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Neither entirely a movement nor exactly a case – or rather both at once: introducing the Altiplano 38 mm 900P, the world’s thinnest mechanical watch. Merging the hand-wound calibre with the case elements, it is designed as a single entity in order to achieve record-breaking slenderness at just 3.65 mm thin.
The Altiplano 900P is the culmination of over half a century of virtuosity in the field of ultra-thin timepieces, in which Piaget is the acknowledged master
While the Altiplano 38 mm 900P merges the case and movement to establish itself as the thinnest mechanical watch, it also stems from another fusion without which such a feat would have been impossible: that of the two Manufactures Piaget.
The Manufacture where the cases are produced
The Manufacture where our movements are produced
For three years, watchmakers, case builders and designers have worked together at each stage of design, production, adjustment and finishing so as to create this marvel of thinness, Each technical choice involves an aesthetic impact and vice versa.
The true secret of this extreme slenderness lies in the structure of the case itself, of which the back also serves as the mainplate. Thereby merging calibre and case, the latter was machined directly from the case-back in order to house the mechanical parts. This most complex of architectures also required the reverse construction of the movement, with bridges fitted on the dial side, thus rendering them visible and requiring close attention to aesthetics.
To save another precious few millimetres, the entire mechanism and the hand-fitting system are contained within the thickness of the balance-wheel itself, thus entailing an off-centred display of the hours and minutes entirely in tune with the iconic design features of the Altiplano line.
These characteristics are further enhanced by the entirely visible wheel-train that invites the owner of the watch to plunge into the very heart of this supremely slender and technically sophisticated mechanism. Working within this extremely confined space, Piaget has devised a suspended barrel hanging from a single bridge on the dial side, contrary to classic barrels that are also fixed to the mainplate side. This highly unusual device is no way detrimental to the performance of the mechanism, since the Altiplano 38 mm 900P has a generous power reserve of around 48 hours.
While for Piaget, the extreme slimming down of the parts in an ultra-thin watch must in no way compromise its reliability, the same goes for the level of finishing. The Altiplano 38 mm 900P is no exception to the rule. Even though some of its 145 parts remain hidden from sight, all of them have been meticulously finished in keeping with the noblest horological traditions, through countless hours of patient work rendered even trickier by the extraordinary slenderness of the components.
The index-assembly bearing the Piaget “P” strikes a resounding signature note within this subtly orchestrated Fine Watchmaking symphony.
The wheels are sunburst on one side then satin-brushed on the other
The Altiplano 900P line by Piaget features a pure modern design, distinguished by an off-centred dial alternately punctuated by single and double hour-markers in a contemporary interpretation of timeless classicism.
No fewer than twelve different ultra-thin calibres are majestically showcased in the Piaget Altiplano collection. The sleek aesthetics of several models are demonstrated by their elegant round or square cases in gold. Dials are equally understated with their slender hour markers.