Piaget Altiplano New Models Celebrating 50th Anniversary of the Calibre 12P

For Piaget, 2010 represents a tribute to its rich watchmaking heritage as well as a quantum leap towards the future. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the introduction of its legendary Calibre 12P in 1960, the world’s thinnest mechanical self-winding movement at that time, the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget is presenting Calibre 1200P. Because it stems from the expertise in ultra-thin movements that has become a hallmark of the Piaget style, this movement once again sets new limits by becoming the thinnest selfwinding movement currently on the market, at 2.35 mm: a first record.

For its debut on the watchmaking stage, Calibre 1200P is equipping as of 2010 one of Piaget’s iconic models, the Altiplano watch. Featuring a new case size (43 mm in diameter), the latest Altiplano watch is a mere 5.25 mm thick, making it the thinnest watch in its category: a second record.

This exceptional piece is modest about its achievements, since amid the current frantic race toward ever more complicated models, it displays only essentials: hours and minutes. In tribute to Calibre 12P, which also featured only hour and minute functions, it will be issued in two anniversary editions: one in 18-carat pink gold and the other in 18- carat white gold, each issued in series of 235 – a symbolic number echoing the movement’s record slimness: 2.35 mm.

For over half a century, the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget has written some of the finest pages in the history of ultra-thin movements and has played a pioneering role in doing so. In 1957, Piaget caused a sensation by developing Calibre 9P, the world’s thinnest mechanical hand-wound movement (at 2 mm thick). Two years later, Valentin Piaget filed a patent for Calibre 12P, which was marketed in 1960 and set a new record, this time in the category of self-winding watches.

Building on this historical legitimacy, the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget has constantly cultivated and enriched its know-how in the highly technical segment of ultra-thin movements, of which the most recent are the 430P (2.1 mm thick) created in 1998 and the 830P (2.5 mm) launched in 2007.

This expertise in the area of ultra-thin movements has also given rise to complicated calibres such as the 600P, the world’s thinnest shaped tourbillon movement at 3.5 mm; the 880P, equipped with a flyback chronograph and a dual time-zone function and measuring a mere 5.65 mm thick; and the 855P that manages to accommodate within just 5.6 mm a perpetual calendar, retrograde displays and a dual time-zone indication.

50 years after Calibre 12P was first commercialised, the 1200P self-winding movement not only earns the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget a new record in the quest for the thinnest self-winding movement, but also enriches an incredibly rich portfolio of movements stemming from decades of creativity, inventions, as well as technical and human investments. This watchmaking heritage alone is sufficient to assert the brand’s stature as one of the handful of truly great Manufactures in the noblest sense of the term.

Piaget Altiplano 43 mm “Anniversary Edition” – Calibre 1200P

This timepiece stems from a wish to celebrate a landmark anniversary by setting a new record for slimness and combining it with exceptional reliability. With this in mind, the expertise acquired by the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget in development ultra-thin movements has enabled it to implement technical solutions consistently pushing micromechanical limits. By way of example, whereas the gear trains of a classic movement usually measure around 0.2 mm, those of the 1200P are just 0.12 mm thick, which is scarcely more than a hair’s breadth (0.08 mm).

Generally speaking, the thickness of the various movement parts has been reduced to bare essentials, while nonetheless guaranteeing impeccable reliability. Among them, the automatic winding mechanism represented one of the trickiest problems to overcome. This set of parts calls for a certain volume and tends to make a movement significantly thicker. Like the 12P, the solution thus consisted in integrating it within the 1200P using the principle of an off-centred oscillating weight, also known as a micro-rotor. This oscillating weight engraved with the Piaget coat-of-arms is crafted in platinum.

The use of this material gives it a weight and inertia ratio guaranteeing excellent winding force. The result is a movement that is not only the thinnest in its category currently on the market (2.35 mm), but also has a balance with low inertia (2.90 mg.cm2), a frequency of 21,600 vph and an approximately 40-hour power reserve.

Loyal to its tradition of extreme quality, the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget has made a point of honour of treating its new ultra-thin calibre to exceptional finishing: in addition to the bevelled bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève, the circular-grained mainplate, the satin-brushed steel parts and the blued screws, the 1200P also features circular sunray-brushed wheels as well as a dedicated indexassembly bearing the “P” for Piaget like a secret signature.

