Following upon last year’s green-dialed Altiplano Ultimate Concept (AUC), Piaget is presenting a unique piece AUC at Watches & Wonders 2022, dialing up the aesthetics of what amounts to the company’s crowning achievement in ultra-thin watchmaking.
Piaget largely owns the extreme engineering space of ultra-thin watchmaking, periodically launching scintillatingly thin timepieces for the record books while wowing collectors and staking its place among watchmaking’s technical greats. The maison likely came to make this space its own because its founder Georges-Édouard Piaget was already supplying ultra-thin watch components to the top watchmaking companies from as early as 1874. In contemporary times, Piaget successfully created the caliber 9P as far back as 1957, the world’s thinnest mechanical movement, at just 2mm thick.
The AUC follows from a series of record-breaking ultra-thin movements from Piaget, the likes of the 12P (1960), 1200P and the 1208P (2010), and 900P (2014). As a dream project realized in the metal, it represents the culmination of Piaget’s engineering, watchmaking and design expertise, its pinnacle achievement at this point in time.
After four years of research and development, the AUC “took its first beat” on February 7, 2017 at 7:47 a.m. It was presented to the public for the first time the following year at Watches & Wonders 2018. By April 2020, Piaget had achieved everyday reliability for the AUC, which went on to win the Aiguille d’Or prize from the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève the same year.
The AUC Unique Piece that Piaget is presenting at this year’s edition of Watches & Wonders is a celebration of this process or, as Piaget calls it, “adventure”. Firstly, the Piaget name at 12 o’clock is rendered in the historic sans serif typeface of the brand name on its manufacture in La Côte-aux-Fées, the village where Piaget started and remains today. On the time subdial, two dots on the hour/minute track are outlined at 7:47 to mark the time that the AUC first came to being; at the 2:30 position on the dial, an inscription dates the AUC’s birth as February 7, 2017. The location? “La Côte-aux-Fées” inscribed on the ratchet wheel, along with the manufacture’s GPS coordinates. As a further touch, the Super-LumiNova-filled dots on the dial are not random at all, but depict the night sky above La Côte-aux-Fées at the exact date and time of the AUC’s birth.
The case material used here is a cobalt-based high-tech alloy that complements the sandblasted slate blue PVD baseplate. The caseback, bezel and lugs are satin-brushed in contrast to the polished case band. The watch is matched with a thin dark blue alligator strap just 1.5mm in thickness.
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept (AUC) Unique Piece
Movement: Manual-wind movement, 40 hours of power reserve
Functions: Hours and minutes
Case: 41mm diameter, 2mm case height, cobalt alloy
Strap: Dark blue alligator