One of the major themes at the watch fair SIHH 2015 was astronomy, the moon, and the earth seen from space. Two new watches made using a special material arriving from space were presented, pieces with meteorite dials. One was by Jaeger-LeCoultre, the other by Parmigiani Fleurier. The material consists of meteorite, and so these watches contain stuff as old as the solar system itself, around about 4 billion years.
The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Special Edition Meteorite is in two versions, Abyss Blue or black, created by treating the thin slices of meteorite. In fact this substance has to be acid-treated to reveal its crystalline structure. The watch has a titanium case that houses the ultra-thin automatic PF 701 movement with 145 components, just 2.6 mm thick. Why then is the case 7.8 mm thick? Because this watch is the first of a series that will have additional complications, all sharing the same 7.8 mm case. The watch is 39 mm in diameter with sapphire caseback, on a black or indigo blue alligator strap. Price €17,500.
The other new products presented at SIHH by Parmigiani Fleurier comprised more versions of the Tonda 1950 family, three watches in the Bugatti collection, and a stunning pocket watch made in cooperation with Lalique.
But there was an immense gap and an unanswered question: no trace of the Parmigiani collaboration with Pomellato that began about 18 months ago. This joint venture produced a few attractive co-branded watches based on the Tonda 1950, and then not a peep. It seemed to be a marriage made in heaven, even though Pomellato is part of the Kering Group and so the choice of Parmigiani, a Richemont brand, instead of another Kering brand such as Girard-Perregaux, was rather surprising. Let’s hope for the best.