For the upcoming SIHH 2014 that will be held from 20th to 24th January, Piaget has prepared something really special. The world will see the thinnest mechanical wristwatch ever which is thick only 3.65mm. The title for the thinnest mechanical watch was previously held by Jaeger-LeCoultre for the Master Ultra-Thin Jubilee Watch, which comes in 4.05mm thick case.
In 2014, the renowned Swiss manufacturer will celebrate its 140th anniversary in the best possible way with a new record in ultra-thin mechanical watchmaking. Piaget has been known for creating the thinnest possible mechanical watches. It all began a long time ago. In 1957, the Swiss watchmaker presented the 2mm thick 9P movement which was its first ultra-thin hand-wound movement. Three years later, they released the iconic 12P which was the thinnest self-winding movement in the world of its time with only 2.3mm thickness.
For its 140th birthday, Piaget will once again take the title of the absolute world’s thinnest mechanical watch. In a fascinating bit of engineering, the watch case and movement have become one. The 900P mechanical movement has gears and parts so unbelievably thin. The mechanism is made with traditional materials instead of space-age composites. It consists of 145 individual parts in all, and each of them fits within the thickness of the balance wheel. The thinnest wheel is the third wheel of the main gear train which is only 0.12mm thick (a classic movement features a wheel with 0.2mm thickness).
This movement is also special because it is not only integrated into the dial, but it is included into the case as well. The back of the watch serves as the main plate of the movement. The bridges and gear train are set on the dial side and they are visible through a sapphire crystal glass which is an aesthetically quite pleasing detail. The space is further reduced considering that the barrel is not connected to the main plate either, but exists off to the side. There is one more incredible fact about this mechanism. Although it is the thinnest mechanism in the world, it is capable to store a fairly generous power reserve of circa 48 hours. According to the manufacturer, it took three years for Piaget engineers to develop this exceptional movement.
And the last amazing detail about this amazing timepiece is that Piaget has placed hands underneath, instead of placing them above the bridges. Thus, it leaves a free space between the cannon-pinion and the crystal. When the crystal is deformed by the effects of pressure, it presses the wheel-train bridge instead of the hands and thus prevents any consequences on the rate of the mechanism. As it is reported by the watchmaker, this patent pending device perfectly ensures the reliability of this type of watch.
The off-centered dial of the Piaget Altiplano 38mm 900P watch shows just the time with hours and minutes, together with previously mentioned movement parts: the balance wheel, the gear train, as well as the mainspring barrel with winding system which are beautifully finished. As we can expect from Piaget, the finishing of the watch appears to be uncompromising. Brushing, chamfering, and polishing make a great visual pleasure, while the black and steel-tone colors combination mixed with the red color of the synthetic rubies, further reinforces this impression and also adds a touch of modernity to the world’s thinnest mechanical timepiece.
The new Altiplano 900P will be offered in an 18-karat white gold case with the diameter of 38mm. For the wristlet, Piaget chose a simple, black alligator leather strap with a white gold pin buckle. The watch will be priced in the range between $20,000 and $30,000 which is a reasonable price for the thinnest watch ever.