Piaget: When the world’s thinnest mechanical watch merges caliber and dressing

Quite a movement, quite a case, or rather the two at once: here are the Altiplano 38 mm 900 p, the thinnest mechanical watch in the world. Merging caliber to wound and dressing, it is designed as a whole to sign the world record of finesse, with only 3.65 mm thick. Crowning more than half a century of virtuosity in the field of the extra flat where Piaget reigns supreme, it reflects the excellence of the two integrated factories of home, here where trades of the watchmakers, box manufacturers and designers come together to give life to this masterpiece of reliability and precision.

Great vintage year 2014 for Piaget! The House celebrates 140 years, and launched for the occasion which will challenge long yet all the finesse in watchmaking codes: the Altiplano 38 mm 900 p.

Turned to the most advanced innovation of our time, it is also a nod to history, since it owes its name to 900 p to the calibre 9 p, which was the first calibre extra-flat wound made by Piaget in 1957. A mechanic who had 2 mm in height, and that forever sealed the fate of the factory in the field of the extra flat. In fact, in 1960, Piaget signed a first record, with its calibre 12 p, the thinnest automatic movement in the world, with 2.3 mm in height. The following years will see hatch new records of finesse in that automatic both manual segments, with or without complications, like the caliber 600P, whirlwind of form-wound as flat world, or the 1208P, also the thinnest automatic movement in its class, to name a few.

 

A heritage impressive field of the extra flat

 

Reaffirming with faith his unconditional love for fine mechanics, the Manufacture of high watchmaking Piaget did not less than 23 extra-thin calibers, about 35 movements designed and produced in-house, which 12 received a record of finesse over the past years and today collection. An impressive work, where each new feat set a further milestone in the accumulated expertise, which feeds the House to push further the limits of his art and innovate again and again through exceptional creations. Designs not only hit the seal of the extremely delicate, but also that of reliability without compromise, a requirement which presides over each of the choices of the Manufacture. Witnesses of the insolent success of this double challenge, all 23 extra-thin movements continue to be manufactured continuously since their launch, while the caliber 430P has established itself as one of the most produced worldwide extra-thin-wound movements, because of its extreme resistance.

 

Merger of the know-how of two integrated Manufactures

 

Achieve an extra-flat watch is a challenge to every moment. From the first sketches of the project, this is to anticipate both functional, aesthetic and robustness constraints entailed a refining of the components taken to an extreme. Therefore, there are few factories to attempt the exercise. Even more rare are those to design and carry out internally both their size and their boxes, under the watchful eye of the designers ‘home ‘. Piaget is precisely of these. If the Altiplano 38 mm 900 p merges movement and case for itself as the thinnest in the world mechanical watch, she develops a different merger without which a such a feat would not have been possible: that of the two factories Piaget, one based on the side – the fairies where are traditionally carried out movements, the other at Plan-les-Ouates, where boxes are shaped. Know-how that merge now, since with the Altiplano 38 mm 900 p, mechanical and design form more than one.

Three years, watchmakers, box manufacturers and designers have worked together at every stage of design, production, setting and finishing in order to give life to this marvel of delicacy, every technical choice resulting in an aesthetic impact and vice versa. While each of the 145 components of the Altiplano 38 mm 900 p has been refined to a thinness sometimes barely exceeding that of a hair like some wheels that do display as 0.12 mm in height (while they are 0.20 mm on a classic movement), a particular care has been taken to the lovemaking. In other words, it took expertly matched to a hundredth of a millimeter components to create the best games between the fixed and mobile bodies, ensuring that they operate unimpeded and thus ensure a perfect market mechanism.

At the heart of the world’s thinnest watch

 

Still, the secret of this extreme finesse is in the design of the case, including the background is also a Platinum. Merging caliber and case, it was machined to even the bottom to accommodate mechanical components. A more complex architecture, which induces a construction reversed movement, with bridges mounted dial, in a process which is also aesthetic, as they become visible.

