The Altiplano 900P is the culmination of over half a century of virtuosity in the field of ultra-thin timepieces, in which Piaget is an acknowledged master. Piaget holds more than a dozen records in various categories and to celebrate the mark’s 140th anniversary in 2013, the watchmaker released the Altiplano 900P, a breathtaking mechanical watch, only 3.65 mm in height.
The true secret of this extreme slenderness lies in the structure of the case itself, of which the back also serves as the mainplate. Thereby merging caliber and case, the latter was machined directly from the case-back in order to house the mechanical parts. This most complex of architectures also required the reverse construction of the movement, with bridges fitted on the dial side, thus rendering them visible and requiring close attention to aesthetics.
The movement cannot be removed from the case because the case and the movement are one unit with this watch. Piaget took this different approach in order to maximize economy of space. So the “caseback” is actually the baseplate for the movement components as well which means one layer less on the back of the watch. Also, the smaller, off-center dial set into the bridges is cutting of thickness.
One of the greatest challenges was ensuring that the crystal could sit as low as possible without risking it pressuring the hands when subjected to pressure. To fit the hands below the main bridges instead above, a new mechanism was invented. It is the 23rd ultra-thin from Piaget.
But the Altiplano 900P not only features impressive technology but also striking good looks. Most of the mechanism is visible right up front, the dial is offset at 10 o’clock. Though it would have been undoubtful easier for Piaget to go with a 40mm case (or an even larger one), they opted for the more difficult – and elegant – 38mm case which is e a great choice.
While for Piaget, the extreme slimming down of the parts in an ultra-thin watch must in no way compromise its reliability, the same goes for the level of finishing. The Altiplano 38 900P is no exception to the rule. Even though some of its 145 parts remain hidden from sight, all of them have been meticulously finished in keeping with the noblest horological traditions, through countless hours of patient work rendered even trickier by the extraordinary slenderness of the components.
The Altiplano 900P Collection includes a watch in white gold and a white gold one set with diamonds, a pink gold watch as well as a Haute Joaillerie watch in white gold.