A Perfect Ellipse: The Ovale Pantographe by Parmigiani Fleurier

Written by Lindsey K. Cook

The perfect oval shape of Parmigiani Fleurier’s newest piece presents a great setting for a fascinating complication, and a beautiful piece of watchmaking craftsmanship.  The Pantographe is the star of the three watch collection dubbed Ovale, and it’s clear why.

Two telescopic hands follow the contours of this elliptical shaped watch case.  Extending and shortening with the curves of the ellipse, the movement of the hands is determined by a cam at the center, calculating the necessary length that displays the correct time while never allowing the minute hand to be shorter than the hour hand.  The accordion-like look of the arms is highlighted by a shimmering blue, achieved when heated to over 550 degrees Celsius.

After a year of testing at the Lausanne institute of technology, the watchmakers of Parmigiani Fleurier achieved the accuracy they desired.  Assembling the hands was then a matter of such precision that it was necessary to do by hand.  The back and forth slide of the segments required a balance at each crossover of the titanium, but after extensive testing, smooth movement was achieved.

There is of course no need to overlook the inner mechanism in fascination at the outer complexity.  As the oldest movement created by Parmigiani Fleurier, the calibre PF110 still remains one of the brand’s finest.  Adding the retracting hand module to that classic created a new movement called the PF111.  This combined pantograph with manual movement results in a power reserve of 8 days.  Whimsical numerals mark each quarter of the watch.  At 6 o’clock is the date aperture and the power reserve is shown at 12 o’clock.

You can find this exquisite timepiece in 18-karat rose or white gold versions of the Ovale Pantographe, each polished to gleam to its full 45mm.  The top and back of the case is shielded by sapphire crystal for every 21,600 of its vibrations per hour.  Resting on a blue leather strap, no other watch is as unique and appealing as the Ovale Pantographe from Parmigiani Fleurier.

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