Tonda Woodstock and Woodrock models by Parmigiani Fleurier, which have recently been unveiled at the SIHH 2013 event, are unique timepieces with several admirable traits. As it is clear from the names and the appearances of the watches, they are envisioned as tributes to rock music, as well as to the USA and the UK, the origin countries of the vast majority of legendary rock and roll artists. These one-of-a-kind Tonda timekeepers sport PF 510 caliber with a tourbillon complication and the extended power reserve that lasts for an entire week. For this reason, these watches obviously have a solid horological value. Moreover, the music-themed dials of timepieces by Parmigiani Fleurier are neat examples of the craft of wood marquetry. This demanding and delicate technique utilizes multiple components made of died wood (in this case, about 50 of them) which are perfectly fitted together in order to make the dial appear completely flat and made from a single solid piece.
A Traditional Technique for Highly Decorative Dials
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Woodstock and Woodrock timekeepers are appealing on several different plains, at it has been noted. The first obvious thing that contributes to the exclusivity of the models derives from the fact that they are unique. Furthermore, the rock music-themed watches possess an additional doze of charm since they display the skilful work of the brand’s artisans who mastered the traditional decorative technique of wood marquetry. The decorative technique utilizes pieces of died wood assembled like a puzzle. For example, each of the stars on the American flag from the Woodstock watch is made from individual star-shaped wooden part painted in white. Obviously, the real challenge is to use several tenths of pieces and incorporate them all into a composition which will not only look lovely, but also appear as a perfectly flat surface. It took about ten days to create each of two unique dials which both include around 50 different pieces.
Some of the timekeepers we have previously reviewed are fairly similar to the new Parmigianin Fleurier pair, since they also used traditional decorative techniques and have dials with feathers, straw, golden granules etc.
A Gibson Acoustic Guitar Motif in Colors of the USA and the UK Flags
Clearly, the central decoration of the dial is a guitar in colors of the Union Jack or the Stars and Stripes flags, depending on a model. However, these are not just any guitars, but in fact, it is an acoustic model made by the legendary manufacturer, Gibson – one of the most iconic guitar brands. The entire guitar motif which is an obvious symbol of rock music integrates and spreads to several parts of the watch: the tourbillon carriage, the part of the dial, as well as segments of the bezel.
A look at the dial of the unique pair of timekeepers by Parmigiani Fleurier reveals that the models also have three central hands, spindle-shaped hour markers, and a display for the remaining power reserve which resides at the top of the face. Woodstock Tonda timekeeper has a brown color of wood as the background and, naturally, a guitar which sports the colors of the USA flag. While the name of this model naturally derives from the famous rock festival, the origin of the Brit-rock timepiece dubbed Woodrock is a bit more obscure. This timekeeper depicts the most important musical instrument in the rock genre made in the colors of the Union Jack which is set on a blue wooden background.
Specialized Facilities for the Creation of High-End Dials
Both one-of-a-kind watches by the Swiss brand which was relaunched in the mid-1990s after it had been taken over by the Sandoz Family Foundation (which is a subsidiary of the number two pharmaceutical company in the world – Novartis, the multinational giant with headquarters in Switzerland). After the change in the ownership, Parmigiani Fleurier made several major improvements to the production line of the brand. The last of these which occurred in late 2004 was the most important for the creation of these two specific models, since it was the year when the watchmaker formed Quadrance et Habillage company. This section of the watchmaker is responsible for the making of high-end dials which are, naturally, an important component of timekeepers which like the rest of the parts have to be created in-house so the piece can be considered a manufacture watch. The entire impressive production capacity of the brand nowadays spreads to five separate units and four production sites and brings together 550 qualified workers trained in 50 different crafts.
Hand-Wound Tourbillon Movement with a Week’s Worth Power Storage
On the other hand, the section of the brand behind the creation of the beating hearts of two watches is Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier. (By the way, the workshop for production of high-end movements was not bought, but made from scratch just like the dial manufacture subdivision which it preceded. This marked the turning point in the strategy of the Swiss watchmaker, which was confirmed with the opening of Quadrance et Habillage). Tonda Tourbillon Woodstock and Woodrock are specifically equipped with a PF 510 caliber. The hand-wound movement with the width of 15 lignes and the thickness of 5.55mm features a 30-second tourbillon complication. It is comprised of 237 components and oscillates at the frequency of 3 Hz. Thanks to the two series-coupled barrels, the manually wound movement with 30 jewels has an opulent power reserve that lasts for an entire week. As for the decorations, it sports Cotes de Geneve pattern and hand-bevelled bridges. Unlike the dials of the watches, the movement is not completely unique since it is used in a few other high horology models from the Ronda and Pershing collections by the Swiss brand.
Round 42mm Cases with Polished Finishes
Both models feature round shape cases with the same dimensions. In both instances, the case with the polish finishing has the diameter of 42mm and the thickness measures to 11.5mm. There is also a prominent crown with the width of 7mm. The front side of the watch sports a fixed bezel with Gibson motif engravings, as well as a sapphire crystal, while the back features engravings indicating that these are unique models. The major difference among the models is that Woodstock watch has a case from 18 K, whereas Woodrock timekeeper has a casing made from 950 platinum. The models likewise differ in the color of the attachment, although they have the same type of the wristlet – Hermes alligator strap with a folding buckle (with polished finish). Woodrock sports a black one, while Woodstock has a brown leather strap.