SIHH 2013: Parmigiani (with live photos)

Parmigiani had a small collection to present this year, with no major new movements, but with several beautiful unique minute repeaters which demonstrate Parmigiani’s exemplary standard of finishing in its haute horlogerie models. My favourite is the Kalpa Resonance repeater with an enamelled owl on the back.

Parmigiani Kalpa Resonance Minute Repeater piece unique

This has a 42 mm platinum case and an exquisite guilloche dial with a wavy, moiré pattern. The heft of the platinum case means the repeater sounds a bit muted, however, though the sound is pleasant.

On the back is an engraved and enamelled owl, which has the repeater hammers for eyes. The owl unfortunately is positioned uncomfortably, bending backwards to look at the moon perhaps, so it looks awkward.

Also a minute repeater is the Toric Quaestor Labyrinthe. This is a limited edition of five watches, each having a green Burmese jade dial, with a grey-coated, open-worked 18k gold plate over the jade.

The movement is finished to an extremely high standard, comparable to the very best. And it is also attractively designed, with elegantly curved bridges and jewels set in chatons. But this too is cased in platinum, which slightly mutes the volume of the repeater chimes.

Also in platinum is the Toric Tecnica Samba. Inspired by Brazilian samba outfits, the watch has a feather motif on the dial, hunter case back and movement bridges.

The 18k white gold dial is hand engraved, as are the movement bridges. And the case back is enamelled in brilliant colours.

Another watch with a Brazilian theme is the new Transforma Quator CBF, one of several models made for the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol (Brazilian Football Confederation).

The Transforma Quator is an annual calendar with retrograde day hand. And it gets its name from the fact that the watch can be transformed into a pocket watch or table clock, by pressing two buttons on each side of the lower lug.

Parmigiani’s Pershing sports line sees the addition of the Pershing Tourbillon Abyss. This is a large, 45 mm watch with a titanium case and rose gold bezel. The dial is a deep blue with a subtle wave motif.

Unusually this is a 30 second tourbillon – the small carriage rotates once every half minute – and the movement has a seven day power reserve.

While on the subject of large watches, the wing-shaped Bugatti Super Sport, first launched in white gold, is now available in rose gold. This watch has the time display on the front side of the watch, while the 10 day power reserve power reserve is on the top. Hence the time can be read while driving.

I still find it too large and unwieldy, despite its aerodynamic shape; the case is inspired by the spoiler of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.

The movement, however, has an intriguing and three-dimensional architecture, including a bevel gear so that the hands sit perpendicular to the movement.

Lastly for the simplest new addition. The elegant Tonda 1950, originally a formal men’s dress watch, is now available as a ladies watch with a diamond set bezel.

See the rest of my SIHH 2013 comprehensive reports. The brand reports listed in italics are still in progress. A. Lange & Söhne Audemars Piguet Cartier Greubel Forsey IWC Jaeger-LeCoultre Montblanc Panerai Parmigiani Piaget Richard Mille Roger Dubuis Vacheron Constantin Van Cleef & Arpels – SJX

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