Piaget A new ultra-thin record
Piaget has just earned another distinction in the domain of record-breaking horological slenderness. This time, it’s the chronograph that has been ‘flattened’ by the brand.
One might say that Piaget is steadily ploughing the same furrow, and yet the very nature of this particular furrow is that it’s not very deep – quite the opposite! Ultra-thinness has been Piaget’s trademark since the 1960s and even more deliberately so since the 2000s. The latest episode in this ongoing chronicle of ever-diminishing thickness is the launch of the Piaget Altiplano chronograph, which is a noteworthy event in more than one respect. First of all, this is the first time that the Altiplano line welcomes a horological complication, since its ultra-thin vocation did not sit well with the installation of multi-function movements. It had simply thus far merely confined itself to setting a whole new series of thinness records, including some historical ones.
The Altiplano Chronograph now takes its place as the world’s thinnest mechanical chronograph – in terms of both the watch and its movement. The first occupies a mere 8.24 mm-thick space inside its 41 mm-diameter pink gold case. The crash diet has not affected the overall balance of the glass, case and dial of this chronograph, whose universally pleasing proportions radiate a definite sense of equilibrium that creates a striking effect on the wrist. As pure as the purest Altiplano models, its dial called for specific typographical work in order to provide the many markings required for a chronograph, yet without crowding the visual space. Especially since Calibre 883P provides a dual-time display in 24-hour mode.
Nor is the latter the only additional function driven by this movement, which also provides a retour en vol or instant-restart capability that means it can be reset to zero while in full operational mode without first needing to be stopped. It should be pointed outthat Calibre 833P is the direct heir of the Calibre 880P which has long since been the driving force behind the Piaget’s sporty Polo lines. For this new role, the 880P has undergone two main changes. The first is the simplest means of slimming it down, since all the parts handling the automatic winding of the 880P have been ditched. Doing away with the rotor and the automatic winding block saved around 0.7 mm in thickness.
The other micron-level differences between the two movements required more in-depth work. As it usually does with ultra-thin movements, Piaget has further pared down its parts, particularly the cannon-pinion supporting the central hands. Pushing the movement to the very limits of its resistance, these tenths of a millimetre trimmed off here and there enable Calibre 833P to measure just 4.65 mm thin – a record, or rather, yet another record for Piaget.
Click on the photo at the top of this article to see a slideshow of the Piaget Altiplano Chronograph.
One hundred and forty years’ worth of uninterrupted history have allowed Piaget to forge its unique jewellery and watchmaking expertise. The Brand is a genuine Fine Watchmaking manufacture that brings together the art of ultraflat technology and the finest jewel-setting, characterised by its undyingly elegant and refined aesthetics.Find out more >
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