Featuring exterior styling that is radically different compared to other members of this year’s Altiplano collection, the new Piaget Altiplano Skeleton Automatic (ref. G0A37132) is going to be officially presented to the 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 PR agencies working with major Swiss brands have already started to gradually increase the flow of information regarding future releases from the most established watchmakers from the land of cuckoo-clocks, cheese, and the best chocolate in the world. Among the new offerings sent to me since last week, or at least the ones that I simply can’t ignore due to their sheer awesomeness is yet another masterpiece from Piaget.
Called Piaget Altiplano Skeleton (ref. G0A37132), 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 Caliber 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 a metalized spider-web.
The 18-karat white gold case that houses the movement measures 38 millimeters in diameter and less than 5.4 millimeters thick. In fact, as the watchmaker states it in its press release, the new Altiplano Skeleton 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 course, the mesh of metal surfaces that serves as the Altiplano’s face 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.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Piaget Altiplano Skeleton (ref. G0A37132) specification
Price: $57,000 USD (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber Piaget 1200S, in-house, 29.90 mm x 2.35 mm, Swiss Made
Winding: Automatic (self-winding)
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: 18-karat white gold
Size: 38.00 mm
Case height: 5.34 mm
Dial: Sapphire crystal
Hands: Dauphine-shaped, black, polished
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black leather strap
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective coating