Piaget is known, or rather famous, for its ultra-thin movements. Already 56 years ago, in 1957, Piaget introduced the thinnest mechanical movement ever to be created, caliber 9P, that was just 2 mm thick. Three years later, in 1960, Piaget introduced the thinnest automatically wound movement, calibre 12P, that measured a mere 2.3 mm. The Piaget Altiplano Automatic Skeleton for Only Watch 2013 holds two records in that field and it is fully skeletonized!
Two years ago, Piaget surprised everyone by donating a black PVD-coated version of the Altiplano Skeleton watch to the Only Watch auction. This year’s contribution is the automatic version, featuring a fully skeletonized calibre 1200P, which is the world’s thinnest automatically wound movement, with just 2.4 mm in height (calibre 12P is not in production any more.) The watch itself, measuring 5.34 mm, is still today’s thinnest watch with an automatically wound movement. That’s two records! The video presents these records in a visual way.
While the movement’s minimal thickness is already very impressive, all further adaptions are simply mind-boggling. Everyone who has visited a watch manufacture and has witnessed the meticulous hand-finishing on bridges, gears and other tiny parts, has at least an idea of how difficult and time-consuming this is. Now imagine how difficult it is to hand-bevel the edges of the ultra-thin bridges of caliber 1200S. Exactly, that’s unimaginable difficult and I’m sure that when I’d try it every single bridge would break in my hands.
The skilled watchmakers from Piaget apply sunburst satin-brushed finish to the bridges, hand-bevel the bridges, circular and sunburst finish the ultra-thin gears and all screw holes are angled and polished by hand, of course the screw heads are polished and even the slots of these tiny, tiny screws are polished by hand.
All that costs time, a lot of time, and extremely skilled hands. No wonder that a timepiece that is so thin and is hand finished to such a high degree, is no mass produced timepiece. When you know all this, a price of $60,000 USD for the Altiplano Automatic Skeleton doesn’t come as a shock. Although Antiquorum hasn’t given am estimate, I can imagine that it’ll be north of aforementioned list price.
Maybe not very clear on these photos, but the white gold case is black PDV-coated!
- Case: black PVD-coated white gold, diameter is 38 mm, height is 5.34 mm (the world’s thinnest automatic skeleton watch), case back engraved with “Only Watch 2013 – Unique Piece”
- Black dauphine hands
- Manufacture Piaget 1200S ultra-thin mechanical self-winding skeleton movement (world’s thinnest automatic skeleton movement – 2.40 mm), 26 jewels, 21,600 vph, appr. 44 hours of power reserve
- Finishing: sunburst satin-brushed plate and bridges, hand bevelled, hand drawn bridges and plate, circular and sunburst satin-brushed wheels, polished blind tapped screws, polished heads, beveled slots, “P” fixed to the regulator assembly as Piaget signature, engraved coat-of-arms on the black platinum oscillating weight, black screws on plate and bridges
- Black PVD treated t18 carat white gold ardillon buckle with black alligator strap