This large movement –13 ¼ lignes, meaning 29.9 mm in diameter – driving the hour and minute functions was of course intended to equip a large-size ultra-thin watch. Altiplano, an iconic model among ultra-thin watches in general and particularly within the range produced by the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget, was thus a natural choice.

Engraved with the inscription “1200P”, the case was designed well upstream in the development process so as to provide the perfect receptacle for the movement, each being specifically made for the other. The glass is deliberately flat rather than convex in order to accentuate the slimness of the case. The result is an extremely refined watch creation with tapering lugs and a handguilloché dial beautifully highlighted by an extremely slender bezel.

The various dial levels – a clever means of further reducing the thickness of the watch while limiting hand-setting heights – and the alternation of simple and double hour-markers, along with the word “automatic” reminiscent of Piaget’s historical pieces and the discreet inscription signalling that this is an anniversary model, all contribute to the pure style and perfect balance of the overall effect.

Despite its extreme slenderness, the case in 18-carat pink gold matched with a midnight blue dial, or in 18-carat white gold framing a black dial, is equipped with a transparent caseback enabling one to admire the movement and the crown bearing the “P” for Piaget. A pin buckle reflecting the aesthetic of the bezel has been specially created for this watch. Each of these references is available in a limited series of just 235, and the individual number is engraved on the oscillating weight of each movement.

Ref. G0A35133: Piaget Altiplano 43 mm “anniversary edition” – Calibre 1200P, white gold

Technical details
Ref. G0A35133

Ref. G0A35132: Piaget Altiplano 43 mm “anniversary edition” – Calibre 1200P, pink gold

Technical details
Ref. G0A35132

Piaget Altiplano 43 mm – Calibre 1208P

In parallel with the Altiplano 43 mm anniversary edition equipped with Calibre 1200P, the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget presents the Altiplano 43 mm Calibre 1208P model. Designed to become part of the brand collection, whereas the model dedicated to the anniversary of Calibre 12P will remain an exclusive limited edition, this version has nonetheless been treated to the same meticulous finishing of both its movement and its exterior.

Tapering lugs, a slender bezel, a pure dial, a calibre finished according to the aesthetic signature codes of the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget: the entire range of features translates the understated elegance that is the keynote of this ultra-thin timepiece. The oscillating weight is crafted from 22-carat gold, while a small seconds display at 4 o’clock enlivens the dial and makes the record 2.35 mm slimness of Calibre 1208P even more remarkable.

With the Altiplano 43 mm watch equipped with the new Calibre 1208P – just as with the anniversary limited edition model and its Calibre 1200P – the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget is setting two new records: that of the thinnest mechanical self-winding movement on the market at 2.35 mm; and that of the thinnest watch in its category, measuring a mere 5.25 mm. A far cry from vintage or retro styled models, it is instead a great modern-day classic expressing a powerful new statement of Piaget’s supreme mastery in the realm of ultra-thin expertise.

Ref. G0A35130 Piaget Altiplano 43 mm – Calibre 1208P, white gold

Technical details
Ref. G0A35130 (Piaget Altiplano)

Ref. G0A35130 Piaget Altiplano 43 mm – Calibre 1208P, pink gold

Technical details
Ref. G0A35131(Piaget Altiplano)

Piaget Altiplano Double Jeu 43 mm – Calibres 838P / 832P

While the technical inventiveness of a great watch manufacturer can be measured by its portfolio of movements, its aesthetic inventiveness is gauged by the creativity of its timepieces. In this respect, the expertise in the field of mechanical ultra-thin calibres acquired by the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget not only enables it to set new records, but also stimulates its designers’ imagination by giving them the possibility of creating such daring models as the Altiplano Double Jeu watch.

Representing a genuine exception among current production, this watch was first commercialised in 2007 and met with immediate success. It actually consists of two watches, featuring extremely slender cases and ultra-thin movements that enable them to be superimposed so as to form just one – at least apparently so.

The result is a decidedly avant-garde, generously sized 43 mm-diameter watch equipped with two calibres driving different time displays on each dial, a particularly useful function for travellers. The upper dial, powered by mechanical hand-wound Calibre 838P, is adjusted to the time zone of the destination, while the lower one driven by hand-wound Calibre 832P remains set to the time in the place of departure. In developing the new Calibre 832P based on the ultra-thin Calibre 830P, the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie wished to further enhance the sophistication of the Double Jeu concept by providing travellers with a dual time-zone displayed on a 24-hour scale rather than just 12 hours.

