Ultra-thin timepieces and the name Piaget have gone hand-in-hand for many decades. So it will not come as a shock that Piaget introduced a number of varieties on the ultra-thin, skeletonized Caliber 1200S. That’s the movement of the Piaget Altiplano 1200, which is the world’s thinnest automatic skeletonized watch.
As if that wasn’t enough, Piaget now adds engravings, diamonds and even enamel, to those tiny, tiny, skeletonized bridges. And the results look pretty awesome.
The Piaget Altiplano watches with Caliber 1200 measure 38 mm in diameter and are, of course, ultra-thin (the “standard” version with Caliber 1200S is 5.34 mm thick.) Here, we’ll focus on the version with the enamel-filled bridges, dubbed Caliber 1200E. The other new models featuring fully engraved skeletonized bridges (Caliber 1200E) or diamond-set skeletonized bridges (Caliber 1200D) are also magnificent masterpieces from the craftsmen at the Piaget manufacture, where they specialize in engraving and diamond-setting techniques. There are two new models featuring bridges with enamel, one with white enamel, and one with black enamel.
Before the enamel can be applied, the bridges first have to be “engraved” — Not in an artsy way, but functionally, to carve channels into the bridges. These channels will be filled with enamel, before they’re fired up to a temperature high enough to melt the applied enamel powder, but low enough to prevent the bridges from melting. It’s quite a tricky process. By way of comparison: I just measured the thickness of the straps for my Panerai. These include a rubber OEM strap and a bunch of after-market straps, including calf leather and alligator leather straps. The average thickness is between 4.5 and 6 mm. Now imagine how spectacular a feat it is to create a movement that measures just 3 mm thick, and is filled with enamel, engraved, or set with diamonds. The movement is Piaget’s in-house Caliber 1200E, which is an ultra-thin, self-winding, skeletonized movement with enamel (the “E”), which has also been set with 11 black sapphire cabochons (approx. 0.2 ct). The entire movement, including enamel-filled bridges, measures just 3 mm in height, or 0.6 mm thicker than the “standard” Caliber 1200. Some of the gear wheels, such as the jumper cover, are only 0.69 mm thick, and are gem-set. This contributes to a slightly thicker case, resulting in an overall thickness of 6 mm, which is still incredibly thin.
As we already mentioned in the article’s intro, there are also new Piaget Altiplano models with diamond-set bridges and engraved bridges. These models also measure 6 mm in height, and the movements, Caliber 1200G (engraved) and 1200D (diamond-set) each measure only 3 mm in height. Again, try to imagine how amazingly thin this is and that Piaget has managed to add engravings, enamel, and diamonds.
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