Piaget Altiplano Ultra Thin, Yet Genuinely Delicate
Piaget never stops expanding its expertise in thin movements for over half a century. Back to 1957, the Manufacture invented the 2mm thick 9P movement and created 25 ultra-thin movements so far, among which 14 set the new world records. It is no doubt an unparalleled achievement in watchmaking.
We all know, at the end of the day, a watch is not merely an instrument. Thickness and precision don’t make a valuable watch in the absence of exceptional design. With its artistic prowess and vision, Piaget introduces the record-breaker, the Altiplano family.
An ultra-thin watch usually comes in simple model with no complex function, but not for Piaget. The Emperador Coussin collection boasts many ultra-thin complicated timepieces like the tourbillon and minute repeater models. This year, the acclaimed Altiplano line also reveals an ultra-thin complication.
The latest Altiplano Chronograph not only sets a record for the world’s thinnest chronograph for a thickness of 8.24mm, but also the world’s thinnest hand-wound flyback chronograph movement at just 4.65mm thick. The new 883P movement stems from the automatic 880P movement released in 2007 which measures just 5.6mm thick. Now it is 1mm thinner when it is transformed to a hand-wound movement thanks to the structure integration, instead of placing a chronograph module on top of the movement. To bring this technical feat into life, two years of development was spent on trimming down the size of components – the cannon-pinion (0.12 mm), the barrel staff (0.115 mm), and the chronograph gear finger (0.06 mm).
The world’s thinnest hand-wound flyback chronograph – 8.24mm
Speaking of appearance, the three sub-dials sit closely at the centre of the dial, featuring very thin alternating single and double baton hour-markers. It is worth pointing out that the small seconds is located at 6 o’clock, along with a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and a 24-hour dual-time indication at 9 o’clock. Turn over the case can see the 883P movement and the operation of the column-wheel and vertical coupling-clutch system.
The world’s thinnest hand-wound flyback chronograph movement – 4.65mm
Case：rose glod or white gold
Functions：hours, minutes, small seconds, flyback chronograph, GMT
Altiplano 38mm 900P
Many watch manufactures and brands develop ultra-thin watches and movements. And some of them are even pulling out all the stops to achieve new records. Jaeger- LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, Arnold & Son, Breguet are some familiar names. Piaget is not alone; but they never stand still. So here we see the 900P movement.
The 900P movement is created to pay tribute to the legendary 9P movement. Since the 1200P automatic movement launched in 2010, it has powered many ultra-thin watches model. However, it seems the development of hand-wound movements is lagging behind, while Jaeger-LeCoultre made the 4.06mm Master Ultra Thin 1907 and Vacheron Constantin the 4.1mm Historique Ultra-Thin 1955, both movements measure less than 2mm thick. It’s time for Piaget to fight back.
The Altiplano 38mm 900P has an unbeatable thickness of only 3.65mm – with the revolutionary design of merging the case and movement into one. Piaget is one of the very few brands which can produce movements and cases in-house. It is more efficient than negotiating the size of the parts and buying the cases from other suppliers.
全 the world’s thinnest mechanic watch – 3.65mm
Speaking of mechanism, the caseback now also acts as the mainplate in order to save as much space as possible. Additionally, the off-centre dial is assigned into the same layer with the plates, further reducing the thickness of the case. There are 145 movement components in all, each are trimmed down as much as it can be. Some of the wheels of the main gear train come in at only 0.12mm thin(compared with 0.2mm on a common gear train). Apart from the trimmed components, Piaget has placed the hands underneath the bridges. In case of the effects of pressure, the crystal glass would press not on the hands but instead on the wheel-train bridge, thus avoiding any consequences on the rate of the movement.
Last but not least, considering the amazing slim wristwatch with the likewise mechanical movement, this handsome piece even delivers 48-hour of power reserve. This is truly praiseworthy.
Case：rose gold or white gold
Since its launch in 1998, the Altiplano watches are always the embodiment of simplicity and elegance. Many of its slender members are record-breaking pieces. But you won’t find something like ultra-thin or ultra-slim in their names. The automatic model is simply named as Altiplano Automatic, and Altiplano Date for the date display model. Subtle yet sophisticated, the Altiplano collection is already the byword for ultra-thin watches.
The 9P movement and the 2.3mm thick 12P automatic movement developed in 1960 are now legendary movements. In 2010, the 1200P and 1208P movement at 2.35mm thick were created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 12P movement. The latter is housed in the Altiplano Automatic 43 with a small seconds dial, establishing a line of elegant daily watches for the brand. The successor Altiplano Date powered by the 3mm thick 1205P movement continues the tradition. The date disc adds 0.65mm height to the movement, while the dial layout and micro rotor are same as the Altiplano Automatic 43.
The world’s thinnest watch with date – 6.36mm
The two appealing pieces look very alike. The Altiplano Date also features a small seconds dial sitting at 5 o’clock, yet a new date window is assigned at 9 o’clock. Without the minute track, the font and alternating double and single baton hour markers give the piece a very minimalist feel. Three versions are on offers: white gold case, rose gold case, and rose gold case with a diamond-set bezel. Besides the record-breaking movement, it also won the crown for the world’s thinnest watch with date.
Movement of the world’s thinnest watch with date – 3mm
Case：rose gold or white gold
Functions：hours, minutes, small seconds, date
Power reserve：44 hours
Altiplano Gold Bracelet – 34mm & 38mm
The Altiplano watches have come with leather straps for the past 17 years. It is the very first time it marries a bracelet. Targeting to the couple watch market, the watch is available in 34mm or 38mm with a choice of rose gold, white gold or diamond-set case, 6 variants in total. All models are equipped with the automatic 534P movement which drives the indication of the hours and minutes.
Case：rose gold or white gold
Diameter：34mm or 38mm
Power reserve：42 hours
This gorgeous piece is inspired by the Saint Mark’s Clocktower in Venice. The outer rim of the dial features the sculpture of the 12 signs of the Zodiac. The centre is a grand de feu dial in two layers adorned with paillonne enamel and gold or silver appliques between the layers, showcasing a starlit night on the wrist.
Power reserve：60 hours
Altiplano Eggshell Marquetry
The art of marquetry is not uncommon to see in watchmaking today. Straw, petals, wood, mother of pearl are used to create a stunning dial. Piaget never fails to surprise us by presenting this lifelike falcon finished by eggshell marquetry. Artist Isabelle Emmerique has brought the falcon to life and created a sumptuous three dimensional effect against a painting.
Movement：hand wound 830P
Power reserve：60 hours
Altiplano Feather Marquetry
Piaget this year introduced another feather marquetry piece created by Emilie Moutard-Martin. The leather marquetry mofit on the dial is composed of 120 leathers. The preparation is no easy task. Instead of firmly gluing on the dial, the leathers are first cut to achieve the waterdrop shape before fixing on the silk base by silver leaf. The dark leather and the sliver leaf are elegantly matched and convey a touch of lightness.
Power reserve：43 hours