It was 5 degrees Celsius early morning in Geneva. Skies were gloomy as we made our way to the Palexpo, but this was to be a great day, for I am to start my first day at SIHH 2018 interviewing one of the finest watchmaker brands of all time. Also one of my personal favourites.
I am an ardent fan of Piaget’s ultra thin timepieces.
Piaget was founded in 1874, by Georges Edouard Piaget, in the small village of La Côte-aux-Fées in the Swiss Jura mountains. It was Piaget in 1957, who introduced the Calibre 9P, the first ultra-thin (2 mm), hand-wound mechanical movement; and again in 1960 developed the Calibre12P, the thinnest automatic movement in the world (documented in the Guinness Book of Records) with a thickness of 2.3 mm.
In this year’s SIHH, Piaget again breaks all boundaries and introduces the Altiplano Ultimate Automatic.
It measures only 4.3mm thick (the thinnest automatic watch in the world), this technical phenomenon is achieved with great ingenuity by the designers and craftsmen.
The backing of this watch is now actually the base-plate (main plate), all the other parts are mounted on this (this is the concept of fusion, as Marc Menant, Watch Product Manager and Jean Bernard Forot, Marketing Director explained), the bridges are above, wheels are only 0.12mm and the dial is moved to the left upper quadrant (to optimize space).
The most important factor in an automatic watch is the rotor (oscillating weight), brilliantly placed is an oscillating weight that is placed circumferentially (peripherally) around the watch movement itself. The sapphire glass case itself is merely 0.6mm, and in order to prevent the glass from compressing on the hands, the dial and the hands are fitted below the bridges.
I had the privilege to hold, feel and wear this elegant, exquisite and brilliant masterpiece. This timepiece exudes class, refinement and true pure luxury. It has incomparable innovation and is the true epitome of great timeless achievement.
Most watch enthusiasts believe that every watch has a distinct personality. To me, this timepiece has a soul.
The World’s thinnest mechanical automatic watch, technical specifications in brief:
Development time: 3 years
A merger between the calibre and the exterior elements; mechanical automatic Calibre 910P with black PVD coated 22k peripheral oscillating weight.
Power reserve: approximately 50 hours
Frequency: 21,600 mph/ 3 Hz
Thickness: 4.30mm (case and movement combined)
Jewel count: 30
Available in 18k white gold (ref G0A43121) or pink gold (ref G0A43120)
Black alligator strap
Functions: hours and minutes offset at 10 o’clock
Number of components: 238 (case and movement inclusive)
Finishing operations: circular satin-brushed case-back, sunburst satin-brushed bridges, chamfered bridges, sunburst or circular satin-finished wheels, black-coated screws, dedicated index-assembly with “P” as the Piaget signature.