The Edge of Ultra-Thin: Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

The Edge of Ultra-Thin: Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

Published: June 2, 2024 | By: American Luxury Staff

Few houses can match the rich heritage and technical mastery of Swiss watchmaker Piaget. This year marks a monumental milestone, as Piaget celebrates its 150th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, the Maison has unveiled its latest feat of micro-engineering: the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon.

At just 2mm thick, this new timepiece equals the slimness of Piaget’s previous record holder, the Altiplano Ultimate Concept watch. However, the addition of a one-minute flying tourbillon complication pushes the boundaries even further. The integration of this rotating escapement into an ultra-thin case requires reimagining traditional principles of watchmaking.

The Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon features an inventive “annular” tourbillon design, with the carriage encircled by a ceramic ball bearing that enables a peripheral rotation. This novel approach maximizes the limited space while adding mesmerizing visual motion. Powering the timepiece is an entirely new skeletonized mainspring barrel shaped in Piaget’s signature cross-hair motif.

Achieving this level of slimness requires reengineering over 90% of the components from the original Altiplano Ultimate Concept. “The connection with the Altiplano Ultimate Concept is clear but deceptive. Despite how it may appear, we did more than merely add a tourbillon. We reinvented everything,” explains Piaget CEO Benjamin Comar. The sapphire crystals are shaved down to just 0.2mm thick, with machining tolerances of mere microns. Decoration is applied by hand to avoid deformation of the micro-parts.

According to the manufacture, the watch represents “extraordinary victories” in advancing the art of ultra-thin watchmaking. It takes the Maison’s heritage of breakthrough innovations like the 1960s ultra-thin Calibre 9P and recent record-setting Altiplano Collection to new heights.

The Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon condenses 150 years of horological history into a breathtakingly slim profile. For Piaget, it demonstrates that even after a century and a half, their quest to “always do better than necessary” continues to define their spirit.

819 June 2, 2024 Men, Watches June 2, 2024