Luxury watchmakers Parmigiani Fleurier have unveiled a new interpretation of the Clock 15 Days in collaboration with the French master glassmaker Lalique. The Clock 15 Days, which comprises a patented movement encased in the finest crystal, will be available in three limited editions of white, deep blue, and red. Only fifteen of the clocks will be produced each year, with five of each of the versions to be created yearly till 2015.
For Parmigiani Fleurier, this clock represents gigantic dimensions in comparison to the world of watchmaking, particularly in terms of its mechanics. To create this timepiece, the Swiss manufacture had to switch out tweezers for fingers, using the naked eye rather than a watchmaker’s magnifier, and even work standing up rather than sitting down. Meanwhile, for Lalique the journey was in the opposite direction; the surfaces of the clock’s five panels are much smaller and thinner than those generally tolerated when working with crystal. To create the panels of the Clock 15 Days, the glassmakers had to work with the thinnest crystal, heating and cooling to produce pure crystal with no air bubbles, adorned with Lalique’s characteristic Coutard foundation motif. Invented by René Lalique in 1935, the panel design used for this clock represents a spray of water droplets, evoking both Art Nouveau in the close arrangement of the drops and Art Deco in their rounded shape. Each droplet is worked to achieve maximum shine, creating a perfect contrast with the satin-finished crystal on its flat surface.
The Clock 15 Days is not only beautiful, it is also a feat of mechanics, with the Maltese cross stonework for the power reserve indicator located on the outside. This is a patented innovation. The Maltese cross is a fundamental part of the power reserve in all timepieces, regulating the winding of the barrel and counting its rotations. However, the cross had never before been used to display the power reserve status directly, instead depending on mechanical devices and setting wheels as intermediaries. By externalizing the Maltese cross and displaying the movement on the barrel itself, Parmigiani Fleurier have found an elegant solution to this mechanical dilemma. The scale and display for the power reserve are also repeated around the barrel at a 90° angle, ensuring that that information is always visible, whether or not the barrel is fully wound.
Photos courtesy Parmigiani Fleurier.