At SIHH 2018, along with Altiplano Ultimate Concept watch, which is the world’s thinnest hand-wound mechanical watch, Piaget has unveiled the Altiplano Ultimate Automatic, the world’s thinnest self-winding mechanical watch. Dressed in a mere 4.30 mm thick case, this timepiece is a distillation of technical excellence, a record-holder for its extreme thinness, and the ultimate symbol of elegance.
Like the 900P concept movement, the Altiplano Ultimate Automatic breaks free of the distinction between movement and exterior elements. Designed as an inseparable whole to set a new thinness record, the movement and case form a single entity, with the latter serving as a mainplate to which the 219 incredibly thin components are affixed. Some of the parts are barely thicker than a hair’s breadth, including certain wheels measuring just 0.12 mm thick (compared with 0.20 mm on a traditional movement). This highly complex architecture has led to a reversed movement construction, with the bridges fitted on the dial side – an approach that contributes to the inimitable aesthetic of the Altiplano Ultimate Automatic, since they are now visible through the front of the watch.
The entire mechanism and hand-fitting is contained within the thickness of the balance wheel, thus entailing an off-centred display of the hours and minutes that is entirely in tune with the emblematic design codes of the Altiplano line. Working within these extremely small confines, Piaget opted for a suspended barrel, held by a single bridge on the dial side, contrary to customary barrels that are also fixed on the mainplate side. The Altiplano Ultimate Automatic enjoys a generous 50-hour power reserve.
The oscillating weight in 22K gold with black PVD coating is positioned on the movement periphery so as to be incorporated into its thickness and thus contribute to the overall slimness. The choice of gold for this technical component is essential as it allows a perfect machining, and it endows the oscillating weight with a weight, an inertia and a robustness guaranteeing excellent winding performance.
The hours and minutes are integrated within the thickness of the calibre, whereas they tend to be placed on top in standard constructions. A patent has been filed for this major breakthrough aimed at enhancing reliability.
When a watch is subjected to strong pressure, its glass is slightly distorted. While this physical phenomenon goes relatively unnoticed on a traditional timepiece, things are very different with an ultrathin watch. Given the fact that spaces are reduced to an absolute minimum, the glass would tend to press against the hands when thus distorted, causing the movement to stop. By fitting the hands below the bridges, Piaget thus frees up space between the cannon-pinion and the glass. If the latter is distorted due to pressure, it no longer pushes on the hands, but instead on the gear-train bridge and thus has no effect on the smooth running of the movement.
The timepiece features highest standards of movement finishing. Machined in the actual watch case, the mainplate has been satin-brushed and sand-blasted, while the wheels are alternately sunburst- or circular satin-finished. Hollowed out so as to afford an even better view of the subtle mechanism operating at the heart of the Altiplano Ultimate Automatic, the chamfered bridges are sunburst satin-brushed. The historical “Piaget Automatic” inscription that appeared on the very first ultra-thin timepiece from the Maison also sets the seal on this new watch, thereby paying tribute to the extremely rich history of the line. Finally, the index-assembly bearing the “P” for Piaget adds a final signature to this sophisticated timepiece. Chamfered and sunburst bridges, and black PVD coated screws set the final aesthetic touches to this exceptional watch.
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 910P (World’s thinnest mechanical automatic watch)
Diameter: 41 mm
18K pink gold (Ref G0A43120)
18K White gold (Ref G0A43121)
Mechanical automatic Calibre 910P with black PVD-coated 22K gold peripheral oscillating weight
Development time: three years
Power reserve: approximately 50 hours
Frequency: 21,600 vph / 3 Hz
Thickness: 4.30 mm (case + movement)
Number of jewels: 30
Functions: hours and minutes offset at 10 o’clock
Number of components: 238 (case + movement)
Finishing operations: circular satin-brushed caseback, sunburst satin-brushed bridges, chamfered bridges, sunburst or circular satin-finished wheels, black-coated screws, dedicated index assembly with “P” as the Piaget signature
Black alligator leather strap
18K pink gold/white gold pin buckle