True innovation lies in a creation so simple yet one that few else could had the foresight to create. Parmigiani Fleurier captured precisely this when they launched the world’s first wristwatch to use the Hijri calendar in Dubai a few days back, totally revamping the conventional watch calendar.
So how is this unique? A traditional perpetual calendar’s gears are programmed to account for the leap-year month once every four years and different length months in the Gregorian calendar. The Islamic Calendar, on the other hand, is based on the lunar calendar, with the Hijri Year being made up of 12 months of 29 or 30 days depending on the moon phase. The lunar calendar uses the phases of the moon to measure time, usually measuring the time from new moon to new moon as one month. The starting point of Islamic time calculations is, of course, the ‘Hijri’ or journey of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) from Makkah to Medina in Saudi Arabia in the year 622. This makes 622 the first year in the Islamic calendar, Hijri 1.
Davide Traxler, CEO of Parmigiani Fleurier, unveiled the watch that made haute horological history in Dubai. Davide mentioned how the seeds of inspiration were sown in 1993 when founder Michel Parmigiani restored an oval-shaped pocketwatch with an Islamic calendar indicating the hour, day, date, and month, in Arabic calligraphy, and the phases of the moon. He used this as the inspiration to create a table clock featuring a Hijri Calendar in 2011, the world’s first such calendar. In 2016, he also restored another pocketwatch dating back to the late 18th or early 19th Century, which featured a solar calendar translated into Arabic
Presented in a 44.5-mm platinum case with a slate-colored dial, the Parmigiani Hjiri Perpetual Calendar dial displays the hours and minutes, date in Arabic numerals, the name and length of the months in Arabic calligraphy, as well as the abundant and common years. It also features a moon-phase in an aventurine sky and a power reserve of up to 48 hours. Arabic tradition are highlighted in bridges adopting the shape of the waxing and waning crescent moons and the Rub al Hizb, an Islamic symbol represented by two overlapping squares.
The Parmigiani Hjiri Perpetual Calendar is fitted with a black Hermès alligator strap with a pin buckle, and is priced at $80,000 with customization options for owners.