The new Piaget Altiplano Skeleton Automatic watch is going to be officially presented to general public next January. If no alternative release from a competing watchmaker surfaces by that time (and there are only a few competitors who can try to beat Piaget in this “ultra-thin” race,) the watch will probably be the thinnest automatic skeletonized watch in the world.
The next SIHH 2012 industry event will open only in about two months, but we already gradually start to get more and more information regarding future releases from the most established watchmakers from the land of cuckoo-clocks, cheese and the best chocolate.
Among the new offerings that I simply can’t ignore is yet another masterpiece from Piaget.
Called Piaget Altiplano Skeleton, the new automatic watch is based on (or, probably, inspired by, since the two don’t share a single piece of their gorgeous designs) the Piaget Altiplano Skeleton Piece Unique that was designed for the Only Watch auction in Monaco and was sold at an impressive price of €54,000.
Although the unique timekeeper was equipped with a skeletonized version of their Caliber 838P hand-wound movement, the new watch comes powered by another engine: the gorgeous Piaget 1200S.
Being in fact a meticulously hand-skeletonized version of their Piaget Caliber 1200P that was presented last year, the new automatic movement that features a not so common micro-rotor design is around 0.3 mm thinner than its manually-wound predecessor! Frankly, I don’t know how they manage to make structurally rigid devices that are almost as thin as a €1 coin and look like a piece of metallized spider-web.
The 18-carat white gold case that houses the movement measures 38 millimeters in diameter and less than 5.4 millimeters thick. In fact, as the Swiss watchmaker states it in its press release, the new Piaget Altiplano Skeleton Automatic is the world’s thinnest self-winding skeleton watch!
What I like the most about this piece is the aforementioned micro-rotor, which is crafted from solid platinum, blackened, adorned with Piaget’s logo and coat of arms and is actually visible from both sides of the watch.
Of course, the mesh of metal surfaces that serves as the Altiplano’s dial doesn’t make the best job when it comes to readability, but that is the rare case when usability is rightfully sacrificed in the name of art.
Piaget Altiplano Skeleton Automatic watch specification
Price: TBD, very expensive
Movement: Automatic, Piaget 1200S, in-house, 29.9 mm x 2.35 mm, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Movement decoration: Skeletonized and bevelled by hand, black screws, black platinum satin-brushed micro-rotor
Functions: Hours, minutes
Power reserve: 44 hours
Case material: 18-carat white gold
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 38.00 mm
Case height: 5.34 mm
Lug width: N/A
Hour markers: N/A
Hands: Dauphine-shaped, black
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black leather strap
Case back: Sapphire