The world’s most famous ultra-thin swiss watch hits 60 next year. Piaget is marking the occasion with two limited editions, one automatic and one manual
If you know one thing about Piaget as a watchmaker, you know it for the fake piaget altiplano watch. Not the sporty Polo (recently revamped) or the occasional hybrid meca-quartz oddity, but for this one line of refined men’s watches that since 1957 have prioritised sleekness of form above all else.
This began with the creation of a movement, the 9P, that measured just 2mm thick. History does not appear to record how thick the actual shockingly thin piaget altiplano watch was, but getting the movement down to 2mm was a stellar achievement at any time, let alone in a time before computer-aided design and manufacturing. This was the beginning of a long run of record-breaking movements and watches, manual and automatic (the 12P, in 1960, was the thinnest self-winding movement at 2.3mm).
In 2014 Piaget released the 900P, a watch that blew the competition away (at least, in relative terms – when tenths of a millimetre are significant margins, this counts as a landslide) by combining case, dial and movement into one ultra-thin body that measured just 3.65mm thick for the whole white gold diamond ultra-thin mechanical secret piaget altiplano stone dial copy watches. It was pipped to the record a year later by the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Squelette (3.6mm) but that’s neither here nor there for this story.
That’s because (thus far, at least) Piaget isn’t making the story of its 60th anniversary about record-setting, but about classic design. The new Altiplano models are thin, no doubt about it, but they use existing movements (the Calibre 1200P, 2.35mm thick, for the automatic, and Calibre 430P, 2.1mm, for the manual) and make no special efforts to wrest that title back from JLC.
Instead they’re focussing on looking damn smart. We have written before about the development of the blue dial as a bone fide necessity for a modern watch range, and right on cue, here are two more fine examples. There’s a great gradient to that sunburst finish, and Piaget has topped it with a light cross-hair of pale blue on both versions that really lifts the look of the wholesale replica piaget luxury watch.
Elsewhere, it’s a pretty safe story. White gold cases – we wouldn’t bet against a steel Altiplano emerging soon enough, however – are paired with blue leather straps (which might be a little bit too much blue for some). The dials are unencumbered by superfluous text, and have the barest slivers of white gold applied indexes for the hours. Both movements run at a moderate 3Hz; on the automatic it’s visible through a sapphire caseback, showing the pink gold micro-rotor, while on the manual version it’s hidden behind an engraved caseback.
The other major difference between the two is size; the auto is 43mm across compared to the more typical 38mm for the manual-winding version. The smaller manual is £160, the automatic £215.