In 2018, the brand is reviving the Kalpa collection, with its iconic tonneau shape. The Kalpa housed the first watch movement created by Michel Parmigiani in 1998, a shaped movement PF110 designed 20 years ago to echo the contours of the case. Following the same logic of continuity between interior and exterior, contents and container, the Kalpa line is now reborn with renewed force.
In 2016, Parmigiani Fleurier celebrated its 20th anniversary, and marked the occasion by unveiling the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire, demonstrating the manufacture's accomplishment. Meanwhile, 2017 saw a return to the brand's fundamental values with a revival of the Toric collection – the first wristwatch designed by Michel Parmigiani. The response from the public was emphatic.
At the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève in November 2017, both of these two highly symbolic watches won awards: the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire in the Chronograph category and the Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde in the Travel Time category. Parmigiani Fleurier was both proud and grateful to see that its approach had been so well received and understood.
An integrated self-winding chronograph
The ability to produce an integrated chronograph is the hallmark of a genuine manufacture. Unlike the modular chronograph, the movement is arranged on a single main plate that keeps all of the mechanical elements finely synchronised. The integrated chronograph is the holy grail of an independent manufacture and reflects the innovative potential of the Parmigiani Fleurier watchmaking centre.
The movement is organised around a column wheel which is the nerve centre of the chronograph, the part which synchronises all its elements. This piece is more difficult to create and more precious than a simple cam, and lends the movement an elegance that can only come from this level of expertise. The column wheel is also perceptibly smoother when operating. This is what we call the chronograph's activation ergonomics.
Every aspect of working with gold during a manufacture process is complicated. Gold sticks to the tools; it is malleable and deforms easily; all the machines need to be completely recalibrated and each cutting parameter needs changing. Successfully manufacturing a movement this complex from gold demonstrates a considerable level of expertise. Its decoration, no less technical, requires more than 50 hours of work for each unit.