Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Hebdomadaire
The Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Hebdomadaire is a new timepiece for 2018, harnessing the brand’s impressive know-how and featuring a sumptuous guilloché dial.
This detailed review of the Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Hebdomadaire includes live images, specification details and pricing.
A comprehensive understanding of haute horlogerie allows one to fully appreciate Parmigiani Fleurier. This fiercely independent Maison does not spend vast sums on marketing, its products are its best form of promotion. Each of its horological creations is produced to an exalted standard.
In the rarefied world of high-end watchmaking where the air is thin and few practitioners exist, Parmigiani Fleurier stands apart from its competitors. It is normal for watch companies to procure parts from specialist firms. Indeed, many brands will purchase dials, cases, hands, movements, screws, springs, levers etc. from an array of external suppliers. Parmigiani Fleurier is different.
With the exception of rubies, sapphire crystals and Hermès straps, all of the components which comprise a Parmigiani watch are made in-house. Furthermore, within its five factories, the Swiss watch company also makes an array of parts for many well-known brands. I have toured the firms extensive facilities and can attest few companies can surpass the capabilities of Parmigiani Fleurier.
Most watch companies have a tendency to make round watches. Market research has shown they are the most popular and the sales figures back this up. However, in the esoteric domain of haute horlogerie, the desires of the mass market have less relevance. Indeed, this is a world far removed from the lives of ordinary people where the overriding considerations are aesthetic allure and technical virtue. It is these considerations which pervade Parmigiani Fleurier.
Earlier this year, the company from the Val-de-Travers released the Kalpagraphe Chronometre, a fully integrated chronograph with column wheel and vertical coupling, housed in a gorgeous tonneau shape case. Its generous proportions allowed each indication room to breathe, while the case design provided a sublime ergonomic interaction with the wrist. Recently, the Swiss brand unveiled a further barrel-shaped timepiece, the Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Hebdomadaire.
The dial resembles a sea of inky blackness. The central area of the dial, presented in sunken, circular form possesses a smooth surface and is described as opaline. Positioned below the fulcrum of the dial is a small seconds display, featuring a snailed motif.
A richly textured motif described as ‘guilloché tresse’ frames the central area of the dial. The texture of the pattern becomes more prominent near the indices. Admiring the guilloché from different angles, the pattern seems to momentarily disappear in places, whereas elsewhere it seems to step forward, basking in the light. The decorated epidermis proves bewitching. Indeed, during my period of association with the watch, I spent much time admiring its woven-like surface.
The Delta-shaped hour and minute hands uphold the Maison’s proven design language. They enunciate the time with notable grace. Surprisingly, despite its ‘dressy’ character of the watch, the hands are lined with luminescent coating, enhancing legibility and improving the day-to-day practicality of the watch.
Hand-applied rose gold indices deliver agreeable contrast with the adjacent guilloché motif. Again, they are lined with luminescent coating, aiding readability in restricted light.
Positioned above the fulcrum of the dial is the brand’s nomenclature, presented in an oval frame. Above this is an arc-shaped aperture revealing the prevailing date. Interestingly, the first day of the month is proclaimed in a vibrant shade of red, whereas all other numbers are depicted in white.
A power-reserve indicator is located at the top of the dial. An arcing scale is labelled ‘B’ for ‘Bas’ meaning low and ‘H’ for ‘Haut’ meaning high’. The indication is neat and unobtrusive, but highly legible.
As stated earlier, the Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Hebdomadaire is endowed with a tonneau-shaped torso. The curving lines of the barrel-shaped case integrate with the light wonderfully. The articulated lugs sit atop the bezel and arc downwards, courtesy of their lachrymose profile. Perpendicular to the curving vertical flanks of the case are cambered bezel surfaces. The complexity of the case design differentiates this model from many other tonneau-shaped watches. The sapphire crystal arcs both laterally and lengthways, mimicking the contours of the adjacent bezel.
Measuring 42.3mm x 32.1mm, the Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Hebdomadaire is much smaller than its aforementioned sibling, Kalpagraphe Chronometre. The tear-shaped lugs guide the strap downwards to provide a cosseting union with the wrist.
The 18-carat rose gold case features an exhibition caseback. The pane of sapphire crystal is barrel-shaped and affords views of the hand-wound PF110 movement.
A Parmigiani Fleurier movement is always a pleasure to behold. The horological rectitude of each calibre is most impressive. The hand-wound PF110 movement upholds the brand’s enviable reputation.
Each bridge is adorned with Côtes de Genève motif. Although this has become de rigueur in the world of watches, the Geneva waves on the calibre PF110 are special. Each stripe is beautifully defined and delineated from its neighbours. Whenever a stripe is applied to a surface it must not appear rough, something this Maison clearly understands with the smooth finish of each peerless wave.
A 45° bevel is introduced to each bridge, between the surface and the flank. This finishing technique, sometimes called ‘anglage’, or ‘chamfering’, enriches the bridge with a contrasting gleaming edge. The anglage on the calibre PF110 is wonderful.
Looking at the bridges with a loupe reveals polished jewel and screw sinks and engraved golden text. Adjacent the balance, the mainplate is embellished with petit perlage and the wheels are circular grained.
Sat atop the balance cock is a swan-neck regulator which alters the effective length of the hairspring, making the watch run faster or slower as required. The balance has a frequency of 21,600 VpH (3Hz) and the movement contains 267 components, including 28 jewels. Incredibly, despite its slender height of 4.9mm, the movement has a prodigious power reserve of 8 days.
The legibility of the Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Hebdomadaire is excellent. The Delta-shaped hands and applied indices collaborate superbly, conferring meaning with clear tone. Beyond the practicality of the various indications, the Swiss company has enriched the dial with a myriad of eye-catching details. In particular, the ‘guilloché tresse’ is exquisite, enhancing the dial surface with a beautiful texture.
Tonneau-shaped cases are unusual. They don’t subscribe to the mainstream and, in my opinion, this heightens their appeal. The case of the Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Hebdomadaire is extraordinary courtesy of its numerous contours and arcing sapphire crystal. Furthermore, setting aside its obvious complexity, the case looks gorgeous and lovingly nuzzles the wrist in ergonomic union.
The calibre PF110 is beautifully appointed. The finissage is exemplary and befits the terms, ‘haute horlogerie’. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the movement has an incredible ability to run autonomously for up to eight days, making it ideal for daily wear.
The Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Hebdomadaire possesses a myriad of attributes. Its styling, technical virtue and peerless craftsmanship distinguish it as exceptional and, considering its specification, the asking price of £27,500 (RRP as at 24.9.2018) represents superb value. There is much to admire about this watch, its greatness is palpable.
- Model: Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa Hebdomadaire
- Reference: PFC101-1001400-HA1442
- Case: 18-carat rose gold; dimensions 42.3mm x 32.1mm; height 11.4mm; sapphire crystal to front and case-back; water resistant to 3 ATM (30 metres).
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date; power-reserve indicator
- Movement: Calibre PF110; hand-wound movement; frequency 21,600 vph (3Hz); power reserve = 8 days
- Strap: Black Hermès alligator strap with gold folding buckle
- Price: £27,500 (RRP as at 24.9.2018)