Neither entirely a movement nor exactly a case – or rather both at once: Piaget’s Altiplano 38 mm 900P, the world’s thinnest mechanical watch is now available at Khimji’s Watches.
Merging the hand-wound calibre with the case elements, it is designed as a single entity in order to achieve record-breaking slenderness at just 3.65 mm thin.
Representing a crowning achievement in over half a century of virtuoso skills displayed in the realm of ultra-thin watchmaking where Piaget reigns supreme, it conveys the excellence of the two integrated Manufactures run by the Maison – one based in La Côte aux Fées, where the movements are traditionally made; and the other in Plan-les-Ouates, where the cases are crafted.
Mr. Madhursinh Jesrani, General Manager, Khimji’s Watches commented: “Making an ultra-thin watch is a constant challenge. Right from the first project sketches, all those involved must anticipate the functional, aesthetic and durability constraints involved in paring down parts to the extreme. Very few manufacturers are tempted to adopt such an approach, and even fewer develop and produce in-house both their calibres and their cases under the watchful eye of the in-house designers. Piaget belongs to this exclusive circle and we are proud to be their partners in Oman.”
Piaget Altiplano 38 mm 900P indeed is a model that is set to defy the conventions of ultra-thin Fine Watchmaking for many years to come. While clearly geared towards cutting-edge innovation, it is also a nod to history, since it gets the 900P part of its name from Calibre 9P, which was the first ultra-thin hand-wound movement made by Piaget in 1957.
For a full three years, watchmakers, case constructors and designers worked together at each stage of development, production, adjustment and finishing in order to give life to this slender marvel. Each technical choice had an aesthetic impact and vice versa. While each of the 145 parts composing the Altiplano 38 mm 900P has been trimmed to a size sometimes barely thicker than a hair’s breadth – including some wheels measuring a mere 0.12 mm thin (compared with 0.20 mm on a classic movement) – special care has been devoted to clearances.
In other words, the process involved cleverly arranging the components to within the nearest hundredth of a millimetre so as to create optimal play between the fixed and mobile organs, while being careful to ensure that the later move freely and thus guarantee the smooth running of the mechanism.
The jewellery version of the Altiplano 38 mm 900P totalling 4.71 carats sets a new record for slenderness, since it is the world’s thinnest Haute Joaillerie watch at just 5.65 mm thick. 304 diamonds set the stage for subtle plays on cuts – baguette for the bezel and brilliant for the lugs and profiles. On the dial, 33 baguette-cut diamonds form the chapter ring. Piaget takes things as far as to even gem-set the screws on the bridges and wheel-trains.
Proclaiming its bejewelled nature right the way through to the smallest details, the watch also features delicate gem-setting on the folding clasp of its alligator leather strap, thereby putting the ultimate finishing touch to a model that is destined to remain a highly exclusive work of art.
You can view these exquisite timepieces at Khimji’s Watches showroom located at Way No. 3036, Building No. 2825, Al Ufouq Building, Shatti Al Qurum, Muscat. Khimji’s Watches is one of Muscat’s leading franchisees for luxury watches, jewellery, accessories and writing instruments. Set up in 1973, Khimji’s Watches offers a range of global designs from Rolex, Cartier, Chopard, Piaget, Mikimoto, Girard Perregaux, Tudor, Oris, Frederique Constant, Bell & Ross, Caran d’Ache and Kieninger clocks.