This is a 33mm watch by Parmigiani Fleurier with the favourite and most poetic complication for women, the moon phase. The poetry is combined with a mother-of-pearl dial, and by a lot of technical content, with a new in-house movement. At prices starting from 12,300 Swiss francs, this a piece offering good value.
Michel Parmigiani’s watches all have an exquisite balance that derives from his application of the Golden Mean, in his hallmark design of the lugs, but also in the proportion between the different parts of the dial, the length of the hands and so forth. In this piece, the hour markers mirror the shape of the hands, on a dial generated by superposed circles. At the top, the moon phase; below, continuous seconds and date; underneath, a circular lotus design in mother-of-pearl marquetry. This is framed by a narrow bezel that is either smooth or gemset with 72 diamonds (0.51 carats).
The moon is a reddish colour, the colour that you very occasionally see when a full moon is low on a horizon or moving towards an eclipse. It also has a cratered appearance created by a complex craft process.
The lotus is a logical emblem to include on a moon phase watch because it opens at night. The design is created in lacy mother-of-pearl, in two layers, a satin-finish base and a gloss-finish upper layer with the lotus design. Each layer is just 0.2 mm thick, it’s astounding how they accomplish it. The dial is in two colour versions, one entirely in white mother-of-pearl, and one with a base in dark blue and the lotus pattern in a slightly lighter shade.
Case and strap
The watch has a case 33.2 mm in diameter and 9.6 mm thick, in steel, water resistance 30 metres. The sapphire caseback reveals the automatic movement. The watch has a strap in pearl-white calfskin with ardillon buckle, or a polished steel bracelet with folding clasp.
The moon phase is of the classical design with two moons waxing and waning behind two semicircular screens. A pusher at 9 o’clock allows the owner to adjust the moon phase.
The watch is powered by the new PF318 automatic movement, which runs at 4 Hertz (28,800 vibrations per hour) and has a power reserve of 50 hours. It is a development of the existing PF310 calibre (shown in the image below) to which the moon phase mechanism has been added.
The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Métropolitaine Sélène starts at 12,300 Swiss francs.