 

To win yet precious millimeters, all of the mechanism and the switch is in the thickness of the pendulum, with for corollary a display off center hours and minutes, in perfect harmony with the emblematic codes of the Altiplano line. Codes yet sublimated by the gear train revealed to the gaze, inviting the wearer of the watch to plunge into the heart of this mechanical finesse and technical. Component with this highly reduced space, Piaget has imagined a barrel suspended, held by a single bridge on the dial, unlike conventional cylinders which are also fixed side plate side. A rare feature, which prétérite in the prowess of the mechanism, since the Altiplano 38 mm 900 p features a generous book market about 48 hours!

A pending patent for a major step forward in the service of reliability

 

When a watch is subjected to high pressure, e.g. when it is submerged, its ice deforms slightly. This physical phenomenon goes relatively unnoticed with a classic timepiece, so everything else with an extra-flat watch. Because of the spaces reduced to their minimum, ice would tend to rely on the needles by deforming, which would lead to a stop of the movement. To thwart the challenge posed to all, extra-flat creation, Piaget has created a revolutionary device, currently under patent, who signs a major step forward in the reliability of this type of watch. Rather than mount the switch above the bridges, Piaget put it underneath, thus freeing up the space between the floor and the ice. When the latter deforms under the effect of pressure, it either supports on needles – placed bridges – but on the Cog bridge, with an incidence below zero on the movement.

Finishes without concession any

 

For Piaget, the extreme refinement of an extra-flat watch components should not sacrifice its reliability, so similarly to the level of finishes. The Altiplano 38 mm 900 p is no exception to the rule. Though even some of its 145 components remain hidden, all carefully completed in pure watchmaking tradition, at the end of a patient made work more delicate yet because of the extraordinary fineness of the elements.

 

Shaped in the back of the watch, the plate was satin and sanded, while the wheels are in turn sunny or hooped. Each to better reveal the subtle mechanism that operates at the heart of the Altiplano 38 mm 900 p, bridges corners and satins Sun are treated black, drawing elegant contrasts with the white gold of the case. In its version Gold rose, the Watch has mechanical features anthracite, while when she opts for a gold seam declination, the bezel comes to light up all of 78 diamonds. Finally, the hit the “P” of Piaget caliber just sign this subtle orchestration of Haute Horlogerie.

 

An exceptional piece of fine jewellery

 

Since its first extra-thin calibers at the dawn of the 1960s, Piaget has always declined these treasures of finesse in exceptional pieces, sublimating the two core businesses of its Manufacture: Haute Horlogerie and fine jewellery. Crimp a watch is a demanding art that incorporates many constraints. Extra-flat watch concedes that minute tolerances to preserve the volume of its lines and the volume of its case. Thus the delicacy of the matter leaves little space for crimping the stones. The jewellery of the Altiplano 38 mm 900 p version totaling 4.71 Carat signs a new record of finesse, since she is the finest high jewellery watch of the world, with only 5.65 mm in height. 304 diamonds highlight scene of subtle games of size – wand for the bezel, brilliant for the horns and build. On the dial, 33 baguette diamonds draw one hour tour. Piaget pushed retail up to crimp the screws of the bridges and the workings. Jewelry into its final details, the watch also sports a delicate crimping of the clasp of his alligator strap, thus completing a work that will remain very exclusive.

Infinitely Altiplano

 

Spanning more than 1500 km in the heart of the Cordillera of the Andes, the Altiplano – literally “plain of altitude” in Spanish – is one of the highest inhabited regions in the world, with an average altitude of 3 650 meters, which echoes the exceptional finesse of the Altiplano 38 mm 900 p from the top of its 3.65 mm high! Swept by the winds, the Altiplano razed lands offer landscapes infinitely flat, devoid of any artifice, though even they contain valuable resources such as gold, silver or copper. Inspired by these bodies at the same time sublime and ethereal, the line of Piaget Altiplano she also hides a treasure – mechanical this time – in a sleek, modern design, carried by a biased dial traveled to an alternation of single and double index, in a contemporary interpretation of a dedicated classicism through the ages. Draped in a box of 18K gold, the new Altiplano 38 mm 900 p offers itself it also in an apparent simplicity despite extraordinary architecture, which would almost forget that it is the thinnest mechanical watch in the world. Rarely an Altiplano watch will be also well carried his name.

 

Gallery

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