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Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Watch Hands-On

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Watch Hands-On

Piaget used to pride – and account – itself on its drawn out accomplishments in making strikingly thin watches. All was well as long as they could lead in this game, once in a while by more noteworthy and some of the time rather tiny edges. Lately, in any case, we have seen Piaget lose center not simply of the extravagance watch market by and large, yet in addition of its actual self. The Polo S saw blended gathering, best case scenario, the 60th commemoration, completely average Altiplanos showed a discouraging absence of imagination, with the lone pieces in ongoing memory keeping the faintest positive thought of the brand having been the record-thin programmed Altiplano and these two marquetry stone-dialed tourbillon wonders ( involved here ). Another radiance of expectation for the brand comes in the ultra-fragile state of the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept watch.

How does this Ultimate Concept fit into the universe of Piaget? Why will it really matter for them or the extravagance watch market? Will we actually see something like this underway? These were my inquiries in the wake of seeing this new, exceptional exercise in thin watchmaking.

 

Fit into Piaget it does, obviously, in light of the fact that it’s a thin watch delivered by a brand whose cutting edge picture was generally based on thin watches. It’s additionally fitting as Bulgari has been taking all the spotlight recently with regards to breaking thin watch records – they have completely walloped Piaget and took over in only a couple years, a long time that sneak past super quick with regards to items that take such a long time to develop.

All pictures by David Bredan

Whether or not it will have an effect in the extravagance watch market is a troublesome inquiry. It has an effect as in it gives a brief – and henceforth passing – confirmation that Piaget is alive, regardless of whether not well. Radiance items (or “ultimate concepts”) can have an effect, however I think it is a somewhat disputable exercise when the bigger determination of really accessible and moderately competitively estimated items is dreary, best case scenario. Without a doubt, Piaget is as yet a solid brand to go to on the off chance that you need some super specialty, conveniently made, uncommon piece – yet all things considered, there’s a ton of work to be done.

To accomplish and keep up the Altiplano Ultimate Concept’s exceptional thinness, Piaget needed to utilize various cunning and precarious designing arrangements. This incorporates a base-plate/caseback plan that consolidates the two pieces into one, with the haggles components being fitted straightforwardly to the caseback. This smart arrangement isn’t new, truth be told, it made its introduction in ETA’s Delirium Tremens record-thin watch in the last part of the 1970s (I think Delirium Tremens IV however I could not be right), and has been utilized by Swatch from that point forward, alongside a couple of different brands and watches, including Piaget’s celebrated 900P caliber.

 

Piaget took things to the following level and eliminated however much of the top plate as could reasonably be expected. The barrel and numerous different parts work also to how a flying tourbillon functions – they are just upheld and fixed from under, yet not from above. This obviously wouldn’t be conceivable with only one gem under and nothing however the expectations of designers above, so many of these parts use metal rollers under. In that capacity, generally gem check dropped to simply 13.

Add to this the way that everything was made as thin as could really be expected: a considerable lot of the wheels are presently 0.12mm thick, coming in at about 60% of their standard selves. The fountainhead likewise lost its drum and cover, so one can now effectively perceive how wound the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept is – power hold, coincidentally, is a noteworthy 44 hours.

With the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept having a case that is simply 2mm thick (that’s the full case, not simply the movement), the case was to be planned as inflexible as possible perhaps be. Specialty it from conventional materials and you could possibly twist the case and do so barely enough to likewise twist the wheels at the same time, harming them and the movement. Utilizing a delicate metal like gold and tying the watch onto your wrist firmly enough once could break the watch for great. To evade this from happening Piaget found the exquisite arrangement of not eliminating the lash but instead utilizing a cobalt based compound for the case and base-plate, thus delivering the entire thing purportedly unbending enough. I say supposedly, in light of the fact that nobody was permitted to put this thing on.

On a side note, the watch was to be taken care of by a watchmaker in particular – in spite of the fact that I found the opportunity to move the watch around somewhat in a cushioned plate for photography, a signal I appreciated. I simply feign exacerbation when “ordinary” watches that are showpieces at a show are by and large excessively exorbitantly secured by the brands as we attempt to get a few involved film. For a watch that’s just 2mm thick or if something is a numbered piece that will be sold during the show, I absolutely comprehend. In any case, when it’s for show and to make our lives that a lot harder, I do simply feign exacerbation – and continue. OK, side note bluster over.

 

Because the case is so level, a common crown couldn’t have been fitted thus a level, rectangular one is incorporated into the situation at its typical situation, at 3 o’clock. It helps me to remember Richemont sister brand’s Cartier Clé. The keyless works – for example the components connected to the crown – have additionally been re-designed to decrease its size and component consider much as could be expected. It’s a given that there’s no date or other usefulness, so the crown’s obligations are restricted to setting the hours and minutes, and ending up the hand-wound type. What’s better actually is that Piaget has planned an extraordinary twisting device for the crown, for it’s so little (and I assume delicate), that they considered it more ideal and simpler to utilize an instrument that would clutch the case and permit one to wind the watch with it. See it in real life above!

For horological nerds maybe the most amazing improvement behind this momentous thinness is the licensed development of the equilibrium wheel. It comes with a rearranged format with the equilibrium sitting over the hairspring, without a cockerel or scaffold to get it from above. The very technique that we referenced above is utilized here: the equilibrium staff turns on metal rollers incorporated within the base of the staff; its rate can be changed with a versatile stud under, uncovered through an angled cut-out of the plate.

The hands have likewise been decreased and recessed: they turn in recessed regions to guarantee that they don’t get squeezed against the 0.2mm thick (!) sapphire gem front, should that misshape even the smallest. In any case, clarity is very acceptable, regardless of whether the hands are a long way from being the right length, I can absolutely respect the exertion that this ultra-thin movement is experiencing to drive them precisely and with adequate torque.

 

Funnily, the final product is a watch that gauges the equivalent and looks probably as thick as a heap of 5 bits of A4 paper, coming in just shy of 22 grams. Connected to this featherweight case is a too thin gator lash – most ties would look silly on this filigree case. The tie, Piaget say, even has some Kevlar sewn into its middle to shield it from tearing or wearing too effectively – most likely in an equal universe where it would really be worn and not sitting in a case.

In end, Piaget has addressed numerous issues connected to a watch this thin being exhausted in reality. Since large numbers of the brand’s manifestations are in the cash no-object association in any case, maybe we’ll see a couple of pieces (maybe somewhat thicker yet record-thin) make it into collectors’ hands. The inquiry, likewise with some other concept item, is the amount of this work will be moved into “mass produced” items. The Kevlar-fortified tie is a perfect thought as are the “flying mainsprings” and other parts.

The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept (should it have been known as the Ultiplano?) is Piaget getting its work done well – amazingly well, indeed. One gets the possibility that it was done to persuade its adjudicators – toward the stopping point, the brand’s clients – that the company actually has the stuff. I’m totally anxious to see probably a portion of this Ultimate Concept – its details, yet its trying, forbidden inventiveness – discover its way into Piaget’s feasible watches. Hear, hear! Until that occurs however, this watch will simply remain what it says on the tin: the “Ultimate Concept.” As such, it doesn’t even have a cost. piaget.com