Parmigiani Tonda PF Micro-Rotor In Steel And Platinum On-The-Wrist Review: A Contemporary Chameleon That Stands Out By Fitting In

If the Parmigiani Tonda PF Micro-Rotor wasn’t so good-looking, I would have barely noticed that I was wearing it. That’s how I felt after wearing the Tonda PF Micro-Rotor for the last three weeks. For a watch whose bracelet lacks a micro-adjustment system, it is very comfortable on the wrist. And its style blends so easily with my lifestyle that it always looked like it belonged there.

Parmigiani Tonda PF Micro-Rotor in steel and platinum

Bull’s eye

While I have long been an admirer of Parmigiani – particularly the Toric line – the Tonda PF struck a chord for me when I first saw it earlier this year. While I like its complicated siblings, the seeming emptiness of the Micro-Rotor model’s design cast a spell on me.

Parmigiani Tonda PF Micro-Rotor in steel and platinum

The dial is an ode to handcrafted barleycorn guilloché in the most beautiful grey tone. It is almost like standing on a sand dune and admiring the uninhabited beauty of the desert. Hour markers are present but only in a modest capacity. Even the hands are unobtrusive. And not even the date window bothers me here. The dial is highlighted in a subtle way by the knurled bezel crafted in platinum, giving the watch a less-is-more look with a generous dash of Italian flair.

Parmigiani has always been known for its elegant lugs, and the Tonda PF is no exception. They allow the case to flow into the bracelet seamlessly, while differently finished surfaces ensure that this part of the watch is also sophisticated in terms of look and feel.

Bracelet and buckle of the Parmigiani Tonda PF Micro-Rotor in steel and platinum (photo courtesy

The clasp is embossed with Parmigiani’s logo, which also adorns the dial. It is modest and somewhat restrained in its design, and that makes it feel luxurious. In fact, the whole experience of wearing the Tonda PF is one of luxuriousness: it oozes class not commonly found in stainless steel watches.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Micro-Rotor in steel and platinum on the wrist

Standing on its own

Whenever a high-end brand introduces a stainless steel watch with an integrated bracelet, many feel the need to compare it to famous predecessors like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus. However, I feel that such comparisons are misplaced as the Tonda PF is a creation of a different time.

It doesn’t have to make a statement by being crafted in stainless steel but rather complements the active lifestyle of people who want something a bit more elegant on their wrists than a sports watch generally provides. While this runs the risk of the Tonda PF being a little of everything and offering a lot of nothing, this is not at all the case.

Parmigiani Tonda PF Micro-Rotor in steel and platinum (photo courtesy

The Tonda PF feels robust without being “overweight” as Parmigiani kept the overall height at a slender 7.8 mm. Water resistance of 100 meters makes it a worry-free timepiece that you don’t need to take off for activities that could be tougher on many watches. It will look as great on the beach as at a black-tie event later in the evening.

And that is the true strength of the Tonda PF: it looks exceptional, not by standing out but by fitting in. It is a virtual chameleon seeming to have one goal and one goal alone: to suit your lifestyle no matter what you are doing.

It’s a movement

Movements with micro rotors have always had an undeniable appeal for me, from vintage ones like Piaget’s superb Caliber 12P to modern creations by Chopard and Laurent Ferrier. Parmigiani’s Caliber PF703 fits right into this group, featuring enticing architecture and a platinum micro rotor with the same barleycorn guilloché found on the dial.

Back of the Parmigiani Tonda PF Micro-Rotor

As is almost tradition with micro rotor movements, this one runs at a frequency of 3 Hz/21,600 vph. The power reserve is a healthy 48 hours. By today’s standards, this might be a bit on the low side, but the lack of height in the movement is the complicating factor here, so two days of power reserve counts as an achievement in this category of calibers.

At a diameter of 30 mm the movement nicely fills the case of the Tonda PF, which comes in at 40 mm. This is important to me as true sophistication is when all aspects of a watch are in balance.

Parmigiani Tonda PF Micro-Rotor in steel and platinum in a Rolls-Royce (photo courtesy

With the Tonda PF, Parmigiani has achieved this balance exceptionally well, which is good news for the brand but perhaps not such good news to the other watches in your collection should you get one. For people like me who enjoy a comfortable and contemporary watch with an elegant twist, as a daily wearer this Parmigiani is about as good as it gets.

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Quick Facts Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Micro-Rotor
Case: 40 x 7.8 mm, stainless steel with platinum bezel; 100 m water resistance
Dial and hands: grey dial with hand-applied grain dorge guilloché; rhodium-plated applied indices; delta-shaped hands
Movement: automatic Caliber PF703 with platinum micro rotor; 21,600 vph/3 Hz frequency; power reserve 48 hours
Functions: hours, minutes; date
Price: CHF 21,000

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3 replies
  1. Craig Lewis
    Craig Lewis says:

    I liked the old Tonda 1950, but overall, I prefer these. The markers are even more discreet. While I’d like small seconds…and who knows, they may do a version…with a good minute track it’s not that critical. The overall composition is, IMO, exceptional. A matte dial like the 1950 can be a bit dull. Conversely, as the dial’s only feature, it makes a quiet statement…it is what it is, and doesn’t need adornment. The pie pan treatment slides you down from the bezel to the case.

    Now if only I could afford one……..

  2. Tam O' Banter
    Tam O' Banter says:

    Why oh why oh why did they include a date!????
    And why oh why oh why didn’t they put this on a leather strap!!!
    And why oh why oh why didn’t they include micro-adjustment! Nobody does it any more. We are all supposed to think that it is physically impossible to make a watch that fits!
    Who wants fried fish and mashed potatoes?
    Who apple pie and bovril?
    Whisky and tonic anyone?

    • Will Tell
      Will Tell says:

      I don’t necessarily agree with you. In fact I either outright don’t agree (date on a chronograph) or, I’m simply not impassioned enough about what you’re lamenting. However, I do think that your comment was worthy of the equivalent of an internet Pulitzer. Genius, Sir; today, you win the internet.


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