The Parmigiani Fleurier Centum Perpetual Calendar Openworked Graphite is an open-dial version of Parmigiani’s existing Centum Perpetual Calendar. This isn’t an openworked watch in the traditional sense of that term – openworking, or skeletonizing, is the removal of material from the movement of a watch in order to create a sense of transparency. Like this. The Centum Perpetual Openworked, on the other hand, has a transparent, tinted dial that lets you see some of the mechanisms driving the perpetual calendar as well as the moonphase disk.
Parmigiani Fleurier Centum Perpetual Calendar Openworked Graphite: a cooler take on the original Centum Perpetual.
The original version of the Centum Perpetual is mechanically identical to this watch, and, the Tonda case, streamlined lugs, and Geneva (Fleurier) striped dial notwithstanding, it comes across as a quite traditional implementation of a perpetual calendar. The retrograde date indication and double moonphase are well integrated into the overall design and it’s a pleasantly harmonious, technically interesting wristwatch.
The original version of the Tonda Centum Perpetual Calendar.
The Openworked version on the other hand is quite a bit more overtly visually engaging and has a cooler, rather more modern vibe than the original, it’s being offered only in white gold, in a 42mm x 11.15mm case, and the palette of greys, pale blues, and blacks gives it a visual clarity that plays well against the traditionalist feel of a perpetual calendar complication. Interestingly enough, despite the fact that you can see so many of the perpetual calendar components, the Openworked doesn’t seem visually cluttered at all in comparison with the existing model; the blue tint given to the dial as well as the close range of colors does a lot to keep all the visual elements well integrated.
As with the original Centum, all the other indications are framed by the retrograde date display. The moonphase is accurate to one day’s deviation in 122 years (a conventional moonphase, driven by a 59-toothed disk, is off by one day every 31.5 months. High accuracy moonphase disks have become more or less de rigueur for haute horlogerie watches, whether perpetual calendars or otherwise and given the fact that a perpetual calendar is all about closing the gap between actual astronomical orbital ratios and their mechanical models, it’s a great thing to have.
The degree of saturation of color in the translucent dial works quite well too; it’s light enough that you get a clear look at the perpetual calendar works, but dark enough that critical info really pops, and you get a very nice, subtle-but-definite depth effect as well.
Dial color and design gives you a great depth effect as well as good legibility.
Looking closely, you can see the perpetual calendar mechanisms and the finishing on the movement too.
The movement is Parmigiani’s in-house caliber PF333, running in 32 jewels at 28,800 vph, with a 50-hour power reserve courtesy of two in-series mainspring barrels. For a perpetual calendar, a longer power reserve is always a bit of a plus as it helps ensure that if the watch is off the wrist for a day or two, chances are you’ll be spared the trouble of re-setting it (though it’s likely that clients for the Centum Openworked will have the watch on a winder in any case). Movement finish is, as is usually the case for Parmigiani’s haute horlogerie offerings, very solid if not at quite the operatic level of, say, A. Lange & Söhne.
Caliber PF333 offers a 50-hour power reserve – a long power reserve is always a plus in a perpetual calendar.
The caliber is automatic and wound by the solid gold rotor.
On the wrist there are no surprises; it’s comfortable and elegant and while you might think at first it’d come across a little flashy, the slightly technical flavor (courtesy the translucent dial, as well as the use of white metal) makes the Centum Perpetual Openworked a little stealthier than you might expect and as well, a watch with a versatile enough feel that you can dress up or down around it, more or less as you see fit. A very nice addition to the Tonda lineup and an interesting case study on controlling light, sense of depth, and color in watch design.
Teardrop lugs and an aerodynamic profile: signature elements of the Tonda family.
On the wrist, the watch wears nicely and has a cool look that’s very different from that of the original Tonda Centum Perpetual Calendar.
The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Centum Perpetual Calendar Openworked Graphite: case, white gold, 42mm x 11.15mm, 30m water resistant with sapphire crystals front and back. Dial, blue sapphire; graphite retrograde date ring; rodium plated indexes. Movement, Parmigiani caliber PF333, self-winding perpetual calendar; 122 year double moonphase; retrograde date; 30mm x 5.5mm with 50-hour power reserve. Price, $75,000. See the Tonda collection at parmigiani.ch.