The intercalary or leap month appears according to precise rules and is assigned the number of the month that preceded it. The calculations are complex but serve to keep track of the seasons and to set the Chinese New Year at the arrival of spring, which varies between 21 January and 19 February in our calendar.
Unlike the Gregorian calendar, which names the months and numbers the years, the Chinese calendar names the lunar years and numbers the months. The names of the years are repeated on a sexagesimal (60-year) cycle, but the calendar including dates, days and months is calculated on the basis of astronomical observations and naturally varies. It is therefore impossible to make a Chinese perpetual calendar. Parmigiani Fleurier's creation goes as far as possible in offering the most complete form of the Chinese calendar. The numbering system of the time units is based on the combination of a decimal cycle with the ten Heavenly Stems and a duodecimal cycle with the twelve Earthly Branches.
The ten Heavenly Stems serve to designate the diagonal directions, the seasons, the elements – water, wood, metal, fire and earth – the planets, as well as colours, flavours and virtues. The twelve Earthly Branches correspond to the signs of the zodiac: each of the twelve Branches is represented by an animal, which designates the years of the sexagesimal cycle and will influence the destiny and character of human beings born in that year.
A WEALTH OF COMPLEX INFORMATION:
All this corresponds to a wealth of complex information, which Parmigiani Fleurier has succeeded in condensing on a dial. Hours and minutes, display of the month and its numbering, an additional month when applicable (displayed every three years), short month (29 days) or long month (30 days), twenty-four solar terms corresponding to twenty-four 15° divisions of the Sun's path along the ecliptic (the Sun's trajectory seen from the Earth), year hand and name, indication of the animal and the elements with alternating colours depending on whether it is Yin or Yang, numbering of the days and moon phases. All the displays are quickly adjustable via the various correctors located on the two sides of the case middle.
It conceals an extremely sophisticated mechanism serving to display this information in classic Chinese characters. As the Chinese calendar is not cyclical, the complication is mechanically programmed and covers a twelve-year period by means of a cam system. At the end of these twelve years, the watch must be reset for a new equivalent period. During this period, all information is provided without
any need for intervention, as long as the watch does not stop. If the watch does stop, corrections are made simply by correcting the day and month number, with a rapid corrector where necessary to facilitate corrections of long periods.
Hours, minutes, Complete Chinese calendar and precision moon phase
Hours and minutes: 18ct gold rhodium-plated skeleton delta-shaped
Calendar: Rhodium-plated steel
Polished and satin-finished platinum 950
Closure: 18ct white gold folding clasp
PF008 – COMPLETE CHINESE CALENDAR, MOON PHASE INDICATOR
Power reserve: 54 hours
Frequency: 28,800 Vph (4 Hz)
No. of components: 353
Diameter: 32.6 mm
Thickness: 6.9 mm
Decoration: Côtes de Genève, beveled bridges
Oscillating weight: Platinum, skeletonized, polished and sandblasted
Color: Platinum 950
Indices: 18ct gold rhodium-plated appliques
Moon phase: Blue aventurine
Polished and satin-finished platinum 950 with knurled bezel
Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 12.2 mm
Crown: Ø 6 mm, screwed-in
Glass: ARunic anti-reflective sapphire
Case back: Sapphire glass
Engraving on case back: serial number – “PARMIGIANI FLEURIER” – “Edition Limitée de 3 pièces”
Water resistance: 100 m