Sneak previews of new timepieces making their debut at SIHH 2019 next month continue to make their way to our desks, like little stocking stuffers ahead of the big haul on Christmas morning. Recently received from Parmigiani Fleurier is the one you’ll discover below, a new rose-gold version of its Tonda Metropolitaine Sélène, a feminine moon-phase watch that debuted in 2016 in steel.
Like its predecessor, the new gold-encased Sélène is distinguished by its highly reflective white mother-of-pearl dial with a lotus flower motif in the center; here, however, the lotus flower is made of solid rose gold, whereas on the original steel models it was constructed from mother-of-pearl lace. The moon-phase display is also special, with the two lunar disks’ realistic cratered surface achieved with a process of successive layered decals applied by hand. These russet-colored moons emerge from, and nestle beneath, the wisps of cloud created by the white mother-of-pearl. Of course, all the recognizable elements of Parmigiani’s Tonda dial are also present, including the skeletonized, Delta-shaped hour and minute hands, wedge-shaped hour appliqués (here in rose gold) and semicircular date window at 6 o’clock inside a small seconds subdial.
Inside the 18k rose gold case, with its modestly feminine dimensions of 33.72 mm in diameter and 9.57 mm thick, and visible through a sapphire caseback window, is Parmigiani Fleurier’s 33rd in-house movement, Caliber PF318 — technically the manufacture’s PF 310 base caliber with an exclusive moon-phase module. And while the lunar display is outwardly attractive, it is also technically innovative: its operation is based on a gear moved by the hour wheel, which rotates at half the gear’s speed. A flexible blade integrated into the center of this gear’s wheel helps to drive the moon disk’s 24-hour rotation, and a corrector at 9 o’clock enables the wearer to index the moon-phase to a specific geographical location as determined by the day and date.
The self-winding movement stores a power reserve of 50 hours in its two series-coupled barrels, beats at a balance frequency of 28,800 vph, and winds via a gold rotor decorated with Parmigiani’s hallmark barley grain motif. Côtes de Genève and hand bevelled edges adorn the bridges. Speaking of hallmarks, the watch’s case features not only the elegantly curving drop-shaped lugs that have come to define the Tonda series, but also a bezel set with 76 brilliant-cut diamonds. The watch comes mounted on either a 18k rose gold buckle (price: $47,000) or a brown calfskin leather strap by Hermès ($32,000), each fastening to the wrist with a gold folding buckle.