GET THE MAGAZINE

Subscribe today and save up to 66%*, plus get free access to the iPad and iPhone editions.

Subscribe

New York vs Paris: Express the Love of Your City with a Limited-Edition Watch

Parmigiani Fleurier has released a special collection of its iconic Tonda 1950 timepiece...

Parmigiani Fleurier is proud to unveil a special edition of the Tonda 1950 in partnership with the influential Parisian boutique colette, featuring the inimitable touch of the artist André Saraiva. This collection of eleven graphic-infused pieces, each of which is the only one of its kind, together forms a eulogy to the spirit of Paris.

The collection will be sold exclusively at Colette Paris. Price: $19,900 euros VAT included for male collection; $23,300 euros VAT included for female collection (diamond set).

The creative fiber of the Tonda 1950 colette Special Edition

Colette is a boutique, which has positioned itself at the crossroads between fashion, stunning design, music, art and much, much more. In Rue Saint-Honoré, at the heart of Paris, this 700 square-meter store pays homage to creativity in all its myriad forms. Each week, the interior layout is changed across all three of its floors, and new window displays are put in place. Their philosophy is to “reinvent the concept of shopping, every single day”; mixing museography and marketing, the art of pleasure with the art of selling. Colette is a resolutely Parisian phenomenon, but one with an international reach, allowing visitors to discover brands from across the world that the boutique’s buyers have fallen for or been lucky enough to find. Now, these also include representatives from the luxury watch industry with Parmigiani Fleurier.

This is not the first time artist André Saraiva, and his alter ego Mr A, has worked with Parmigiani Fleurier or with Colette. He started out at a graffiti artist, reinterpreting this underground art, practiced under the cover of darkness, and bringing it into the light of the day as a friendlier, more utopian alternative. A Parisian at heart, but deeply cosmopolitan, André Saraiva now works with a host of brands, adding his fresh, brightly colored touches to the design of their products.

For the Tonda 1950 Colette Special Edition, André Saraiva came up with three different designs featuring a single word which strikes a cosmopolitan chord: “New York”, “Paris”, of course, and “Love”, that most universal of emotions.

The Tonda 1950 colette Special Edition

This special edition is the fruit of a collaboration between Colette, the artist André Saraiva and Parmigiani Fleurier. It conveys an archetypal Parisian spirit of artistic freedom which transcends boundaries.

The eleven unique pieces which form the Tonda 1950 Colette Special Edition family are variations on the three key themes that André Saraiva has come up with. “Paris”, “New York” and “Love” are written in the artist’s recognizable typeface, evoking graffiti art, and highlighted by the color contrasts which are a constant theme in his work.

The dials have a black, blue or white lacquered background, which features the calligraphy chosen from these three themes applied as a decal. Eleven unique models, all with a white gold case, are obtained by varying the color and layout of the elements on the dial and the color of the lacquered background.

The customization of the piece reaches its zenith, in the true spirit of Haute Couture, with the pairing of straps created by the Atelier du Bracelet Parisien.

For example, this brushed red galuchat strap makes a beautiful match for the only one of the eleven models to feature a gem-set case, as its lacquered texture catches the light, amplifying the brilliance of the diamond. Or this Boa strap, with scales which have hints of black and midnight blue – the exact shades of the dial and of its calligraphy.

This drive to combine fabrics and leathers and a quest for noble yet distinctive materials is also seen in the pairing of the strap with its lining. For example, this beaver tail strap has a lining made from ostrich leg – both exotic and incredibly refined skins. The side overstitching also plays a role in the interplay of colors, with hues selected to either blend or contrast. Last but not least is ABP’s signature, which consists of four colored stitches close to the case lugs which add a highly sophisticated tailored touch.

The eleven pieces in the Tonda 1950 colette Special Edition are the expression of a mutually beneficial dialogue between the arts and the crafts. They convey a freedom of artistic expression and haute couture’s own spirit of individualization – truly Parisian values.

The Atelier du Bracelet Parisien, known by its acronym “ABP”, is located a short hop from Colette Paris, in the Place du Marché Saint-Honoré. This firm of artisans is dedicated to the manufacture of straps for high-end watches which are rare, unique, original and custom-made to match a timepiece or its wearer. The customization of the strap, sometimes taken to the extreme, is the company’s unique selling point, using tanning processes, colors and skins to create a limitless choice. Whether this leather is exotic – such as buffalo, toad or beaver tail – or truly original – for example, leather from a basketball or cut from a pair of baseball gloves – each ABP strap is designed to ensure the timepiece stands out and is enhanced with real added value.

The Tonda 1950

Launched in 2011, the Tonda 1950 family is the stylistic essence of Parmigiani Fleurier in that it displays the brand’s signature codes, and nothing else. The thin, slender profile with the two emblematic lugs; the cut round crown; the delta-shaped hands.

Its ultra-thin automatic movement is just 30 mm in diameter (13 1Ž4 lignes) and 2.6 mm thick, dimensions which are so compact, in other words, that numerous aesthetic, and even mechanical, variations have since been made (gem-set Tonda 1950; Tonda 1950 Tourbillon) virtually without any changes to the case’s fine profile. In its original form, its dimensions were barely 7.80 mm thick and 39 mm in diameter. With an autonomy of 42 hours, the movement has an off-centre micro-oscillating weight in platinum 950 to guarantee its inertia. Indicating the hours, minutes and small seconds, the graphite or white grained dial displays its twelve time zone indices with understated grace. The principle behind its sophistication? A fundamental beauty, both feminine and timeless.

The movement offers the finest Haute Horlogerie finishes you would expect from Parmigiani Fleurier, and ones which very few brands would apply to such a mechanism. The nickel silver main plate is sand-blasted, circular-grained and then rhodium-plated. The bridges are sandblasted, drawn out or “Côte de Genève” decorated, then bevelled by hand and, finally, rhodium-plated. Also note the attractive finish of each wheel, bevelled, sunk, circular-grained on both faces, then gilded before cutting.

The high standard of finish on each component is the result of a unique dovetailing of the different centers of competence that make up the Parmigiani Fleurier Manufacture (The Foundation Watchmaking Manufactures), ensuring that each calibre produced is of the very highest quality. The movement and the entire exterior of the Tonda 1950 are created entirely in-house, right down to the dial indices.

More Watch Collector

Comments