Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept
It only took two years for Piaget to take what was an experimental timepiece to commercial viability. First showcased at SIHH in 2018, it was the thinnest mechanical watch ever, hand-wound or automatic, at only 2mm thick. That is the equivalent of two credit cards stacked on top of each other.
Now that it is available for purchase, let’s recall how Piaget, which has an enviable history in ultra-thin watches, achieved this latest feat without compromising the integrity of the watch
First, since gold is too fragile at this level of thinness, the watchmaker had to engineer a new material, a cobalt-based alloy that is two times stronger than gold. Second, almost every internal part has to be miniaturised – for instance, the wheels went from the normal 0.20mm to only 0.12mm thick.
The mainspring barrel had to be redesigned to exclude a cover; it’s now mounted on a ceramic ball-bearing. The crown takes the form of a flat, telescopic system that fits flush with the case band.
Don’t be fooled by its wafer-thin appearance though: it has enough strength to withstand the G-force of a jet.