It may have only been an exercise in style, a technical demonstration and a prototype – even though we still hope to see this watch one day in stores – the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept remains one of the most staggering timepieces we’ve seen recently. Forget about the design and the rather simple time-only display… This watch had a single, very straightforward purpose: to put Piaget back on centre stage, repositioning it as one of the few masters of ultra-thin watchmaking, by smashing all previous records for thinness. And it did that in 2018 with the Altiplano Ultimate Concept, a watch that is thinner than most movements, thinner than a coin… and thinner than everything else mechanical. Period!
We can’t overlook the ongoing battle between Piaget and Bvlgari for the title of “king of ultra-thin”. This is a healthy competition after all, as it has pushed both brands to innovate in a field that had been neglected. And this resulted in impressive, ultra-innovative watches, such as the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic and its 3.95mm case (the thinnest automatic watch) or the equally stunning Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Automatic 910P. However, at the 2018 Edition of the SIHH, Piaget dropped a bomb, a watch that measured less in thickness that all the ultra-thin movements available on the market, a watch that was just 2mm in height. Never before in the history of watchmaking has such thinness had been achieved. The watch we were shown was a fully functional prototype, equipped with dozens of unprecedented technical solutions to achieve this record-breaking slenderness.
In short, the whole architecture of the watch was re-engineered, the movement and the case becoming a single part. Even the winding crown was novel, and so was the way to crystal was assembled to the watch. Achieving this impressive thinness wasn’t just about making thinner parts. It required to think outside of the box. And to understand this, we produced an in-depth video that explains it all.