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 calibers. It’s a return to the company’s early days and the first tonneau movement created by founder Michel Parmigiani 20 years ago.
As the first tonneau-shaped watch produced by Michel Parmigiani, the Kalpa has become an icon of the brand in more ways than one. It is partly down to its trademark design, with its tonneau case featuring teardrop-shaped lugs developed with harmony and proportionality in mind, its carefully crafted ergonomic profile, its display which is both understated and refined, and its seamless integration with the bracelet, whether metal or leather. This stylistic hallmark is based on the golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence, as with all of Michel Parmigiani’s creations. The Kalpa’s iconic status can also be put down to its technical features: the distinctive tonneau shape of the case is based on the first shaped wristwatch movement developed by Fleurier’s master watchmaker back in 1998.
Back to Its Roots: The history of the Kalpa goes right back to the company’s origins, when its founder, the master watchmaker and restorer Michel Parmigiani, created the first in-house wristwatch movement: the calibre PF110. Aside from the distinctive tonneau shape and innovative power reserve indicator, this premium, hand-wound watch movement has an exceptional quality, boasting an eight-day power reserve and excellent rate regularity thanks to the double barrel. This is rare for a watch of this era. Departing from the traditionally round watch movement has remained a key design element for the Kalpa, the company’s first shaped watch.
In developing it, Michel Parmigiani started with a spherical cap shape and focused firstly on the profile of the watch and the attractive integration of the lugs, to achieve an ergonomically perfect whole. And thus, the famous teardrop-shaped lugs were born, themselves inspired by the golden ratio’s logarithmic spiral. The inspiration comes from nature, from its proportions and from the natural curves that provide the ingredients for creativity. In that sense, the name Kalpa is very apt – the word refers to cosmic order, ritual and art, through which man achieves harmony with universal energy.
Kalpa Chronor: To showcase the new generation of Kalpa watches, Parmigiani Fleurier is making an impression with the Kalpa Chronor, which features the world’s first solid-gold, self-winding, integrated chronograph movement.
This tonneau watch is water-resistant to 30 meters and made of hand-polished rose gold. It measures 48.2 x 40.4mm and houses an exceptional mechanism that has been developed and manufactured entirely in-house. The COSC-certified caliber PF365 is the result of six years of 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-karat gold. This malleable material is particularly complex to work with, which further reinforces the rare quality and expertise that have gone into its design, 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 caliber PF365 provides hour, minute, small second and chronograph functions with a tachymeter and date window. At the back, a wide tonneau opening with a sapphire crystal at the top reveals this new shaped movement, wound by an oscillating weight in 22-karat gold that features a barley grain guilloché motif. The 18-karat 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 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.