Monochrome Monday: Reviewing the Parmigiani Tonda Metrographe

Parmigiani is a relatively new name breitling replica sale for men in the world of high-end timepieces. The brand has remained a niche player for its first 18 years, and has focused exclusively on the absolute top end of haute horlogerie. Just think of Parmigiani’s Bugatti watches, its minute repeaters and the recently introduced skeleton version of one of our favorite dress watches on the market, the Tonda 1950 Squelette. Today, we at Monochrome Watchestake a closer look at the Parmigiani Tonda Metrographe, introduced last year.

Parmigiani’s Tonda collection comprises watches with round cases, something that might be more or less standard for most brands out there, but not so for Parmigiani. The Tonda 1950 won our hearts because of its quirkiness, with its rather unusual, outsize lugs. Similar design cues can be found in the Bugatti Aerolithe and Tonda Metrographe – the latter of which we had the pleasure to wear for a week.

The design is a mix of classic design codes and some quirky ingredients. The recognizable Parmigiani lugs – which I happen to like a lot, but I can imagine these could be described as “polarizing” – are there, and there’s a green, luminescent figure “8” formed by the two round subdials that are the chronograph registers. The luminescent material used for these two circles is green, instead of the white luminescent material that is used on the regular hours markers and hands. It looks great, and the green eight immediately catches the attention. There are two other dial versions: one in mint green with only white luminescent material, and one in grained white with only luminescent hands (no luminescent material on the hour markers and no “8”).

The green, luminescent “8” is hard to miss. As you would probably expect, it shines brightly during the darker hours — really brightly — which looks very cool. However, it also prevents the wearer from properly reading the time during these darker hours. While either or both hands are moving over the luminescent “8” the hand(s) cannot be distinguished from the very bright subdials in the background, and it makes for one bright “8.” While not very practical, it does give the dial of this particular model an interesting look.

The black dial has applied hour markers, executed in white gold, and filled with white luminescent material. At the 3 o’clock position is the subdial for the small running seconds, and inside the chronograph’s hour totalizer is an aperture for the date. At the 12 o’clock position is the applied brand logo that adorns all dials from Parmigiani Fleurier.

The stainless steel case measures 40 mm in diameter and is roughly 12 mm thick (quite thin for a chronograph). In my opinion, a perfect dimension for the dressy/sporty watch that the Parmigiani Tonda Metrographe actually is, especially this version on the black leather strap. And in case you are wondering, wonder, no, it is not alligator leather, but a calf leather strap made by none other than Hèrmes. The Parmigiani Tonda Metrographe wears very comfortably, and the relatively wide leather  tag heuer replica watches strap adds to its bold and masculine look.Parmigiani Tonda Metrographe - angle

The photo above shows that the sides of the lugs are beautifully mirror-polished and are shaped to follow the curving of the wrist. The photo also shows the first indication that we’re dealing with a chronograph module. This is something to remember: when the crown is lower than the chronograph pushers, that means a chronograph module has been placed on top of the movement. With an integrated chronograph movement, the crown and pushers are aligned.

That brings us to the movement, Caliber PF315, which is a in-house developed and manufactured movement that indicates time and date. This movement has two series-coupled mainspring barrels, which together hold 42 hours of autonomy when fully wound. For the critical reader, this might sound strange. Most movements with a single mainspring offer 42 hours of power reserve, so why does a movement with two main springs, coupled in series, deliver exactly the same? There’s a perfectly good reason for this, and one that testifies that Parmigiani Fleurier is doing a proper job when it comes to high-end watchmaking. It involves constant power and the quest for perfect chronometric rates.

With all mechanical timepieces, there’s a simple rule. The power, coming from the mainspring and going through the gear train to the escapement, has to be as stable as possible to ensure good chronometric rates (and thus close to perfect timing.) Since every spring has more torque when it’s fully loaded, and less torque when the spring is close to being unwound, the power coming from the mainspring varies. To compensate for this variation, a constant-force mechanism is an option. Another option is to use an abundance of potential power (in this case, two coupled mainsprings) and cut of the power supply at the point where the torque drops below certain values. This ensures a relatively stable source of power for the movement, and thus superlative timing.

The movement ticks at a frequency of 28,800 vph (4 Hz), has 46 jewels in total and 351 components (that’s including the Dubois-Dépraz chronograph module). The finishing is beautiful, and all done by hand: côtes de Genève on the bridges, which are also beveled and feature polished angles, perlage on the mainplate. The movement comes from the Vaucher manufacture, which is owned by Parmigiani.Parmigiani Tonda Metrographe caliber CU

Monochrome Monday: Reviewing the iwc replica latest Parmigiani Tonda Metrographe | WatchTime – USA’s No.1 Watch Magazine

A Bit of Brawn: Testing the Bulgari Diagano Ceramic

Bulgari is known for its focus breitling replica eta on design, but the brand’s Diagono Ceramic is durable as well. Alexander Krupp takes a closer look at the watch in a piece from the the WatchTime archives. With images by OK-Photography.

