Shining A Light On The New Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Collection
Created in 1996, Parmigiani Fleurier’s manufacture is characterized by its watchmaking excellence and its asserted personality. The 1998 Kalpa had already drawn attention with its Innovation Prize in 1999. In 2018, the collection has been revamped and developed to emphasize its difference, its harmony, and its timelessness.
Kalpa history 1998 - 2018
For information, Kalpa is the cosmological unit of time corresponding to one day in the life of Hindu’s god Brahma equivalent to 4.32 billion years! At this stage, time becomes timeless. This is probably what determined Michel Parmigiani to choose this name for the collection when it was created in 1998. His goal was to create “a watch in perfect balance with the optimal weighted average of the human wrist” and endow it with timeless harmony. The original design started with the profile to embrace the curves of the wrist. Then only came the tonneau shape, as a logical consequence of the profile. The model is all about harmony, balance, and ergonomics. The feat for 2018 is to have succeeded in refining it further.
New Kalpa vs. Old
The lines are tighter, more precise, in particular the case and the lugs. The curves are more subtle, softer as if they have been polished by time or by the never-ending caresses of their happy owners. The lugs, which seem a touch shorter, are more plummeted for optimized comfort. Even the crown feels more elegant with a refined, more ergonomic fluting. With their tonneau-shaped calibers which embrace their respective cases perfectly, the new Kalpa models provide a total feast for the eyes through their sapphire back. The overall impression of harmony emanating from this new collection is all the more emphasized. When the form in the form highlights the real meaning, the true sense of the new Kalpa family.
Four new models
The 2018 collection is enriched with complications 100% made in-house and offers four new models: the Hebdomadaire, the Qualité Fleurier, the Kalpagraphe Chronomètre and the Chronor, a limited series of 50 pieces. The great PF110, an initial tonneau-shaped caliber of 1998, gives life to the Hebdomadaire, in an homage to its glorious past. This manual-winding movement delivers eight days of power reserve thanks to its two series-mounted barrels. It provides perfect legibility of the essential components of timekeeping: hours, minutes, small seconds, a date display and a weekly power reserve indicator.
The PF442 is the automatic version and powers the Qualité Fleurier, which passes the drastic eponymous certification to showcase the technical and esthetically excellence of the manufacture. An entirely new shaped caliber, PF362, equips the Kalpagraphe Chronomètre. It is 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. The collection reaches the summits of Haute Horlogerie with the Kalpa Chronor in which beats the world’s first solid rose gold integrated self-winding chronograph movement. Both movements took six years of R&D to develop.
Hands-on with the Kalpa Hebdomadaire
Ergonomics is the key word here. At all levels. Michel Parmigiani’s quest for the universal proportions to multiply the pleasure to wear takes full meaning with this timepiece. It is an undeniable success! What a joy to wear! No straight lines, no salient or sharp angles. The 42.3 x 32.1 mm case is all delicacy and cambers. Lines curve like so many perfectly proportioned parabolas. Harmony oozes from every ratio. The ultimate balance is as close as it gets. You never get tired of admiring the elegant line of the profile, the finesse of the bezel, the details of the plunging lugs. Then you delve into the face of the timekeeper. Its rich black opaline center makes the faceted, hand-applied indices, as well as the distinctive delta hands with luminescent coating, stand out. The power reserve scale at 12 o’clock, the date window below it and the massive, small seconds counter at 6 o’clock strike a balance that works wonders.
Finally, the meticulous details of the hand guilloché flange with their unusual and beautiful ‘breaded’ decoration appear: the light plays endlessly on the various inclinations highlighting the indexes and the global tonneau shape alternatively. The case-back is just as fascinating adorned with Haute Horlogerie decorations: Geneva stripes, beveled bridges, circular graining. Parmigiani’s excellence at its best.
Step into modernity
This new collection asserts its modernity. The independent manufacture from Fleurier steps proudly towards the future by integrating an augmented reality dimension in their Kalpa micro-site presentation. I have tried it for you. Once you have uploaded the application, you can catch the image with your phone, and the precise, refined and slender lines of the Kalpa case appear out of a 3D parallelepiped.
You can also see the caliber PF 362 of the Kalpagraphe come to life before your own astonished eyes. Marvel at the Kalpa Chronor’s column wheel popping out of the screen, followed by a big gold nugget which explodes and melts to give birth to the grandiose PF 365 in 18k gold. A hammer straight out of ‘The Wall’ finally materializes to spell out the severe tests of the Qualité Fleurier certification. It’s fun and opens new perspectives when interact with the holograms. You can download the iPhone application here.
You’ll feel like touching it…but no, you will have to see it in person if you truly want to experience it. You’ll see, it’s even better!
With this new Kalpa collection, Parmigiani dives resolutely into modernity. The distinctive, recognizable timepieces, finished with the characteristic attention of Parmigiani Fleurier, proudly claim their 100% Swiss origin and the drive for excellence from the Fleurier manufacture. Collectors looking for differentiation with a timeless charm will be undoubtedly delighted.