Rhapsody in Blue

First, a musical recommendation to read this article with.

If the past decade saw a headlong hurtle towards timepieces of unabashed machismo, undergirded by the return of sports watches and the erroneous notion that value is better conveyed in bulk, a rare bright spot was the continuous pursuit of ultra-thin. And in that field, one seminal watch poised to turn 60, with reputation undiminished, is the Altiplano.

Since the launch of the caliber 9P in 1957, the world’s thinnest hand-wound movement then at 2mm thick and soon after, the caliber 12P, the thinnest self-winding movement at the time, Piaget had gone on to pull a few more firsts from under its sleeves including the 430P that measures an astonishing 2.1mm, the 1200P which currently holds the record of the slimmest automatic movement at 2.35mm, and the 900P, the world’s thinnest mechanical watch at a staggering 3.65mm.

In fact, the exercise of shaving off extraneous height from a movement while maintaining performance of a respectable standard remains as much a feat today as it was back in the day as it takes technical mastery, the most creative engineering, not to mention an inordinate amount of time to push movement components to their absolute limits.

Today, the Piaget has unveiled a two-piece limited edition collection, the first amongst several other novelties that will roll out throughout the course of the coming year.

In the new Altiplano self-winding and hand-winding watches, Piaget keeps within the genetic paradigm of the first ultra-thin Piaget watches including the signature cross, the gold applied indices, presenting them in brilliant blue sunbursts dials — a shade that has now anchored itself in Piaget’s history.

Measuring 43mm in diameter, the self-winding model even features the historical “Piaget Automatique” lettering on the dial, a charming detail drawn from the very first ultra-thin timepiece by the maison.  Powering the watch is the aforementioned 1200P presented in 2010, which represents the fourth generation of ultra-thin self-winding movements and the result of a three-year research and development process.

Its perfection of finish has always been something of a feat itself, which includes the beveled bridges adorned with circular Côtes de Genève, the circular-grained mainplate, the satin-brushed steel parts and the blued screws. Adopting the off-centred micro-rotor of the legendary calibre, the 1200P reveals a gold oscillating weight engraved with the Piaget coat-of-arms.

On the other hand, the Altiplano 38 mm-diameter model is equipped with the remarkable cal. 430P, representing the second generation of ultra-thin manual-winding movements, and which also served as the basis of the 600P, Piaget’s thinnest tourbillon movement.

These accomplished movements are complemented by a supremely elegant and dignified aesthetic, furnished with well-thought-out accents that make them the most ideal black-tie consorts.

Technical Specifications

Piaget Altiplano 60th Anniversary Collection – 38 mm

18K white gold ultra-thin case

Blue dial, cross in the center, white gold appliques index

Piaget Manufacture 430P ultra-thin mechanical hand-wound movement Movement thickness : 2.1 mm

Casing dimensions : 9’’’ (20.5 mm)

Number of jewels : 18

Frequency : 21,600 vph/3Hz

Power reserve: approx. 43 hours

Finishing : Circular Côtes de Genève, circular-grained mainplate and bridges, beveled bridges, blued screws

Functions : Hours, minutes 18K white gold ardillon buckle Blue alligator leather strap 460-piece limited edition G0A42107

Piaget Aliplano 60th anniversary Collection – 43mm

18K white gold ultra-thin case

Sapphire case-back

Blue dial, cross in the center, white gold appliques index

Piaget Manufacture 1200P ultra-thin mechanical self-winding movement Movement thickness: 2.35 mm

Casing dimensions: 13 1⁄4’’’ (29.9 mm)

Number of jewels: 27

Frequency: 21,600 vibrations/hour (3 Hz)

Power reserve: approx. 44 hours

Finishing: Circular Côtes de Genève, circular-grained mainplate, bevelled bridges, blued screws, sunburst-brushed wheels

“P” fixed to the regulator-assembly as Piaget signature, 22K slate grey colored pink gold oscillating weight

Functions: Hours, minutes

18K white gold ardillon buckle

Blue alligator leather strap

360-piece limited edition G0A42105

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