Parmigiani Fleurier — which has already unveiled its first in-house integrated chronograph watch to mark its 20th anniversary this year — is now offering another men’s watch to celebrate the two-decade milestone, the Parmigiani Kalpa Hebdomadaire Anniversaire, a unique piece with a steel tonneau case, brown dial, and elaborately decorated yellow gold movement.
The original Kalpa Hebdomadaire, designed in 1997 by company founder and namesake Michel Parmigiani, was the Parmigiani brand’s first wristwatch, a model that provided the “founding design” and “stylistic codes” for the many watch models that would follow it. Like that original watch, the anniversary edition features a distinctive tonneau-shaped case, here measuring 44.7 x 37.2 mm in diameter and 11.2 mm in thickness and made of polished stainless steel. The case has a nonreflective sapphire crystal and sapphire exhibition caseback and is water-resistant to 30 meters.
The dial, in a tan shade that Parmigiani calls “Havana brown,” displays hours and minutes with the brand’s hallmark Delta-shaped hands, small seconds on a subdial at 6 o’clock, along with a date indication; and a patented-design, fan-like power-reserve indicator at 12 o’clock. The applied hour numerals and indices are made of yellow gold (the same material as the movement) and the opaline center of the dial is surrounded by a sunray guilloché exterior.
The back of the watch reveals the decorative, manual-wind movement, whose major parts are made entirely of solid yellow gold and which boasts an eight-day power reserve stored in two series-couple barrels. Making a watch movement from gold, it should be noted, is extremely difficult and time-consuming; special tools were required to work with the precious metal, which is much more malleable and ductile than traditional materials used in movements such as brass. Parmigiani’s watchmakers needed to recalibrate machines and check the cutting parameter for each piece. All told, the movement — which is tonneau-shaped like the case and designated Caliber PF110 — is composed of 227 components, including 28 jewels. The plates and bridges are all hand-beveled and the balance oscillates at 28,800 vph. Each of the bridges has been enhanced by a meticulously hand-engraved “dragon wing” motif.
Identifying this timepiece as one of a kind, the words “Modele Unique” are engraved into the caseback. The watch comes on a brown Hermès alligator strap (Parmigiani and Hermès are connected by each having an ownership stake in Fleurier-based Vaucher, which makes movements for both Parmigiani and Hermès watches) with a steel folding clasp. And while the Parmigiani Kalpa Hebdomadaire is a unique piece (priced at $65,000), the company plans to create another limited series later this year, utilizing the same gold movement but with different aesthetics.