A story that became history
The first ultra-thin hand-wound movement is created by Piaget in 1957 and already often only 2 mm. In 1960, Piaget fixed first record thanks to Calibre 12P, the world’s thinnest automatic movement with its 2.3 mm. In subsequent years, other records came one after another, the Calibre 600P, the tourbillon movement with manual winding shape of the world’s thinnest automatic movement and the 1208P, which is also the thinnest in its category.
Ultra-thin watches styles
Out of a total of 35 gauges so far produced by Piaget as many as 23 are ultra-thin , 1 and 2 of them including the Altiplano 38 mm P 900 entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for their subtlety . Designing a gauge typically involves not only a miniaturization of each component, but also an almost total revolution of their placement, in order to exploit every tenth of a millimeter of the cash that will contain it.
Piaget Altiplano Watch
Altiplano from the record presented these days at the SIHH 2014 is the result of the efforts of the two poles constructive Piaget La Cote aux Fees, which are traditionally produced movements and the other in Plan-les-Ouates, which are created crates.
Some parts of Altiplano 38 mm were cut down to a size slightly larger than a human hair , including some wheels that measure only 0.12 mm — 0.20 mm compared to a classical movement.
But according to what Piaget says the secret of this structure lies in the extreme thinness of the case, which also serves as the bottom platen. Wanting melt Caliber and cash, cash and printed starting from the bottom which houses the mechanical parts. Required the reversal of the construction of the movement in order to have the bridge from the side of the dial, the end result also produces an aesthetic effect, making visible the bridges themselves.
To save other precious millimeters, the entire mechanism and the structure of the hands are contained within the thickness of the barbell, with a dial of hours and minutes decentralized. The gearing , which is also fully exposed, as well as a fundamental element of a Gauge sorting of its operation becomes in effect part of the design , in this case too kinetic, the world’s thinnest mechanical watch. Given the environment of space forever in debt as opposed to the traditional barrels — which are also set by the side of the platen — Piaget had to pause it and secure it to a deck on the side of the dial. Despite these “tricks” the power reserve is approximately 48 hours.
Given the space available glass could press on the hands, stopping the movement. In order to avoid this problem, Piaget has developed a device for which a patent has been applied for. Instead of fixing the hands over the bridges, they find themselves under the same succeeding in order to recover another space between the pinion and the crystal. When the latter is deformed by the pressure, does not press on the hands — positioned below the level of the bridge — but presses on the bridge of the gearing thus avoiding any effect on the operation of the movement.
We have seen how the roads taken to be able to get the thinnest watch category have meant that most of the 145 elements of the gauge to be “the light of the Sun”, so it was a must in addition to their shrinking, their position , their involvement with the case, give careful attention also to the finish. Obtained from the sinker cap and satin and sandblasted while the wheels are finished and perlage soleil. Excavated to reveal the subtle mechanical complexity of the Altiplano 38 mm 900P, the bridges chamfered and satin with sunray effect are treated in black to contrast with the white gold case. The racquet control is customized with the P for Piaget.
It is important to remember that building an ultra-thin watch does not just mean “raise” , or to disappear almost everything you see or not, but also worry that the whole mechanical structure is not thereby dramatically weakened. In my opinion one of the proofs that the Maison has always proven to excel in ultra-thin watches comes from the fact that often — as if that were not enough — he also enjoys propose the skeleton versions of his already very short projects.
Record in High Jewelry
In the almost total lack of space, a realm of ultra-thin watch, Piaget has found a way to create a version of the Altiplano 38 mm High Jewellery 900P which has a total of 4.71 carats, and with his 5.65 mm thickness, sets a new record by becoming the ’ Haute Horlogerie watch thinnest in the world . Its 304 baguette-cut diamonds are on the bezel and on the lugs and a brilliant cut profiles. The hour circle of the dial and is also embellished with 33 baguette-cut diamonds. Piaget was able to embed the screws even bridges and gearing.