The New Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Collection for SIHH 2018
A refresh for the iconic Kalpa collection, fitted exclusively with shaped movements.
Originally introduced back in 2001, the Kalpa collection by Parmigiani Fleurier is amongst the most recognisable models of the brand. With its distinctive tonneau-shaped case and teardrop lugs, it has a unique style that, if not liked by all, definitely makes a statement. Ahead of the upcoming SIHH 2018, the brand has introduced the new, redesigned Kalpa collection, which is now fitted exclusively with in-house movements shaped to match the case. Here are the first three watches to be presented: the Kalpa Chronor, the Kalpagraphe Chronomètre and the Kalpa Hebdomadaire.
Last year, Parmigiani revisited its past by presenting the Toric, a contemporary interpretation of the brand’s very first watch followed by the Toric Hémisphère Rétrograde, a dual-time edition. For the SIHH 2018, the brand keeps looking back with a redesigned version of its iconic tonneau-shaped watch: the Kalpa. This new collection also revisits the first tonneau movement created by founder Michel Parmigiani 20 years ago, as it will only be fitted with shaped movements (no more classical round calibres – only movements shaped according to the case).
The Kalpa has always been characterised by the distinctive shape of its case and stylised tear-drop lugs. The contours of the watch were carefully designed, with harmony and proportionality in mind, as well as comfort thanks to its ergonomic profile and the seamless integration with the bracelet, whether metal or leather. These fundamental traits won’t change in the new collection. The basics are still here.Yet, some improvements and evolutions are to be noted – the main idea is to ensure “consistency between inside and outside“.
In terms of design, the lines of the case have been tautened and made more elegant. The lugs, which used to be rather long and thin, are now shorter but bolder and more in keeping with the style of the case. A touch of modernity has been added to the tonneau-shaped case, as well as a bit of subtlety, compared to previous editions. The entire case is rounded, with curves in all directions, including the case back that is concave to adapt to the wrist.
The main evolution of this new Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Collection concerns the across-the-board integration of shaped movements. Even though some of the movements will be based on round ones, the brand’s manufacturing capacities allow it to adjust these calibres and to offer a seamless integration into the case. Two of the new Kaplas are equipped with automatic movements and an integrated chronograph, and the third features a hand-wound calibre with an eight-day power reserve, modelled on its 1998 predecessor. All three are COSC-certified.
Three models are introduced: the Kalpa Chronor, the Kalpagraphe Chronomètre and the Kalpa Hebdomadaire.
The Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Chronor
The first watch of the collection to be presented is the Kapla Chronor: a watch that makes a definitive statement and concentrates the savoir-faire and talent of the brand to perfection.
While it shares the same style as the other two in terms of case and dial, it has something rather special inside. Indeed, just like the superb Tonda Chronor Anniversaire, its movement is made of solid gold. It is, in fact, the world’s first solid-gold, self-winding, integrated chronograph movement. This movement is new to the brand and makes its debut in this Kalpa Chronor. It is a modern, automatic (central rotor) and integrated chronograph, which beats at a high-frequency of 5Hz – just like the movement of the Tonda Chronor, on which it has apparently been developed. With a power reserve of around 65 hours, this Haute Horlogerie movement includes a column wheel and a vertical clutch.
Seen from the back, it presents an all-gold look, with all the main parts crafted in this noble, yet malleable material (rotor, plate, bridges). All the moving parts are still crafted from steel. As for the decoration, it is HH all around. The oscillating weight in 22k gold features a barley grain guilloché motif. The bridges are wide open with hand-polished bevels and traditional anglages (with internal and sharp angles).
The Kalpa Chronor is on the large side and measures 48.2mm x 40.4mm. Its case is made of 18k rose gold and the black dial, with contrasting gold sub-dials, is in the vein of recent PF watches. This chronograph displays the hours and minutes, as well as the signature half-second sub-dial and arched date. This timepiece will be produced as a series of 50 numbered pieces.
The Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpagraphe Chronomètre
The second watch of this new collection is the “standard” version of the Chronor. Still a chronograph, still in gold, yet with more classical features and decoration.
The case of the Kalpagraphe Chronomètre is the same as the Chronor, once again crafted in warm 18k rose gold. The shape and dimensions are the same (48.2mm x 40.4mm) but this version is not a limited edition. Also, the dial is different, both in colour (a monochromatic blue dial) and pattern (the guilloché on the periphery has been replaced with concentric lines). The display is also the same, with the half-second sub-dial and the arched date window at 12 o’clock.
Inside the Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpagraphe Chronomètre is a more classical version of the movement we’ve seen above. In short, it shares the same technical base – an automatic, integrated chronograph activated by a column-wheel and a vertical clutch beating at 5Hz and boasting a 65-hour power reserve. Yet here, the bridges and plates are executed in rhodium-plated brass and are not open as they are on the Chronor version. The rotor is still made in 18k gold, with a barley grain guilloché motif.
The Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Hebdomadaire
The last version, the Kalpa Hebdomadaire, could be regarded as the simplest of all three launches…until you turn it over and discover the trademark 8-day, hand-wound movement.
On the outside, we have a relatively discreet watch, with a time and date display, as well as a power reserve indicator (a mandatory feature on a watch with such a long power reserve). The 18k rose gold case is slightly smaller and measures 42.3mm x 32.1mm, confirming the more elegant vocation of this model. The black dial is in the same vein as the Chronor version, with a guilloché motif on the periphery and gold delta-shaped hands.
The back reveals a superb hand-wound movement, easily recognisable by the rounded shape of the bridges – here, PF is not choosing the easy way out. The 8-day power reserve is backed up by the two series-mounted barrels. This movement was developed in 1998 by Michel Parmigiani and is now back in the Kalpa collection, still with its exceptional decoration – the internal sharp angles all around are a feast for connoisseurs.
The new Kalpa Collection by Parmigiani Fleurier will be officially introduced at the SIHH 2018. Prices are expected to be revealed during the show. More details on www.parmigiani.com.
I like the strong, beefy, case design, and find the calibre more than enough to carry its own weight with overall art deco presentation here. Not a fan of rose gold (who is?) but it does work with the darker dials. I wonder how it feels on the wrist….looks heavy, which isn’t a bad thing.