Parmigiani Unveils The World Premiere Hijri Perpetual Calendar
There are over 40 different calendars in use across the world, but for the most part, timepieces follow only one, the Gregorian calendar. Parmigiani is now changing all that by celebrating the Muslim way of indicating the yearly calendar with its world premiere Hijri Perpetual Calendar wristwatch.
In 1993, three years before the foundation of the Parmigiani brand, its owner, Michel Parmigiani, undertook a unique restoration of a pocket watch featuring a Muslim calendar. The project left quite an impression on him, “The calendar is an eminently fascinating watchmaking complication, as it really is the mirror of civilizations,” he shared.
In 2011, he developed an exclusive table clock featuring this unique lunar calendar. Now, eight years later, he has succeeded in miniaturizing this technology to fit inside the Parmigiani Hijri Perpetual Calendar: a wristwatch able to perpetually display the correct date as the mechanism takes into account the different lengths of the months, as well as the leap years.
The Muslim Or Hijri Calendar
The Muslim or Hijri calendar is based on the exact cycles of the moon, following 12 months of 29 or 30 days with leap-days added periodically to align the time with the solar year. What makes this calendar particularly interesting, however, is that the months change annually by 10 to 12 days, so they don’t always fall in the same season.
Most of the Muslim world follows the Gregorian calendar to be aligned with the rest of the world, but the Hijri calendar is still used to keep track of holy days in the Islamic calendar, such as the start of the Ramadan fast or the beginning of the pilgrimage to Mecca.
The History Behind The Hijri Calendar
The Hijri calendar was etablished in 622 CE when the Prophet Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina, in present-day Saudi Arabia. This event marked the formation of the first Muslim community and is called Hegira or Hijra, thus giving the calendar its name.
Fun Fact: The current Islamic year is 1441 AH; or, Anno Hegirae, Latin for, "in the year of the Hijra."
The Hijri Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch
Parmigiani’s Hijri Perpetual Calendar timepiece comes in a 44.5mm platinum case with a matching platinum rotor on the movement. The slate-gray dial indicates the hours, minutes, and date in Arabic script, along with the name and length of each month and the phases of the moon, beautifully set against an aventurine sky.
Design Details To Note
Every detail on the Hijri Perpetual Calendar has been thought through, from the bridges on the movement that reproduce the crescent shapes of the waxing and waning of the moon, to the Rub el Hizb, an Islamic symbol of two overlapping squares, used to mark the end of a chapter in Arabic calligraphy. Other details typical of Parmigiani’s timepieces can also be found in the design, such as the ergonomic and comfortable lugs and the elegant black alligator strap crafted by the Maison Hermès.
Movement Details to Note
Powered by the brand’s PF009 automatic Hijri Perpetual Calendar caliber with a 48-hour power reserve, the movement is decorated to Parmigiani’s highest brand standards, including hand-beveling and a Côtes de Genève motif on the movement itself, and a barley grain guilloché on the platinum rotor.
This elegant timepiece is a testament to the incredible skill of Michel Parmigiani and his team. They are constantly pushing the limits of horology, in the creation of truly spectacular timepieces, and never fail to stop us in our tracks.
(Images provided by Parmigiani Fleurier)