By Kristian Haagen
Only very few watchmakers steer clear of fleeting fads, and Piaget is one of them. Since the 1950s, the Swiss company has championed the art of ultra-thin watches.
“It’s no surprise to me that there are few other watchmakers producing ultra-thin movements,” said Piaget’s CEO, Philippe Leopold-Metzger, during a visit to the Danish Piaget dealer Hvelplund. “It is often more difficult to make an ultra-slim movement than one with tourbillon, for instance. And this can only be done because Piaget also produces the tools that our talented watchmakers and decorators use when crafting an Altiplano.”
During the interview, Metzger sports a spectacular Altiplano Automatic Skeleton, which offers an open view to the movement. Not only is the automatic movement magnificent to behold, with a height of a mere 2.4 millimetres it is also the world’s thinnest.
The ultra-thin movement means that the watch itself is just 5.34 millimetres in width. It seems almost impossible to assemble a movement that is so thin and fine where some of the gears measure just 0.12 millimetres, the thickness of a single hair.
Powered by aesthetics
Nevertheless, Piaget has decided to make their laborious watchmaking process even more difficult to perform by stripping all unnecessary material from the beautifully handcrafted parts, allowing an impressive view to the record-breaking ultra-thin automatic movement.
Metzger concludes the interview by stating: “Piaget produces thin watches unaffected by fads. Our Altiplano series is driven by aesthetics and movements of the highest quality.”