Parmigiani Fleurier has hailed 2018 “The Year of the Kalpa”, celebrating the first tonneau-shaped watch created by founder Michel Parmigiani in 1998. The two-decade journey of this model began with the birth of the watchmaker’s first in-house wristwatch movement, the calibre PF110, which gave the design the distinctive profile. The teardrop-shaped lugs, inspired by the golden spiral in geometry, were created to achieve an ergonomical form. The watch was also a pioneer at the time on the technological front with its power reserve indicator, eight-day power reserve and the double barrel for regularity.
At SIHH 2018, the Kalpa is given three models with three new COSC-certified mechanisms. Overall, the new Kalpa has been given a more modern look.
The tonneau case features a contemporary look with tautened lines and a slight concavity that adds dynamism to the overall appearance, with the teardrop lugs resized and realigned correspondingly. “The lugs are a central feature of the ergonomics of wearing and we’ve adjusted their shape and orientation in the 2018 Kalpa so that they are just right to fit the watch head on the wrist snugly,” says founder Michel Parmigiani. The crown has also been enlarged. At the back, the movement – with guilloché parts and adorned with Parmigiani Fleurier’s signature barley grain motif – is on full display through the sapphire glass window. Guilloché is also applied to the dial, alongside an opaline centre and snailed counters.
Notable, too are the delta-shaped hands which are resized and with a luminescent coating. For improved readability, the date window has been moved from the small seconds display to the top of the dial, in an arch shape, to reveal three numerals. On the first day of the month, the “1” is revealed in either a bright red or a gold powder finish, depending on the model.
The Kalpa Chronor, limited to 50 pieces, measures 48.2mm x 40.4mm and features the world’s first solid gold, self-winding, integrated chronograph movement, providing hour, minute, small second and chronograph functions with a tachymeter and date window. Water-resistant to 30 metres and made of hand-polished 18ct rose gold, this timepiece’s calibre PF365 took six years to develop and oscillates at the high frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour for a reading accuracy of one-tenth of a second.
5 tourbillons that stole the spotlight at this year’s SIHH The Kalpagraphe Chronomètre, in the same size as Chronor, is a stylistically masculine watch with the dial featuring an Abyss blue centre treated with PVD with an opaline finish; a radial guilloché-worked flange punctuated with hand-applied faceted indices; two snailed counters enclosed within a fine gold edging; an angled tachymeter scale; a semi-instantaneous date window, and a small seconds sector with its own hand. Its calibre PF362 matches the functionality of the PF365.
The Kalpa Hebdomadaire pays tribute to the collection’s very first piece, with the calibre PF110 housed in an 18ct rose gold case to offer an eight-day power reserve, made possible by the two series-mounted barrels. But in keeping with the other new Kalpa watches, this nostalgic model is reinvented with a sapphire caseback and wide tonneau opening.
This year is also the 10th anniversary of Parmigiani Fleurier’s Kalparisma, its first mechanical collection for women, and the brand is launching Kalparisma Nova Galaxy as a celebration. One of the most distinct features is the “starry” dial, made from aventurine glass that was famously created by accident in the 19th century, when a Murano glass-blower spilled copper shavings into molten glass.
In line with the celestial theme, the small seconds at 6 o’clock takes the form of a star to perform one revolution per minute. The concept of “Nova” came to the mind of Michel Parmigiani when a piece from the Maurice-Yves Sandoz collection was given to the Parmigiani Fleurier workshops for restoration.
On the reverse of this pocket watch, a number of stars would turn as the minute repeater
This new model is available in either in a rose gold case set with 46 Top Wesselton diamonds around its edge for a total of 0.84ct, or a white gold version with a dazzling “snow” setting consisting 182 stones totalling 2.28ct.
The former is limited to 50 pieces while the latter is limited to only eight.