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Parmigiani Fleurier Presents The New Kalpa Collection

November 28, 2018
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Parmigiani Fleurier Presents The New Kalpa Collection

Why was this watch shape chosen, and how was it conceived? It’s really very simple. I set out with the ambition to create a watch that was comfortable and ergonomic for all wrists, given how much their anatomy varies, as well as that of the wearers. I wanted to create a piece whose dimensions were as universal as possible. I was also keen that the watch should be felt comfortably when the opposite hand was placed on the wrist. He suddenly claps his right hand onto his left wrist, which sports a Kalpa. His face breaks into a big smile. You see?  You can hardly feel the watch, yet it’s most certainly there! It blends with my wrist, from the crystal to the strap, and with each tiny movement of the case. That’s what I wanted to achieve when I created the Kalpa. A watch in perfect balance with the optimal weighted average of the human wrist. He releases his grip on the watch, but his smile never wavers.

So?I?produced?a?prototype?watch?profile?from?cardboard?and had those around me try it on to establish this aver- age. My family, my colleagues and all the collaborators at what was then a small manufacture got involved. When I went into the workshop, I would say « look, I’ve got some- thing for you to try, give me your wrist – what do you think of this shape?  Through empirical experimentation, the ideal dimensions slowly became evident, as well as the angle for orienting the lugs and a ratio of harmonious proportions.

I?began?to?sketch?the?Kalpa?in?profile,?following the curve of the wrist and, for several weeks, I worked only?on?the?profile. The?surface?of?the?watch?with?its?tonneau shape came next – or, rather, it imposed itself as a logical?consequence?of?the?profile. The?guiding?principle?was  no  straight  lines,  no  sharp  angles  –  just  like  the wrist  itself. The central theme of the design was the geometric?curve?that?defines?the?domed?surface?of?the?sapphire and the gentle, shallow angles of the middle.

I’m neither a mathematician nor a geometer of the anatomy;  I  am  a  pragmatic  watchmaker  whose  tools,  at  the time, were a certain feel for natural harmony and, more importantly, the wrists of enthusiastic colleagues keen to be involved. That was my starting point. The Kalpa adventure  began  on  an  empirical  note;  ergonomics  were  my only  concern;  my  passion  for  the  job  took  care  of  the rest. – Michel Parmigiani

 

2018, Year Of The Kalpa – A Shape in a Shape

In  2018,  20  years  after  the  creation  of  the  first  shaped movement that powered the Kalpa’s ancestor, the iconic tonneau shaped family once again took center stage; a new  generation  of  Kalpas  boasting  100%  manufacture-made complications, and featuring tonneau shaped movements perfectly adapted to their cases. This form within a form expressed Michel Parmigiani’s cherished desire to achieve complete harmony within the watch: between the movement and the case; between the concealed and the visible.

When you consider the horological masterpieces of the past, you never find any discordance between a movement and its case. You never see a round movement in a tonneau shaped case.  In  the  days  of  our  watchmaking forefathers,  the  shapes  were  in  harmony  because  the elements  of  the  watch  were  produced  simultaneously. Each case was produced to order to accommodate the components inside it. As a restorer, one quickly realizes that the movement is the guiding force dictating the shape, and that this harmony in the design is the key to achieving an excellence sure to stand the test of time. – Michel Parmigiani

 

The year of the Kalpa in four watches – The quintessence of time measurement

The Kalpa collection followed on from the first watch movement created by Michel Parmigiani in 1998: the tonneau shaped caliber PF110. Twenty years later, the design of this movement is still just as impressive. Indicating the hours, minutes, small seconds, date and power reserve – the quintessence of  time  measurement  –  it  powers  the  new  hand-wound  Kalpa  Hebdomadaire. Now available as a self-winding caliber, the new PF442 was awarded Fleurier  Quality  Certification  after  undergoing  a  strict  testing  regime  to certify its reliability and craftsmanship.

Kalpa Hebdomadai

The new Kalpa Hebdomadaire is a piece that honours the history of the Kalpa and the brand’s first movement, which was tonneau-shaped. Developed by Michel Parmigiani in 1998 and honored with an innovation award the following year, the hand-wound caliber PF110 is characterised by its impressive eight-day power reserve, made possible by the two series-mounted barrels. This remark- ably symbolic Haute Horlogerie caliber features hour and minute functions, small seconds at 6 o’clock, a date dis- play and a weekly power reserve indicator.

In keeping with the other new-generation Kalpa watches, the refined design features of its mechanism – Côtes de Genève pattern,  beveled  bridges  and  circular-graining  –  are exposed  through  a  sapphire  case-back,  with  the  wide tonneau opening revealing its seamless integration with the case. Oscillating at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3 Hz), this signature shaped movement is housed within a case that is no less iconic itself, crafted in 18ct rose gold and entirely hand-polished.

