Friday, March 4, 2016

Parmigiani Pantograph - An Unusual Complication

The Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe is a rather unique timepiece that I have not seen in any other timepiece.

I truly believe that Parmigiani is an undervalued brand - they do such great timepieces but often overlooked for more illustrious Swiss brands. Their finishing is top notch and most (if not all) houses an in-house movement. With Mr. Michel Parmigiani starting his earlier career in restoration, he has had the opportunity to work on some interesting vintage pieces that have long been forgotten. Enter the Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe.

The first thing that grabs your attention are the hands - telescopic hands! I could not stop staring at the hands of the Pantographe. Unique and perhaps the most complicated to assemble for this timepiece.

As the hands makes its round across the dial, they extend and retract like a pantograph which was an instrument which allows the user to scale up (usually) maps and drawings.

The lacquered white dial is beautifully finished as one would expect from Manufacturer Parmigiani.

On the movement size, the in-house calibre PF111 is perhaps a derivative of the PF110 found in the Kalpa XL Hebdomadaire which I had written about earlier. As with the Hebdomadaire, the timepiece comes with an impressive 8 days of power reserve and the indicator is at the top of the dial. Hebdomadaire means a week in French.

I am always impressed by the finishing of the movement on Parmigiani's timepieces regardless of the range,

When one takes a look at the hands again, it is truly impressive how they manufactured the hands and the cams that hold the extending hands together. Some feat in micro-engineering.

The thing with the Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe is that it looks simple - but nothing about the pantograph mechanism is simple. It is anything but... That's where the beauty is - a simple complication.

Many thanks to a friend who loaned me the timepiece for this article. A gem of a timepiece and a rather unusual one at that. Kudos to the guys in Fleurier.