Wood veneer dials…
Last month at SIHH Parmigiani Fleurier had on display three new musical themed timepieces featuring marquetry dials. One of the pieces was a clock; the other two, wristwatch tributes to the cradles of rock n’ roll. I am a big fan of marquetry, which is a basically the assembly of many small, thin pieces of wood (aka veneer) to form a design or decorative pattern. It is an art form dating back to the 16th century. This year, Parmigiani Fleurier created two Tonda Tourbillons with marquetry dials — the USA “Woodstock” and the UK “Wooodrock”. We’ll take a closer look, below.
Parmigiani Tonda Woodstock Tourbillon
42mm rose gold case (11.5mm thick), manual wind Parmigiani Caliber 510 with power reserve and tourbillon, Hermes alligator leather strap
The dial has more than fifty pieces of dyed wood in it. And as is the case with properly done marquetry, the precision cutting and assembly of each pieces results in a seamless image.
Parmigiani Tonda Woodrock Tourbillon
42mm platinum case (11.5mm thick), manual wind Parmigiani Caliber 510 with power reserve and tourbillon, Hermes alligator leather strap
If you look closely, you can also see that the image of the guitar is carried through to the case — an amazing bit of detail and design:
Materials other than wood are sometimes used, for example straw marquetry, as recently seen on a duo of pieces done by Hermes last year.
The Art of Marquetry