The World's Thinnest Watch Is Now Available For Purchase
At the 2018 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, Piaget hogged the spotlight with the unveiling of the ambitious Altiplano Ultimate Concept, the world’s thinnest mechanical watch. Measuring the stunning thinness of two millimetres, the model is an assembly of numerous Piaget innovations. From a case that also serves a part of the movement to an integrated winding crown, crucial new constructions for the barrel and energy regulation have extended the Altiplano Ultimate Concept’s power reserve to over 40 hours, unmatched for ultra-thin watches. And now, finally, the watchmaker is proud to announce that the model is available for purchase.
In the continuous quest to make the thinnest watch, Piaget’s dedicated in-house Research and Innovation division re-invented no less than five patented parts. Having spent four rigorous years, the Altiplano Ultimate Concept has broken through as the world’s slimmest watch.
The beginning of the miniaturisation process started with the creation of a case where the movement baseplate is directly machined on. Gold as the traditional material can no longer be used with such thickness, hence the engineering of a cobalt-based alloy with 2.3 times the strength of the original material.
Other parts are produced microscopically. For example, wheels are reduced from a conventional 0.20mm thick to only 0.12mm. The sapphire crystal, conventionally 1mm thick, is pared-down by 80 per cent to an unbelievable thinness of 0.2mm.
The mainspring barrel, the power source that drives the mechanism, also got an entirely new design. Eliminating the cover and drum, the piece is mounted on a single, ceramic ball bearing within the watch's frame to enable the fully-wound movement to function for a prolonged period of 40 hours. The crown, meanwhile, takes on an unconventional look as a flat tab with its very own winding system. For the dial, Piaget has patented the ‘staggered’ stem. The off-centre position of the dial calls for a different kind of winding stem with the hour hand replaced with a revolving indicator disc while the minute hand stays the same.
Packing a remarkable 167 individual parts into a 2mm thick contraption, Piaget by no means lowered their strict parameters of accuracy, reliability and robustness. With mere 0.12mm of cobalt separating the intricate machine from the wearer’s wrist, decorative features can be quite an inconvenience. Rising up to the challenge, the artisan team managed to embellish the movement with sunburst and satin-brushed finishes and chamfered and polished bridges. Moreover, the appearance of the case-cum-baseplate is enhanced with sophisticated PVD treatment.
Finishing the oeuvre is a special alligator skin strap or blue baltimor technical textile strap, also developed to be ultra-slim, of course. The strap features velvet calfskin lining and an ultra-strong Kevlar, secured with cobalt pin buckle.
Furthermore, the watch is customisable to your heart's content. From the colour of the bridge and dial to the finish of the hands, the main plate and the strap, everything can be personalised to create your very own Altiplano Ultimate Concept.
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