Piaget : Record-breaking slenderness

Altiplano 38mm 900P
Case : white or pink gold, circular satin-brushed back Diameter : 38mm Movement : mechanical hand-wound (Calibre 900P, 48h power reserve), 145 parts (case and movement), bevelled and satin-brushed bridges, sunburst wheels, P-shaped index-assembly Functions : hours, minutes Water resistance : 30m Strap : black alligator leather with gold pin buckle

With a portfolio comprising 35 calibres of which 23 are regarded as ultra-thin and 12 have set records, Piaget has for decades been liberally cultivating the art of slenderness. As a prelude to its 140th anniversary, the House renowned for its powerful and elegant watch and jewellery creations sets a new world record while displaying a wealth of imagination : measuring a total 3.65 mm thin, the Altiplano 38mm 900P becomes quite simply the thinnest mechanical watch ever. Whether a fortunate numerical coincidence or a token of destiny, the Altiplano plateau after which is it named is located on the Andes Cordillera at an altitude of 3,650 metres! It took the engineers, designers and watchmakers at Piaget – which produces all its cases and movements in-house a full three years to develop this model. Not only did they have to reduce the size of the parts (such as the wheels now measuring a mere 0.12mm), but also to entirely redesign the case so that its gold back would actually take the place of the movement mainplate – and then incorporate the dial and hands into the thickness of the bridges by a patented system. This new perfectly harmonious technical and aesthetic approach detracts nothing from the inimitable Altiplano spirit. Its understated and prestigious identity pervades all four versions of the model, while its chamfered and satin-brushed finishes are admirably highlighted by the miniaturisation of the material.

Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.

Review overview