Ultra-thin timepieces and the name Piaget have gone hand-in-hand for many decades. So it will not come as a shock that Piaget introduced a number of varieties on the ultra-thin skeletonized calibre 1200S. That’s the movement of the Piaget Altiplano 1200, which is the world’s thinnest automatic skeletonized watch. As if that wasn’t enough Piaget now adds engravings, diamonds and even enamel, to the tiny, tiny, skeletonized bridges. And that looks pretty awesome.
The Altiplano models with calibre 1200 measure 38mm in diameter and are of course ultra-thin (the “standard” version with calibre 1200S is 5.34 mm thick.) Today we’ll focus on the version with the enamel filled bridges, dubbed calibre 1200E. The other new models featuring fully engraved skeletonized bridges (calibre 1200E) or diamond-set skeletonized bridges (calibre 1200D) are also magnificent masterpieces of the craftsmen at the Piaget manufacture, where they are specialized in engraving en diamond-setting techniques. There are two new models featuring bridges with enamel, one with white enamel, and one with black enamel.
Before the enamel can be applied, the bridges first have to be “engraved”. Not in an arty way, but functional, to carve channels into the bridges. These channels will be filled with enamel, before it’s fired up to a temperature high enough to melt the applied enamel powder, but low enough to prevent the bridges from melting. Quite tricky.
For comparison: I just measured the thickness of my straps for Panerai. These include a rubber OEM strap and a bunch of aftermarket straps including calf leather and alligator leather straps. The average thickness is between 4,5 and 6 mm. Now imagine how spectacular a movement is, that measures just 3.00 mm, and is filled with enamel, engraved or set with diamonds.
The movement is Piaget’s in-house calibre 1200E, with is an ultra-thin self-winding skeleton enamel movement, which has been set with 11 black sapphire cabochons (approx. 0.2 ct). The entire movement, including enamel filled bridges, measures just 3.00 mm in height, which is 0.6 mm thicker than the “standard” calibre 1200. Some of the gear wheels, such as the jumper cover, are only 0.69 mm thick, and are gem-set. This contributes to a slightly thicker case, resulting in an overall thickness of 6.00 mm, which is still incredibly thin.
As we already mentioned in the article’s intro, there are also new models with diamond-set bridges and engraved bridges. These models also measure 6.00 mm in height, and the movements, calibre 1200G (engraved) and 1200D (diamond-set) each measure 3.00 mm in height. Again, try to imagine how incredibly thin this is AND that Piaget managed to add engravings, enamel and diamonds.