For the next edition of the first major event of the year in the world of watchmaking, the upcoming SIHH 2016 show, Piaget has prepared a very peculiar timepiece. The novelty’s name is Emperador Coussin XL 700P and it was conceived as a celebration of the company’s expertise in creation of quartz movements. To be more precise, it marks exactly four decades from the launch of its initial in-house movement of this kind. However, the newcomer is not simply a new type of quartz watch since it is actually made as a hybrid and it features a quartz regulating organ in the combination with a self-winding mechanical movement, which makes the watch quite uncommon and interesting. This is why the watch from the Black Tie series is in no way an affordable or a low-end piece which can also be seen from its price of $70,600.
Piaget has earned its place in the company of respectable watchmaking brands with its expertise that enables it to create proprietary mechanical movements. In this area, it is especially known for the creation of ultra thin ones with unmatched thin profiles. However, the Swiss manufacturer of timekeepers and jewelry is also renowned for its ability to make its own quartz movements. The very first of them, the iconic Caliber 7P was first launched exactly 40 years ago. This major anniversary was the inspiration behind the creation of the new model which is about to be unveiled in Geneva in January 2016.
Even though the new watch celebrates the brand’s premier quartz caliber, this is not that noticeable, especially when you look at the watch for the first time. This is because in the brand’s practice, some of the major functional components of its caliber are inverted, so they are placed on the dial side and are visible through the skeletonized face of the watch.
To be more precise, in this case, it is the presence of the micro-rotor which is placed on the nine o’clock position. However, even a more detailed look on the dial reveals that the rotor is accompanied with a quartz generator which is set next to it, somewhere at the one o’clock position.
These two components testify of the hybrid nature of the newly created 700P caliber which does not have an escapement or a main-spring. Its winding rotor actually charges the capacitor which then drives the functioning of the quartz regulating organ of movement.
Caliber 700P thus operates at the typical frequency of the quartz movements (32,768 vph which is about 5.33 turns per second. Additionally, the movement does not include a battery, instead it features a mechanical barrel that allows it to have a power reserve which lasts for 42 hours. The state of the storage can be seen on the rear side of the case.
Caliber 700P is thus quite an uncommon concept which functionally integrates a quartz regulating organ into a self-winding mechanical movement. It consists of 298 parts and it was based on two-year worth of research of the brand’s designers and engineers at the facilities in La Cote aux Fees in Switzerland. In its construction, the new caliber integrates as much as ten patents which were necessary for the creation of such movement. As the manufacturer states, it also has increased abilities to cope with the harmful effects of gravity and magnetism. As for the dimensions of the caliber, it should be said that it is 34.9 mm wide and that it is notably thin with the supported thickness of just 5.5 mm.
Not only that the movement is technically innovative, but it is also quite beautiful since it features a number of haute horlogerie finishes which are common for this brand. The black coated movement includes a guilloched motif on its micro-rotor which features the brand’s logo, its bridges are chamfered and with a sunburst pattern, the wheels are with a circular brushed motif, whereas its screws are silver toned.
Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P stems from the brand’s Back Tie collection of dress watches for men and as such it is pretty elegant looking. It is placed inside a satin-finished white gold housing with the diameter of 46.5 mm. Its thickness is still unknown, but we can expect a thinner profile which is enabled with its thin hybrid movement. The housing is made in the brand’s favorite cushion shape and it includes a fixed bezel which was treated with black ADLC coating.
The black bezel matches the coating of the movement, while white gold of the housing can also be seen on its skeletonized dial, notably around two major exposed components. The face of the watch also includes an off-centered dial which shows hours and minutes and which is superimposed on the revealed sections of the movement. As for the screw-down case-back, it includes two apertures which further expose the caliber, as well as the engraving that shows the brand’s coat of arms. The strap of choice for the model is a black leather wristlet.
Piaget Emperaddor Coussin XL 700P will be launched in the limited edition which consists of 118 pieces, while the price is set at $70,600.