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.
 photo Parmigiani Ovale 02_zpst0yrz0ul.jpg

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.
 photo Parmigiani Ovale 05_zpsg5ygtvec.jpg

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.
 photo Parmigiani Ovale 06_zpsezux9pjj.jpg

The lacquered white dial is beautifully finished as one would expect from Manufacturer Parmigiani.
 photo Parmigiani Ovale 03_zpskicdbco1.jpg

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.
 photo Parmigiani Ovale 12_zpsgrqtsbar.jpg

I am always impressed by the finishing of the movement on Parmigiani's timepieces regardless of the range,
 photo Parmigiani Ovale 09_zpslogech7z.jpg

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.
 photo Parmigiani Ovale 07_zpsbtvkflem.jpg

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.
 photo Parmigiani Ovale 04_zpslryaqtza.jpg
 photo Parmigiani Ovale 01_zps348rc9p4.jpg

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.