Toughness isn’t the first thing you look for in a brand like Bulgari, which puts high style front and center. That’s why the brand’s sporty Diagono Ceramic is a bit of a surprise: it’s built to withstand all manner of threats, from water, hard knocks and abrasion.Bulgari Diagono Ceramic on the High Seas.

The watch is named for its scratch-resistant ceramic bezel (the Bulgari name is inscribed on it twice, a design feature found on many Bulgari watches). The case is water resistant to 100 meters and fitted with a rubber strap. The caseback and crown screw in to enhance impermeability. Crown protectors shield the crown from blows.

The Diagono Ceramic is easy to operate. Although the crown, which is coated with ceramic, is not large, it is easy to grasp and turn, thanks to its fluting. The chronograph buttons, which are also ceramic, require a bit of force to push down but have grooved surfaces to resist slipping.

The watch is also very comfortable. The swiveling cylindrical lugs, in conjunction with the ergonomically shaped strap, ensure a perfect fit for any wrist.

The Diagono Ceramic does somewhat less well when it comes to legibility. The hour and minutes hands stop way short of their corresponding markers and are difficult to see when they’re on top of the subdials because they are the same color as the subdials’ thick chapter rings. But at night, the luminosity of the hour and minutes hands and the hour markers is strong. The watch is almost easier to read at night than during the day.

Its timekeeping is good. The watch ran two seconds fast per day during the wearing test. The electronic timing machine showed a similar result: +1.5 seconds per day. The manufacturer adjusts the watch in five positions but we tested it in six and detected a fairly large difference among them. The greatest deviation when the chronograph was running was 10 seconds, due primarily to an anomaly in the crown right position. Few watch brands check this position since it seldom occurs in real life other than when the wearer looks at his watch. (The watchmaker who helped us with this test, Martin Thom of Depperich Jewelers in Reutlingen, tag heuer replica watches uk Germany, says all positions are important because they can reveal fine-adjustment problems and because watches kept on watch winders can remain in a particular position for a long time.)

The watch contains the ETA 2894 in its “Top” grade. Unlike a lower-quality “Elaboré” movement, a Top one has a temperature-resistant Glucydur balance (instead of a gold-plated nickel one) and a high-end hairspring. In addition, ETA subjects the movement to a more extensive adjustment process with lower tolerances.

Thom describes the 2894 as technologically advanced, reliable and easily serviceable. And, since it is smaller and thinner than the ETA 7753 (which is also used in watches like this one, with tri-compax displays), it fits in smaller watches, though its smaller dimensions mean reduced reliability.

The Diagono Ceramic’s excellent finishing and overall high-quality appearance justify its price of $8,750, which is in line with other Bulgari products. The watch’s ability to withstand various assaults from the environment is a bonus that will interest many potential buyers.

Manufacturer: Bulgari Horlogerie SA,   Rue de Monruz 34, CH-2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Reference number: DG42BSCVDCH
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph with 30-minute and 12-hour counters, date, hack mechanism
Movement: ETA 2894 “Top,” automatic, 28,800 vph, 37 jewels, Incabloc shock absorber, Etachron fine regulator with  eccentric, Anachron hairspring, power   reserve = 42 hours, diameter = 28.6 mm, height 6.1 mm
Case: Stainless steel, ceramic bezel and chrono pushers, flat sapphire crystal with nonreflective coating, screw-down crown, fully threaded stainless-steel caseback, water resistant to 100 m
Strap and clasp: Natural rubber strap with stainless-steel accents and pronged buckle
Rate results (Deviations in seconds per 24 hours; Chronograph off/on):
Dial up                        0/+2
Dial down                   +1/+2
Crown up                   +5/+5
Crown down              +1/+3
Crown left                  +6/+8
Crown right               -4/-4
Greatest deviation     10/12
Average deviation     +1.5/+2.7
Average amplitude:
Flat positions             298°/284°
Hanging positions    268°/256°
Dimensions: Diameter = 42 mm, height = 10.4 mm, weight = 131 g
Variations: Rose gold ($25,600)
Price: $8,750
SCORES:The buckle is simple but holds the watch securely.
Strap and clasp (max. 10 points): The natural rubber strap has an unusual, ergonomic design. The simple clasp is no match for it.                    8
Operation (5): The screw-down crown could be a bit larger but its fluted surface is ideal. The large pushers demand a bit of force to operate.                        4
Case (10): Perfect finishing, except for some hard-to-reach places between the mid-section and lugs.                         9
Design (15): Compelling sports watch  design with elegant accents.     14
Legibility (5): The center-mounted hands are noticeably short and are difficult to see when they’re above the subdials of the same color.                    3
Wearing comfort (10): Swiveling lugs and a moderately large case make for a very comfortable watch.             10
Movement (20): The “Top” grade of the standard chronograph movement, the ETA 2894, boasts a Glucydur balance, Anachron hairspring and various decorative finishes.         13
Rate results (10): The average deviation is very low, but the difference between the various positions is too high.     6
Value (15): The price is in line with the iwc replica online store high-quality finishing.  12
TOTAL:          79 POINTS