Thinnest mechanical watch ever: Piaget ultra-thin Altiplano 38 mm 900P
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Thread: Thinnest mechanical watch ever: Piaget ultra-thin Altiplano 38 mm 900P

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  1. #1
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    Thinnest mechanical watch ever: Piaget ultra-thin Altiplano 38 mm 900P

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    2014 is a vintage year for Piaget and to celebrate its 140th anniversary they have released the horological equivalent of a size zero dress. The ultra-thin Altiplano 38 mm 900P, said to be the ‘thinnest mechanical watch ever’.

    The new Piaget Altiplano 900P has a total case thickness of 3.65 mm, 9.9 percent less than the thinnest mechanical watch currently on the market, the 4.05-mm-thin Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Jubilee.

    The watch has an 18k-gold case (white or rose) and will sell for a contrastingly thick wedge of $20,000 when the watch reaches stores in 2014. The watch will be formally unveiled at the SIHH exhibition in Geneva in January.

    Piaget has produced 23 ultra-thin calibres out of the 35 movements developed and produced in-house, of which 12 have set new records for thinness over the past few years and are now part of the collection.

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    Piaget accomplished its latest ultra thin feat by employing an ingenious engineering solution. The calibre has been merged with the case to form a single entity. To achieve this, the two Manufactures Piaget – one based in La Côte aux Fées, where the movements are made, and the other in Plan-les-Ouates, where the cases are crafted, also merged their skills. The mainplate is machined out of the caseback. The result is that the watch does not have an independent movement that can be removed from the case. This procedure gives the watch its extraordinary thinness. It is the same principle behind the construction of the famous ultra-thin Concord Delirium watch, which set a world record for thinness in 1979.

    The Delirium was a quartz watch whose total thickness was 1.79 mm. As we mentioned just the other day, the later version, Delirium IV, was thinner than a millimetre; the watch was an astounding 0.98 mm thick. The same caseback/mainplate solution is employed for quartz Swatch watches. Piaget is the first to apply the principle to mechanical watches.

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    With each of the 145 parts composing the Altiplano 38 mm 900P has been trimmed to a size sometimes barely thicker than a hair’s breadth, including some wheels measuring a mere 0.12 mm thin (compared with 0.20 mm on a classic movement), the process involved arranging the components to within the nearest hundredth of a millimetre. This was in order create optimal play between the fixed and mobile organs, while being careful to ensure that the latter move freely and thus guarantee the smooth running of the mechanism. And even though some of those 145 parts remain hidden from sight, all of them have been meticulously finished in keeping with the noblest horological traditions, through countless hours of patient work rendered even trickier by the extraordinary slenderness of the components.

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    Using the caseback as a mainplate forced Piaget to reverse the traditional movement construction and make the bridges part of the watch’s dial. Hence, the entire wheel train is visible on the dial. Among the technical innovations is a barrel suspended from a single bridge on the dial side as opposed to the traditional spot fixed to the mainplate. To save another precious few millimetres, the entire mechanism and the hand-fitting system are contained within the thickness of the balance-wheel itself, thus entailing an off-centred display of the hours and minutes entirely in tune with the iconic design features of the Altiplano line.

    Piaget watchmakers spent three years creating the watch which required close coordination between a team of watchmakers, case constructors and designers.

    Visit the Piaget website
    Last edited by Michael Weare; December 12th, 2013 at 09:33.
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  2. #2
    lvt
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    Re: Thinnest mechanical watch ever: Piaget ultra-thin Altiplano 38 mm 900P

    They should have added a power reserve indicator as it's a manual-wind.
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    Re: Thinnest mechanical watch ever: Piaget ultra-thin Altiplano 38 mm 900P

    Piaget as usual, but finding doors without knobs can be difficult at times.
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    Re: Thinnest mechanical watch ever: Piaget ultra-thin Altiplano 38 mm 900P

    They'll be plenty of collectors
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    Re: Thinnest mechanical watch ever: Piaget ultra-thin Altiplano 38 mm 900P

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchbreath View Post
    Piaget as usual, but finding doors without knobs can be difficult at times.
    Agreed. They are truly one of the great houses of horology.

  6. #6
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    Re: Thinnest mechanical watch ever: Piaget ultra-thin Altiplano 38 mm 900P

    The crystal must be paper thin. That would be a concern for me.
    What is it with Rolex and Invicta? Either you hate them or you love them! Can't we all just get along???

  7. #7
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    Re: Thinnest mechanical watch ever: Piaget ultra-thin Altiplano 38 mm 900P

    I like it. And I appreciate the achievement for such a thin watch....however I'd rather it be twice as thick so it doesn't lose presence on my arm.... :(
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  8. #8
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    Re: Thinnest mechanical watch ever: Piaget ultra-thin Altiplano 38 mm 900P

    You could glue one to a 50 cent piece.
    Quote Originally Posted by PremierCurrency View Post
    I like it. And I appreciate the achievement for such a thin watch....however I'd rather it be twice as thick so it doesn't lose presence on my arm.... :(
    Pyroxene and tony20009 like this.

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