The high-end brand, Piaget, known for its knack for creating extremely thin, as well as lavishly decorated timepieces, has lived up to its reputation once again. Its new model Altiplano Gem-Set Skeleton is supplied with amazing Caliber 1200D which is the world’s first gem-set skeletonized movement with an automatic winding. Additionally, thanks to the caliber, the new Piaget is also the thinnest timepiece in its category. Lavishly paved with plethora of diamonds, the watch with two world premier features looks truly amazing and shows the results of joint efforts of the master watchmakers and jewelers. Altiplano Gem-Set Skeleton is devised, developed, created, finished, decorated and set with diamonds entirely in the company’s workshops.
Thin, Skeletonized and Diamond-Set Predecessors
Before the launch of this newcomer, Piaget made several breakthroughs and records when the creation of ultra-thin and skeleton calibers is concerned. These records date way back from the middle of the 20th century, as well as from the modern times in which Piaget has become a part of the Richemont group. Among the biggest achievements of the old era, we should underline hand-wound Caliber 9P and self-winding Caliber 12P which were both the thinnest in its respective category when they first came out.
The development of ultra-thin calibers was continued in modern times when the brand’s experts worked toward the creation of the thinnest skeletonized models. The examples of these efforts are Caliber 600S (the thinnest flying tourbillon) and Caliber 1200S (the thinnest skeleton automatic movement). Somewhere around the same time, the Genevese firm started experimenting with gem-setting of its movement. Unlike any other watchmaker thus far, Piaget started decorating the whole base-plate and functional parts of the movement. This led to the creation of hand-wound ultra-thin and gem-set movements Caliber 600D, and more recently, Caliber 838D.
Caliber 1200D, the First of its Kind
For the year of 2013, Piaget presents another watchmaking breakthrough, embodied in amazingly 34th in-house movement Caliber 1200D from the brand’s manufacture that has been launched in the last 15 years. First unveiled at the start of the year at the SIHH 2013 event in Geneva, this is the world’s first diamond paved self-winding movement. It comes as a joint effort of the cream of both watchmaking and jewelry, while its development lasted for about two years. Caliber 1200D is just three 3mm thick (likewise a record in the category) and includes a (small) fortune of diamond decorations: 259 brilliant-cut diamonds (with approximate weight of 0.8 mm) and additional 11 black sapphire cabochons (with the weight of about 0.2 carats). All of these are placed on the movement whose diameter is 31.8 mm (or 14 ¼ lignes). It is a very challenging task that requires a lot of skill, effort and time. Only a handful of artisans are capable of completing this task and it takes four days of dedicated labor in order to create just a single movement. Some of the biggest challenges which they face is setting the movement’s functional parts with precious stone decorations, which is additionally hard, since the components are immensely slender, for example its jumper-spring cover that is just 0.69 mm thick. Another thing that reflects the skill of Piaget’s artisans is the fact that they manage to hide the screw threads beneath black sapphire cabochons.
Apart from the movement, diamonds can be likewise seen on the housing of the timepiece from the Altiplano collection. Its round and 40 mm wide Altiplano-styled case is made from 18 K white gold and as the brand claims, it features the slimmest profile in its category (which is a skeleton diamond-paved automatic watch – a pretty particular category as one might notice, especially since this is the first watch of said kind). Be that as it may, the thin casing shows off 347 brilliant-cut stones (weighing approximately 1.4 carats) which are set on its middle, on the crown and its skeletonized case-back. Furthermore, there are also 40 larger baguette-cut stones on the fixed bezel of the piece (weighing about 3.2 carats). However, this is not all, since the watch’s black large scale alligator leather strap fastens with a triple folding clasp which is made from white gold and which is ornamented with 24 more brilliant-cut diamonds (1.4 carats).
A Power Reserve of 44 Hours
After the presented details about the featured diamond decorations, let us focus a bit more on the technical specifications of the timekeeper. The mention record-setting Caliber 1200D is comprised of 191 parts and 26 jewels. It operates on the frequency of 21,600 vph, while its automatic winding system provides a power reserve which lasts for around 44 hours. Caliber 1200D has its main-plate and bridges are made from gold. Since it is a high-end piece and a pretty decorative one, it comes as no surprise that the watch features supreme movement finishes. Its bridges are set with stones, as well as hand-beveled and with sunray satin-brushed finish. The caliber likewise includes sunray-brushed wheels and black screws and a platinum micro-rotor with a black coating and the engraving of the brand’s logo.
The price of this amazing timekeeper is still undisclosed, but it is certain that you will need quite a heap of money to become an owner of this record-setting timekeeper with the amazing diamond decorations.