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Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon: ultrathin mastery

Piaget unveiled the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon, a timepiece boasting an thinness of just 2mm, alongside a flying tourbillon. Price €735,000
To mark the Maison's 150th anniversary since its founding in 1874, and 6 years after it revealed the exceptionally thin Altiplano Ultimate Concept, Piaget is presenting the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon, an exceptional timepiece that boasts the same incredible thinness as its predecessor - 2 mm - while adding a sophisticated flying tourbillon.

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

This isn't merely an addition; Piaget has overhauled 90% of the components from the original Altiplano Ultimate Concept, even developing new machinery for the task. Inside the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon, every part is newly crafted, drawing upon years of expertise.

The watch comes in blue PVD-treated cobalt alloy case measuring 41.5 mm in diameter and offering water resistance to a depth of 20 metres / 66 feet. 

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

Set into circular motion by a bridge encircling it, the carriage of the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon completely subverts the current state-of-the-art technical principles.

The signature engraved on its back, next to a sapphire crystal placed under the tourbillon, sums up the process that has driven Piaget since its beginnings: “Always do better than necessary”.

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

The culmination of three years of secretive work at the Piaget Manufacture in La Côte-aux-Fées, the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon elevates this high-end complication to new heights, remaining true to the Maison’s traditional approach: technical achievements are but meant to serve the aesthetics of a watch.
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon
Thanks to the technical approach introduced with the invention of calibre 900P in 2013, there is no distinction between the movement and the case. To gain precious space and achieve ultra-thinness, the case back also serves as the movement mainplate. Its exterior side is in contact with the skin. The case is made from a deep blue treated cobalt alloy, which offers the best thinness to hardness ratio. 

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

The crown, integrated into the case band, is pulled out and operated using a dedicated tool. This tool is a stylus containing a gear reduction and torque control system, breathing new life into the barrel.

The position of the watch components was maintained. The dial displaying the hours and minutes is still slightly off-centre, as it was on its predecessor. The tourbillon is located at 10 o’clock, with a seconds indicator engraved on the tourbillon ring. All its parts had to fit within 2 mm.

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

Working with the same case height and components just as thin, the difficulty lay in how to insert a tourbillon when the space inside the watch was already full. Only after 70 versions of the cage, 15 versions of the anchor and 30 versions of the case frame, the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon acquired its final structure.

The key idea was to hold the tourbillon in place by its perimeter. Its outer edge is held in place by a ceramic ball bearing, which drives its one-minute rotation. It is mainly made of titanium, and steel where possible. 

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

The power is supplied by a unique skeletonised barrel, which replicates the cross-hair design of the original Altiplano and it is able to cope with the 25% additional power required by the tourbillon compared to a movement with a fixed regulator.

When a watch is 2 mm thin, all manufacturing rules are challenged. With the balance wheel rim and the sapphire crystal both being 0.2 mm thick, the machines that craft them have to work to an accuracy of around 2 microns, that is two thousandths of a millimetre. This is even more crucial as the parts also undergo a series of processes to decorate their surfaces after manufacture. 

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

For example, the wheels, now made with four arms instead of the six previously used, are diamond polished and chamfered by hand. This decoration must be performed with the utmost attention, as not even the minimal deformation would be allowed.

In designing the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon, innovation also meant optimizing the thickness of the sapphire crystal, reduced to 0.20 mm dial-side and 0.16 mm back-side.
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

Wearing the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon, as thin as a coin, offers an exceptional experience, providing unparalleled comfort on the wrist.

A demonstration of ultrathin exceptional mastery, the new Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon is priced at Euro 735,000. piaget.com

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

COMMENTS

BLOGGER: 1
  1. WOW, this is really on another level!

    ReplyDelete

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Time and Watches | The watch blog: Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon: ultrathin mastery
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon: ultrathin mastery
Piaget unveiled the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon, a timepiece boasting an thinness of just 2mm, alongside a flying tourbillon. Price €735,000
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