To achieve this, the master watchmakers had to modify the hour wheel and to install a new minute mechanism that enables a display running from 1 to 24. This technical solution enables an extremely original display on the lower dial entirely in keeping with the spirit of this atypical watch. It is also perfectly legible, since the 24 hours appear on a single hour scale. This complication provides its wearer with the assurance, even when he’s on the other side of the world, of being able to call his children to say good night rather than when they are on their way to school….

Like all movements from the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget, the new Calibre 832P is finished with meticulous care, including bevelled bridges adorned with circular Côtes de Genève, a circular-grained mainplate and traditional blued screws. The new Altiplano Double Jeu model equipped with Calibre 838P and with the new Calibre 832P is available in two versions: 18-carat pink or white gold, each fitted with a sapphire crystal beneath the upper case and a solid back engraved with the Piaget coat-of-arms beneath the lower case.

Technical details

Model: Ref. G0A35153 (Piaget Altiplano Double JePiaget Jeu)
Large model 43 mm

Two superimposed cases in 18-carat pink gold:-

Upper case:
Silver-coloured dial, black baton hour-markers, baton hands, case-back fitted with sapphire crystal revealing the movement
Functions: hour, minute, small seconds at 10 o’clock.
Manufacture Piaget 838P ultra-thin mechanical hand-wound movement
Movement thickness: 2.5 mm
Casing dimensions: 12’’’ ( 26.8 mm diameter)
Number of jewels: 19
Frequency: 21,600 vph
Approximately 62-hour power reserve
Finishing: circular Côtes de Genève, circular-grained mainplate, bevelled
bridges, blued screws

Second case:
Silver-coloured dial, black baton hour-markers, baton hands
Case-back engraved with the Piaget coat-of-arms
Functions: hour, minute on a 24- hour basis
Manufacture Piaget 832P ultra-thin mechanical hand-wound movement
Movement thickness: 2.5 mm
Casing dimensions: 12’’’ (26.8 mm diameter)
Number of jewels: 19
Frequency: 21,600 vph
Approximately 62-hour power reserve
Finishing: circular Côtes de Genève, circular-grained mainplate, bevelled bridges, blued screws


Brown alligator leather strap, 18-carat pink gold folding clasp

Other versions
Also available in white gold

Piaget Altiplano Gem-set Skeleton 40 mm- Calibre 838P

While mastery of ultra-thin movements remains the preserve of a handful of great watch manufacturers, “skeletonising” or openworking this type of calibre is a truly outstanding exception. The Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget unites under one roof the entire range of professions involved in watchmaking and jewellery-making, a rare degree of integration that already enabled it in 2005 to present a watch industry first in the shape of an ultra-thin movement that was not only openworked but also gem-set: Calibre 600P.

Compounded by the fact that this movement was also the world’s thinnest shaped tourbillon movement, such an impressive achievement certainly deserves due praise. In 2010, a year when it is offering a stunning display of its mastery of ultra-thinness, the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie has chosen to illustrate its twofold legitimacy as a watchmaker and a jeweller by introducing a new ultra-thin gem-set movement: Calibre 838P.

Gem-setting an ultra-thin skeletonised movement is an extremely complex task, since it requires modifications of its fundamental structure. Each part to be set, whether a plate or bridge, must be just thick enough to accommodate the jewelling while remaining sufficiently rigid – all the while maintaining the extreme overall slenderness of the movement.

Such a feat would be impossible without the close cooperation of each profession within the Manufacture, starting with the gem-setter, watchmaker and movement developer. A dedicated reinforced solid gold mainplate had to be developed in order to support the gem-setting which was naturally to be extensive as possible.

The result is truly spectacular: 0.48 carats of full-cut diamonds, meaning no less than 174 stones set into a single movement measuring just 3.10 mm thick. The calibre is finished in compliance with the signature codes of the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget: sunburst guilloché bridges, bevelling, circular graining and hand-drawn mainplate and bridges, blued screws, circular satin-brushed wheels.

The finished result is harmoniously integrated within the case thanks to a flange set with 144 diamonds totalling 0.91 carats. Crafted in 18-carat white gold with a bezel set with 72 diamonds totalling 1.01 carats, this watch is available exclusively from Piaget boutiques.

Technical details

Model: Ref. G0A35117 (Piaget Altiplano Piaget gem-set skeleton)

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