Marrying Haute Horlogerie and Haute Joaillerie, the Piaget Altiplano automatic gem-set Skeleton watch dazzles with its Caliber 1200D, whose main plate and functional parts are entirely set with gemstones. It’s a level of expertise exclusively mastered by the Manufacture Piaget, combined with another double ultra-thin record: 3 mm for the movement and 6.10 mm for the case.
As a past master in the ancestral art of skeleton-working, Piaget has developed and created the world’s thinnest skeleton models: Caliber 600S and Caliber 1200S, introduced in 2004 and 2012, respectively. But the display of virtuoso brilliance does not stop there, since the Manufacture took things to the next level in 2005 by gem-setting for the first time not only the various decorative parts and additional plates of a skeleton movement, but also the entire gold mainplate and functional parts. Embodying this expertise that is indeed unique in the world, Caliber 600D presented in 2005 was followed in 2010 by Caliber 838D, prefiguring another stellar embodiment of the watchmaking art now unveiled at the SIHH 2013: Caliber 1200D, the first ever automatic gem-set skeleton movement.
Successor to the already iconic automatic skeleton caliber 1200S with its peerless slenderness, Caliber 1200D is the 34th movement to be entirely developed and produced by the Manufacture in the last 15 years. It is an unprecedented feat blending watchmaking and jewelry know-how, and its extensive two-year development process alone called upon the full range of Piaget’s skills. Mirroring Piaget’s unique mastery, this 3 mm movement representing the thinnest in the world in its category is adorned with 259 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.8ct) and 11 black sapphire cabochons (approx. 0.2 ct) set within a diameter of 31.9 mm. This exceptional gem-setting requires four days of work to complete just one movement.
Setting the entire mainplate also requires paving the functional parts – a constant challenge mastered by only a rare few jewelers. An ultra-thin caliber naturally comprises extremely slender parts, such as the jumper-spring cover that measures just 0.69 mm. The Piaget master-jewelers even applied their artistry to concealing the screw threads beneath black sapphire cabochons.
Reflecting the exceptional nature of its movement, the 18K white gold case of the Altiplano automatic gem-set Skeleton movement, also called for the exercise of the most sophisticated skills perpetuated within the Manufacture. At just 6.10 mm thick, this case also sets a record for slimness, as well as being adorned with a setting of 40 baguette-cut diamonds (approx. 3.2 ct) on the bezel. Delicately set on the middle, the crown, the lugs and even the sapphire crystal case back, 347 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 1.4 ct) refine this precious composition, while the strap buckle sparkles with 24 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.06 ct).
Gem-set bridges that are hand-beveled and drawn out with file strokes; sunray-brushed wheels and black screws echoing the black-coated platinum micro-rotor: the decorations of Caliber 1200D are entirely in harmony with the finest traditions of Haute Horlogerie finishes cultivated by the Manufacture Piaget. This concern for detail is perfectly mastered in order to endow Caliber 1200D with the radiance it so richly deserves.
Model: Piaget Altiplano automatic gem-set Skeleton watch
Automatic Caliber 1200D, entirely developed, produced, decorated and assembled by Piaget
World’s thinnest automatic gem-set skeleton movement: 3 mm thick
Diameter: 31.9 mm (14’’’ ¼)
Set with 259 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.8 ct) and 11 black sapphire cabochons (approx. 0.2 ct)
Power reserve: approximately 44 hours
Frequency: 21,600 vph / 3 Hz
Number of parts: 191
Number of jewels: 26
Gold mainplate and bridges gem-set on the upper part
Sunray satin-brushed bridges
Mainplate and bridges beveled and hand-drawn with file strokes
Circular satin-brushed and sunray-brushed wheels
Black-coated platinum micro-rotor engraved with the Piaget coat of arms
World’s thinnest automatic gem-set skeleton watch: 6.10 mm thick
40 mm-diameter Altiplano case, 18K white gold
Bezel set with 40 baguette-cut diamonds (approx. 3.2ct)
Middle, crown, lugs and sapphire crystal caseback set with 347 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 1. 4 ct)
Black large-scale alligator leather strap with triple folding clasp in 18K white gold set with 24 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.06 ct)