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Review: Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe Guilloche Barley Grain Dial

Telescopic hands
by Chester Lau on June 17, 2017
Positives

Lovely design and execution of the timepiece, from case to movement, in terms of quality of finish and technical prowess. An 8 days movement packed in a relatively compact movement is sufficiently noteworthy.

Negatives

The price. $85000, for the same Parmigiani with seemingly small upgrades from the previous model may come as a pill too large to swallow for many.

Parmigiani Fleurier released the latest Ovale Pantographe with a new dial at SIHH 2017. Similar in shape and movement, the watch is essentially the same as its predecessor, apart from the new facial upgrade. The new Ovale is available with a guilloche dial and gold movement.

 

The new Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe 2017.

 

Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe Guilloche Barley Grain Dial

The Case

Its case measures 37.3 mm wide and 12.5 mm thick.

 

The case for the new Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe 2017 limited-edition watches is available in either 18k white or 18k rose gold. The distinctive case design bears the iconic lugs design that pragmatically extends from the case, while keeping the distance from the strap to the case small. The watch measures 37.3mm wide by 45mm tall and 12.5mm thick and is water resistant to 30 meters.

The Dial and Hands

The dial features a stamped guilloche pattern with black applied indices.

 

For starters, the most obvious difference lies in the dial. The new Guilloche style dial is as its name suggests a Guilloche patterned dial, as opposed to the previous lacquered dial. The hour markers are also in a different shade, with applied indices. While the previous edition released in 2013 had blue hour markers and hands, the new 2017 edition Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe uses a more subtle black. The real course of debate with the watch lies in the methods used to make the guilloche dial. While we were hoping that the dial was made from a rose engine, as it turns out it is in fact a stamped dial. Contrary to popular knowledge, there is in fact greater value in a machine engraved dial rather than a stamped dial, given the craft involved in creating the machine. Think Audemars Piguet’s tapisserie dial or a more relative Breguet guilloche.

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The previous limited edition in white lacquered dial, with printed numerals and markers.

 

The hands remain the same as the earlier version, which telescopes to trace an oval with its outer ends. Each hand is made from titanium to a tolerance of less than 4 microns. And flame blued. The hands are very thin and light, and very fragile, and thus have to be assembled by hand. Both the hour and minute hands are each made of six pieces which are held together by six rivets. The specific shape of the pieces allow the hands to expand and contract.

The design is taken from a pocket watch made by Jardon & Stedmann in about early 1800. The watch was restored by the Parmigiani Restoration department and Michel Parmigiani got the idea to make a watch using this concept.

 

Side by side with the previous limited edition with a lacquered white dial and blue hands and printed indices.

The Movement

The movement in full gold, and some say improved finishing quality.

 

The Parmigiani Fleurier Ovale Pantographe uses the PF111 movement; but this time upgraded to full gold. Noticeably, the movement shares a higher finesse in finishing, with more traditional Geneve stripes and has an overall softer touch, almost artisanal quality to it. Perhaps in part due to the warmth in the material used for the movement plates. While aesthetically different, the movement is identical to its predecessor in terms of function.

 

The movement bears hallmarks of fine finishing, with angling, traditional geneve stripes and perlage on the lower plates.

 

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Movement finishing, as is apparent in our photographs here is exceptional/ The magnificent and beautifully applied anglage gleams in the light. As does the highly polished counter-sinks which hold the chatons for the jewels. Also notable are the beautiful curves with sharp angles of the bridges.

 

The predecessor with the regular alloy plates.

 

Concluding Thoughts

The Parmigiani Ovale is in a class of its own, in a world of intrepid avant garde designs. Unique and almost exclusive in a sense of the word, the Parmigiani Ovale should be applauded for its interpretation of a classic design, but with a twist so unique to the brand. From its case to the movement, the execution of the piece is top-notch, especially when we account for an overall unwillingness in the watch world to invest in non-round movements. The signature teardrop-style lugs and oval shape makes the watch an icon in its category, and unique in its own right. The 2017 Parmigiani Pantographe “Guilloche” Barley Grain Dial And Gold Movement watch is a limited edition of 50 pieces with a price of US $85,000.

 

 

An iconic piece from the brand, from the lugs to the hands, and the rarity of 18 k gold movements. However, at the price, competition is truly steep with the likes of other A-list brands, like Vacheron Constantin, A Lange & Söhne and Patek Phillipe to name a few, though none offer the pantographe’s extendable hands. Concerns of a failing resale market for the brand may also be a large deterrence.

 

Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe Guilloche Barley Grain Dial Technical Specifications

 

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