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.