Two years after it showcased a concept Altiplano at the 2018 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), Piaget has now unveiled the thinnest mechanical watch on earth, that the Atiplano Ultimate Concept measuring an incredibly 2 mm just, that’s the thickness of a 1 Euro coin.
It is likely to take some doing to throw this entire world record from Piaget but Bulgari, no doubt, will be watching. The Italian brand pretty much owns every ultra-thin record in watchmaking today. The Altiplano Ultimate Concept is unique in the sense that the situation forms part of this motion. It also offers a new gear train construction for optimal energy regulation and also an integrated winding crown.
And while Bulgari might have the records today, it’s Piaget watches that is associated with ultra-thin movements in the business. Back in 1957, it gave us the manual-winding 9P Caliber, measuring just 2 mm thick. This was the planet’s thinnest mechanical watch in 1957. They’ve done well to create an whole case that’s the exact same thickness as that 1957 movement. Just how this move about this delicate job?
For starters, they had to rethink watch design. Classical design dictates a conventional four-tier structure: bezel and crystal; dial, hands and motion placed in a situation and fitted with a caseback. Piaget’s engineers needed to draw from the learnings in producing the Altipano 900P at 2014, whereas the caseback also served as a bottom plate to the motion. In 3.65 mm, the Altiplano 900P also held the name of this planet’s thinnest mechanical watch at that time.
So out went the traditional mainplate that’s a characteristic of traditional movements. The caseback currently does double duty — because the back of the situation and motion mainplate. The engineers had to turn into a new cobalt-based alloy to machine the mainplate, as gold could have overly difficult (and fragile ) to machine at this level of tolerances
The brakes of the gear train were re-engineered and reduced from a conventional 0.20 mm thick to 0.12 mm, the sapphire crystal that’s normally 1 mm thick in a standard watch, is just 0.2 mm thick . The mainspring barrel has also been completely redesigned. The barrel has no cover today and is mounted on a single, ceramic ball-bearing inside the frame of the watch. The crown, meanwhile, has been re-invented to take the kind of a flat, telescopic system (with its very own, specially-designed winding tool) that fits flush with the instance band and in which the conventional sliding pinion clutch and crown wheel are substituted for a single,’infinite screw’.
The method of suggesting the time needed to be reimagined too. Instead of having a dial and two hands put on top of a bridge, the Altiplano Ultimate Concept features a dial that lies beneath it, thereby providing protection from any touch with the strong but wafer-thin crystal if it be deformed in an effect. A conventional, directly winding stem could not be used here because of the off-center dial. So Piaget produced a patented’staggered’ stem. In order for the system to function flawlessly, the standard hour hand is substituted with a revolving index disc while the minute hand works in the usual way.
The hand-decorated movement Caliber 900P-UC is made up of 167 individual parts, which was a challenge because a few of those parts were unbelievably tiny. Nonetheless, the movement is adorned with sunburst and satin-brushed endings, chamfered and polished bridges abound. The opinion is paired with an alligator skin strap plus a blue textile strap having an ultra-thin cobalt pin buckle. The Altiplano Ultimate Concept is customizable, so customers have the chance to completely have their timepiece. Though this isn’t a limited edition timepiece, manufacturing will be limited owing to the complex nature of the structure. The cost isn’t available yet but we’ll upgrade the narrative once we understand more information.