It may cost a pretty penny at $196,000 on a gold bracelet, but then it has all the attributes to warrant it. What does? The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Double Rainbow Flying Tourbillon Watch. If you love gemstones, or even rainbows, you will really enjoy the beauty of this piece — inside and out. Recently, I wrote about this watch on my Perfect Timing column on Forbes.com and excerpts from that article are here, but also my opinions about it.
I was fortunate enough to have seen this watch up close and personal not too long ago and it is impressive. I don’t care if you are a guy who likes color and diamonds or a woman who does, this watch brings together great artisan craftsmanship as well as the finest watchmaking technology. The generous 40.2mm piece boasts hundreds of diamonds and gemstones in a dazzling layout. It is set with baguette-cut sapphires (blue, pink, orange and yellow), rubies, tsavorites and amethysts on the bezel to emulate the colors of the rainbow. “The inner dial that surrounds the watch’s dial is also set with the same color baguette stones but in a reverse layout. In total, the watch boasts 71 gemstones weighing approximately 3 carats.”
Additionally, the dial background is set with 572 brilliant-cut diamonds that start out smaller on the edges and and graduate to larger diamonds as they near the center. The offset dial with the hour and minute hands is placed at 2:00 and features an arc-shaped piece of aventurine with gold flecks that recall the night sky. Angled beneath the aventurine dial is a large aperture at 7:00 where the flying tourbillon escapement is placed.
The watch is powered by an ultra- thin automatic movement (PF517) consisting of 207 components, including a platinum micro-rotor. It is equipped with a flying tourbillon– a device that compensates for minor errors in timekeeping due to the effects of gravity on the wrist in different positions — is without a bridge so it looks to be floating in air (flying). Made entirely in-house, the movement is finely finished and viewable via a transparent sapphire case back.Two 18-karat rose gold versions are being created: one with an Hermes strap retailing for $178,000, and one with an 18-karat gold bracelet that sells for $196,000.
The watch is the result of four prior watchmaking achievements by the brand, including the Tonda 1950 Clarity with diamond-set dial meticulously set in a special motif, the Tonda 1950 Galaxy watch with aventurine dial, the Tonda 1950 Rainbow illuminate with gemstone bezel, and the Tonda 1950 Tourbillon with an ultra-thin flying tourbillon at 7:00.