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Pre-SIHH 2016: Piaget - Emperador Coussin XL 700P (hybrid movement)

Piaget has just unveiled the Emperador Coussin XL 700P, a mechanical/quartz hybrid timepiece that we expect it to be controversial among watch enthusiasts.

Presented as a preview of the novelties that will be showcased by Piaget at SIHH 2016 (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie of Geneva, 18-22 January 2016), the Emperador Coussin XL 700P was developed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its first in-house quartz movement, the ultra thin 7P calibre which was entirely developed in-house and presented, in 1976, as the thinnest quartz movement in the world at just 3.1 mm thick. Ever since, Piaget has regularly enriched this range of high-performance quartz movements powering most of its ladies' and jewellery watch models.

To highlight the expertise of Piaget in the domains of mechanical movements and quartz ones, the
Emperador Coussin XL 700P is equipped with a hybrid solution: an ultra-thin (5.5 mm) mechanical movement regulated not by an escapement / balance wheel unit but by a quartz oscillator.

This way, for the first time Piaget combines the reliability and precision of Swiss Made electronic regulation with its iconic reverse-construction calibre. The result of two years of research and development conducted within the Manufacture Piaget and ten patents filing, the new movement is based on an original Swiss concept first registered in 1972.

The quartz with its 32'768 Hz frequency controls the rotation of the generator and wheels train. It ensures an extremely high degree of precision and it is not affected by magnetic fields and gravity.

This device rotating at 5.33 turns per second is housed at the heart of a self-winding mechanical movement powered by a micro rotor that winds the mainspring which supplies a power reserve of 42 hours (shown on the back side). Hence, no battery is needed.

The movement is black coated and finished with Côtes de Genève, circular-grained mainplate, bevelled bridges and silvered screws. The generator, suspended under a triple-armed bridge, and the engraved micro-rotor are underlined with polished white gold.

The 46.50 mm cushion-shaped case is crafted from white gold with a black ADLC coated bezel. The skeletonized dial has silvered indices and hands.

The project is certainly interesting and it is always good to pursue new possibilities although we see a contradiction in the lack of a seconds hand in a watch which uses a quartz generator to ensure the highest precision. Evidently, without a seconds hand, the wearer will not have the possibility to easily control the accuracy of the timepiece.

A limited edition of 118 pieces, the Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P comes on a black alligator leather strap with a white gold folding clasp. The price will be around Euro 63,800 / US$ 70,800.

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