crafted in 18-karat rose gold, the Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante was developed on the premise of performing the function usually operated by the graduated bezel on a diver’s watch via the movement itself in a user-friendly, creative way. Essentially, the function allows for visualizing the time left until a specific moment or event.
The 40mm watch is powered by the 271-part PF052 automatic winding movement made entirely in house with a minute Rattrapante function, a finely decorated rose gold micro-rotor and 48 hours of power reserve.