Time and tide wait for no man

Geoffrey Chaucer once claimed, “time and tide wait for no man” – and this phrase is a practice by which Swiss watch brand Parmigiani Fleurier lives. Founded in 1996, Ape’s love affair with the manufacture from the valley of Val-de-Travers in the canton of Neuchâtel began in 2017, and we’ve not looked back since.

From unreachable Geneva airport advertising boards and limited stockists, the brand has undergone a spectacular transformation. Until 2017, Parmigiani Fleurier was, in the most part, only truly appreciated by those in the depths of the watch industry.

A company in control of its entire watchmaking process, including manufacture, its quality was never in doubt. But a recent reworking of the brand’s designs (whilst remaining true to the theories of the eponymous brand founder Michel Parmigiani) and a forward-thinking marketing team has made Parmigiani Fleurier the brand to watch (pun intended).

Still a relatively unknown brand to the masses, Parmigiani Fleurier is as legitimate as watchmakers come. And their new Kalpagraphe Black and White editions might just seal the brand’s place as a horology trailblazer.

The chic yet sporty duo of chronographs – in black and white respectively – appear polar opposites, yet are manufactured to symbolise the wholeness of the male and female relationship and form. We will refrain from calling this pairing a “his and hers” set because they’re so much more than anything in this vain that’s gone before them. They’re a duality of quality and style beyond anything we’ve seen from the watch world.

Kalpagraphe Black – for men

The men’s Kalpagraphe boasts darker hues with its gloss black steel case, paired with a black rubber strap and a grey sapphire dial. The incredibly handsome black case was achieved via a treatment known as ADLC (Amorphous Diamond-like Carbon), which is highly wear-resistant and delivers a flawless finish.

Kalpagraphe White – for her

The ladies’ Kalpagraphe presents in a white sapphire dial, complete with a white rubber strap and rose gold case augmented by a diamond setting. It is a truly elegant and contemporary timepiece.

Both models feature the in-house manufactured PF334 automatic self-winding chronograph movement, a rose gold crown, push-pieces and counters at 6 and 9 o’clock, case-back screws, ardillon buckle, and a 22-carat gold oscillating weight.

Inspiration

It must also be noted that Michel Parmigiani made his name as a world-renowned restorer of all varieties of horological pieces. It’s something that provides a constant source of inspiration for Michel and everything the company has created, including the new Kalpagraphe Black and White. Specifically here, Michel and the brand drew its inspiration from two pair-cased pocket watches created by James Cox, which date back to the 18th century and are currently held in the Edouard and Maurice Sandoz Foundation collection. This influence can be seen clearly through the inclusion of the Kalpagraphe’s jumping seconds mechanism – formed of a hand which makes one revolution per second – which is a complication found in both of James Cox’s creations. A touch of history in a truly modern pair of timepieces.

Technicalities

In addition to the aforementioned attributes you’ll find dimensions of 44.45 x 39.2mm, with a thickness of 12.8mm, and a crown of 7mm. Anti-reflective sapphire glass ensures legibility in all conditions, while a sapphire back reveals the stunning Côtes de Genève movement. Skeleton delta-shaped hands are powered by that PF334 automatic self-winding movement which boasts a 50 hours power reserve. Functionally, the wearer will benefit from hours, minutes, small second hand, date and chronograph – making it not only a truly stunning watch aesthetically but performance-wise too. Water resistance is to 30 metres.

Conclusion

Parmigiani Fleurier must have other watch brands running for cover. If we had to liken them to the car world, it would be McLaren – insane levels of technical perfection; rare; cool; and if you’re an expert, you know the level this brand are on. We recommend you invest before others catch on, and bask in your new-found knowledge and uniqueness. Be it a treat for yourself, or a gift for her.

The new Kalpagraphe Black and White might just be the new King and Queen of the watch world.

Pricing and Availability

From CHF 19,000 (circa £15,500) and available from November 2019 from parmigiani.com and boutiques worldwide.