The thinnest mechanical watch in the world is becoming available for purchase...
The whole point about the Watches and Wonders show is that it showcases watches that are out of the ordinary: artful antidotes to the humdrum routine of everyday life. As such, it makes a perfect platform for Piaget, which released a trio of watches that push the boundaries. We’re going to tease you now, because one release is actually embargoed until September 1. But in the meantime, here are two that we can definitely talk about.
Altiplano Ultimate Concept
Piaget describes the creation of this watch as going “from a micro-engineering experiment to reality.” And that’s an accurate description, because what Piaget has ended up with is the thinnest mechanical watch on the market – just two millimetres thick – with a 40-hour power reserve. Just think about that for a moment. The concept first appeared in 2018, and two years later it’s now a reality that you can buy (in three different variants).
They achieve this by reinventing certain assumptions: the case back doubles as the movement mainplate, for example, and the case itself is made from a new cobalt-based alloy. There are three colours available: black, white, and blue. But this is perhaps the only watch that you’ll be looking at side-on first.
Case: 41mm, cobalt-based alloy (which also forms part of the movement).
Strap: Black alligator leather (black), blue Baltimora technical textile (white and blue)
Dial: Integrated into skeleton movement, 0.2mm crystal
This is simply incredible. Piaget already has a track record of consistently producing the thinnest watches in the world and then lowering the benchmark, but it’s hard to imagine how it can possibly go any thinner than this. It’s just really frustrating not to see and appreciate it in the metal!
This has become a feminine icon since its creation in 1973, embodied by what its manufacturer calls the “Piaget Society”. To be fair, they managed to assemble some pretty heavy hitters: Salvador Dali, Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor and so on.
This year, Piaget has introduced some new examples. The Piaget Limelight Gala Precious Sapphire Gradient adds a hand-engraved gold bracelet and dial that are highlighted by 20 large diamonds and 22 blue sapphires. The case and bracelet is in white gold, part of a numbered edition. There’s also a version with a mother of pearl face and blue alligator strap, limited to 88 pieces.
There’s additionally a rose gold version with 88 diamonds, and three new high jewellery variants: one featuring a head-turning 364 diamonds. A second one is set with diamonds and blue sapphires, and a third is set with 237 diamonds. Subtle they aren’t.
Three more conventional aventurine blue models also join the line-up to showcase colour: in 32mm and 26mm sizes (limited to 300 pieces). A third design, with 57 diamonds, is limited to 200 pieces.
Case: 32mm, 26mm, and 23mm, white gold (most models) and rose gold.
Strap: White gold (Precious Sapphire Gradient), blue alligator (most models), burgundy alligator (Rose Gold), satin (High Jewellery)
Dial: White gold, mother of pearl (Precious Sapphire Gradient), aventurine (Precious Aventurine Glass), diamond-paved (High Jewellery).
These are the most avant-garde expressions of the Limelight Gala seen so far. Whether you like them or not depends entirely on your view of watches as jewellery, but there’s no doubt that these are truly impressive pieces.
If you would like to explore more you can check out their website here.
I do love a watch dial that’s a little out of the norm and good news for me, there’s a trend for colourful displays of late. Brands are getting braver and bolder with their use...
Most of us are familiar with the term "You don't know sh*t from Shinola". This playful phrase sets a high bar for an iconic name that was once associated with a (now long defunct) brand...