As the face of the collection, the rich black dial delivers on many different levels, with an opaline finish in the center and on the power reserve scale, as well as a hand-worked braid-effect guilloché detail on the flange. Equally distinctive are the luminescent Delta-shaped hands pointing to hand-applied faceted indices with a luminescent coating  and  the  minute  track  in  the  center,  while  the instantaneous  date  display  at  12  o’clock  houses  the famous bright red 1 numeral.

The new Kalpa Hebdomadaire  is  water-resistant  to  30  meters  and  attractively proportioned  (42.3  x  32.1  mm),  fastening  neatly  on  the wrist with its Hermès black alligator strap with a rose gold folding buckle, for unparalleled comfort and style.

 

Kalpa Qualité Fleurier

Its name contains a promise – that of proven technical and aesthetic excellence. The Kalpa Qualité Fleurier has fulfilled the five strictest and most comprehensive certi- fication   criteria   in   watchmaking*,   attesting   to   its uncompromising reliability and craftsmanship. It is equipped with the new self-winding caliber PF442, which features hour, minute and central second’s indications, as well as the date at 12 o’clock. This movement houses a series-mounted double-barrel that guarantees a better distribution of energy within the caliber and increases its power reserve to 60 hours. Each component meets Haute Horlogerie standards in terms of its finish, and the bridges are decorated with a crossed Côtes de Genève pattern whose complexity reflects the rigor of Fleurier Quality certification.

The case in 18 carat red gold marks a departure from the brand’s customary rose gold. The black dial features an opaline and hand-guilloché decoration around its edge with a braid-effect pattern. The Kalpa Qualité Fleurier is distinguished by its elegant simplicity, with no detail left to chance.

 

The year of the Kalpa in four watches – A new integrated shaped chronograph

The ability to produce an integrated chronograph on an industrial scale is the Holy Grail for a successful watch manufacture.  In 2016, Parmigiani Fleurier achieved it for the first time on a round watch: the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire. In  2018,  the  brand  produced  this  complication  on  a  shaped  movement,  thus celebrating the 20th  anniversary of the brand’s first movement that led to the creation of the Kalpa family.

 

Kalpa Chronor

This is the highlight of the new generation Kalpa. The Kalpa Chronor  houses  the  world’s  first  solid  gold  integrated  self-winding  chronograph  movement.  This tonneau watch in hand-polished 18ct rose gold measures 48.2  x  40.4  mm  and  houses  an  exceptional  mechanism that  has  been  developed  and manufactured  entirely in-house over six years.

The COSC-certified calibre PF365 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 approximately 65 hours, this Haute Horlogerie movement equipped with a column wheel and vertical clutch – hallmarks of precision and user comfort – is distinctive for its prestigious 18ct gold construction. Malleable and particularly difficult to work, this material underlines the rare skill and expertise employed in the movement’s design, including the skeleton work on its bridges and its decoration.

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 seconds and chronograph functions with a tachymeter and date window. At the back, a wide tonneau opening with a sapphire crystal at the top show- cases this new shaped movement, wound by an oscillating weight in 22ct gold that features a barley grain guilloché motif. The 18ct gold bipartite dial in black is elegantly finished with an opaline center, hand worked braid-effect guilloché detail on the flange, and snailed counters.

The counters have been enlarged and positioned slightly above the center 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 18ct rose gold faceted indices, which also have a luminescent coating and match the folding buckle on the Hermès black alligator strap. It is an exceptional timepiece, produced as a series of 50 numbered pieces.

 

Kalpagraphe Chronomètre

The stylish masculinity of this Haute Horlogerie watch lies in the form of one of the most popular horological complications:  the chronograph.  It  is  powered  by  a  new shaped  movement  bearing  the  hallmarks  of  Parmigiani Fleurier – the calibre PF362, a COSC-certified, self-winding, integrated chronograph offering hour, minute, small seconds and chronograph functions as well as a tachymeter scale and date display, with a 65-hour power reserve. Entirely developed and manufactured in-house over a period of six years, this calibre works at a frequency of 36,000  vibrations  per  hour  (5  Hz)  and  demonstrates  an accuracy of one tenth of a second; it also features a column  wheel  and  vertical  clutch  to  ensure  accuracy  and user comfort.

In addition, its variable-inertia balance is secured by a bridge which provides strength and stability against shocks. Seamlessly integrated with the hand-polished 48.2 x 40.4 mm tonneau case, water-resistant to 30 meters, this advanced mechanism reveals its elegant finishes through the sapphire case-back, along with the 22ct gold oscillating weight and its barley grain guilloché motif. As for the display, the dial is divided into different levels and features a blue center treated with PVD with an opaline finish, a radial guilloche 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.

The lumi-nescent Delta-shaped hands, the counters placed slightly off center,  and  the  rounded  date  indicator  containing three  numerals  come  together  to  form  this  balanced, easily  readable  display. The finishing touch is a black alligator strap with a rose gold folding buck.

 

 

 

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