The Kalpa watch has been a symbol of Parmigiani Fleurier since its creation in 2001. The latest version carefully reinterprets the original design features, and each Kalpa is now fitted exclusively with shaped movements, developed in-house. Its hallmark features – the tonneau case, the teardrop lugs and the understated dial with Delta-shaped hands – are the result of careful consideration of ergonomics, proportions and optimal readability, and come together to form the perfect showcase for these new manufacture calibres. It’s a return to the company’s early days and the first tonneau movement created by founder Michel Parmigiani in 1998, Caliber PF110.
Ahead of the SIHH, the brand has unveiled three initial interpretations of this refresh of both form and content: the Kalpa Chronor, Kalpagraphe Chronomètre and Kalpa Hebdomadaire men’s models. Each of the watches has a previously unseen tonneau movement, manufactured entirely in-house: the calibres PF365 (solid gold), PF362 and PF110. Two have automatic movements with an integrated chronograph, and the third is a hand-wound calibre with an eight-day power reserve, modelled on its 1998 predecessor; all three are COSC-certified.
The inside of the new Kalpa may represent uncharted territory, with the new range of shaped manufacture movements, but the outside, too, is on the same trail. Thus, every aspect of its trademark design has been meticulously revisited – taking great care not to compromise the original harmony of the proportions and design features – to introduce a touch of modernity while at the same time respecting its identity and authenticity. The tonneau case, known for its ergonomic design that sits perfectly on the wrist, has had its outline and curves reworked. The lines are tautened and contemporary, and now include a slight concavity which add character and dynamism to the overall appearance. The teardrop lugs have also been resized and realigned, to achieve a more perfect fit with the case. The crown has been enlarged and more of the tonneau opening is visible – particularly at the back, where the movement can be seen, seamlessly integrated with the case, as can the 22 ct gold oscillating weight (in self-winding models), adorned with Parmigiani Fleurier’s signature barley grain motif.
Moving on to the display, balance and readability are the order of the day with a face that is both understated and refined. Every detail of the dial has been conceived with elegance and clarity in mind, with different levels of surfaces and finishes, alternating between guilloché, snailing and opaline work punctuated with hand-applied faceted indices. The guilloché work blends perfectly with the design of the movement and oscillating weight. One of the key distinguishing features of the watch face is the delta-shaped hands, which have been resized and given a luminescent coating. To further increase the readability of the functions, the date window has been moved away from the small second display and placed at the top of the dial.
Kalpa Chronor © Parmigiani
The new Kalpa Chronor features the world’s first solid-gold, self-winding, integrated chronograph movement. This tonneau watch is water-resistant to 30 metres and made of hand-polished 18 ct rose gold. It measures 48.2 x 40.4 mm and houses an exceptional mechanism that has been developed and manufactured entirely in-house. The COSC-certified calibre PF365 is the result of six years’ development, and oscillates at the high frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour (5 Hz) to achieve a reading accuracy of one tenth of a second. With a power reserve of around 65 hours, this Haute Horlogerie movement includes a column wheel and vertical clutch as well as offering precision gauges and user comfort, and is set apart by its luxury composition using 18 ct gold. It also features a variable-inertia balance, held in place by a cross-through bridge, for improved stability and shock resistance.
In terms of the dial, the calibre PF365 provides hour, minute, small second and chronograph functions with a tachymeter and date window. At the back, it reveals an oscillating weight in 22 ct gold that features a barley grain guilloché motif. The 18 ct gold bipartite dial in black is elegantly finished with an opaline centre, hand-worked braid-effect guilloché detail on the flange, and snailed counters. The counters have been enlarged and positioned slightly above the centre point, offering easier readability, while the rounded date window with its gold outline at 12 o’clock reveals below it a disc with white numerals and a gold powder finish for the ‘1’. The luminescent Delta hands point to hand-applied 18 ct rose gold faceted indices, which also have a luminescent coating and match the folding buckle on the Hermès black alligator strap.
The Kalpa Chronor is produced as a series of 50 numbered pieces.
Price: 85,000 CHF
Calibre PF365 © Parmigiani
The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Galaxy Gold Bracelet and also the Tonda Métropolitaine Selene would be the newest unofficial (maybe official at some stage) “his and hers” apparel watch offerings from the brand. Interestingly enough, pricing is considerably lower compared to the previously released Tonda 1950 Galaxy Set.To produce these stunning and statement-making dials, Parmigiani Fleurier use a technique that requires dropping “Aventurine,” which is a hybrid copper and glass material, into the midnight blue dial creating what seems like celebrities — consequently, “Galaxy.” Personally, I find this decoration interesting with an almost poetic allure, and I’m excited to see these extra models brandishing the unique technique.If the dial looks familiar, that’s because two decades ago, Parmigiani Fleurier introduced the first Tonda 1950 Galaxy Collection, that arrived on a glossy black leather strap with a gemstone bezeled rose gold case. While the Tonda 1950 Galaxy Gold Bracelet may bear a brand new reference number, it is the exact same watch as before with the star of the series being the new sleek solid rose gold bracelet with folding clasp. While I do not necessarily need to invest too much time delving into the technical aspects of a watch we covered (you can read about it in the link above), the addition of this bracelet gives this view a far more handsome appearance.