But Piaget is not just reviving an ultra-thin blast from the past. It is also marking the 9P anniversary with a new milestone for the manufacture: its first mechanical chronograph movement that is entirely designed, developed and produced in-house. The automatic Caliber 880P makes its debut in the Piaget Polo Chronograph with a pink gold case measuring 43 mm in diameter. It is the latest entry in Piaget’s dominant family of calibers identified by the number 8 at the beginning of their names. The 800 family includes the hand-wound Caliber 830P, the self-winding 800P, and Caliber 850P with an indicator for the time in a second time zone.
Unlike the balances in the other members of the 800 family, which complete 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour, the balance in the new Caliber 800P swings at a pace of 21,600 vibrations per hour. With a height of 5.6 mm, it continues Piaget’s tradition of low-rise movements. It maintains its thinness despite the inclusion of an integrated stopwatch function and a flyback mechanism. Its coupling is vertically oriented to save space. Unlike horizontal coupling, a vertically oriented coupling mechanism enables Piaget to obviate fine tuning on the column wheel and the chronograph control during production. Caliber 880P is 12 lignes (26.8 mm) in diameter, contains 35 jewels and has a 52-hour power reserve. The screws on the rim of the large and visually appealing balance are only decorative, because fine adjustments can be performed via a Triovis regulating system. The movement is very attractively decorated with a variety of engraved patterns, including Geneva waves. The ball-borne rotor winds the mainspring in both directions of rotation and bears the coat-of-arms of the Piaget family. The stopwatch function of Caliber 880P was deliberately designed to be a short-interval chronograph and is limited to 30 elapsed minutes. Rather than giving the movement a 12-hour counter, Piaget opted for a 24-hour hand at 9 o’clock to indicate the hour in a second time zone. The suggested retail price is $20,900.
* All prices listed are circa December 2007 and are subject to change.