Piaget Altiplano Concept Tourbillon is the World's Thinnest Tourbillon Watch

Piaget Altiplano Concept Tourbillon is the World's Thinnest Tourbillon Watch

This year, Piaget celebrates a monumental milestone—150 years since Georges-Edouard Piaget opened his first workshop in 1874.

To commemorate this important anniversary, they've unveiled the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon during the Watches and Wonders 2024 in Geneva. While retaining the remarkable 2mm profile of its predecessors, this new model introduces a flying tourbillon, underscoring Piaget’s dedication to innovation in ultra-thin watchmaking.

The quest for the "world’s thinnest watch" has been a dynamic and fiercely competitive arena. Recently, Bulgari with its 1.7mm Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC reclaimed the title from Richard Mille UP-01 Ferrari, only for Piaget to outdo them with the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon, now the world’s thinnest tourbillon watch.

Here’s a closer look at what makes the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon an iconic watch in the making.

Ultra-Thin Construction of the World's Thinnest Tourbillon Watch

Ultra-Thin Construction of the World

The new Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept (AUC) Tourbillon continues the dark blue PVD-coated cobalt alloy design of its Tribute version, maintaining the same impressive thinness. A slight increase in diameter by half a millimeter accommodates the tourbillon, a crucial adjustment in a watch where precision is paramount. Additionally, the sapphire crystal is even thinner than in previous models to ensure the watch remains ultra-slim.

Significant reengineering underpins this model; 90% of its components have been redesigned to accommodate the tourbillon and reduce friction. This restructuring is essential for maintaining the watch's 40-hour power reserve. Innovations include a thicker mainspring and ball bearings in the tourbillon mechanism to enhance efficiency and durability.

The AUC's unique design integrates the movement directly into the caseback, merging the case and movement into a singular cohesive unit. The manual Piaget caliber 970P-UC, featuring a one-minute peripheral tourbillon, exemplifies this integrated approach, pushing the boundaries of traditional watchmaking.

This engineering marvel not only retains the title of the world's thinnest tourbillon, surpassing Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, but also showcases its technical prowess with a visible tourbillon at 10 o'clock and an exposed mainspring barrel at 6 o'clock. 


Thinning the Tourbillon

Ultra-Thin Construction of the World
Source: Revolution Watch

The world's thinnest tourbillon watch, the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept (AUC) Tourbillon employs a peripheral gear system rather than the traditional central pinion, featuring a spokeless wheel driven at the periphery, positioned between two titanium plates. This innovative setup enables a slimmer movement and creates the illusion of the tourbillon cage rotating mysteriously.

Further refining the movement, the AUC Tourbillon uses a ceramic ball bearing for the cage, eliminating traditional jeweled bearings. The balance is free-sprung with adjustable weights and supported on a ball bearing, enhancing the compactness and stability of the movement. The titanium plates cleverly serve multiple roles, including supporting the balance and acting as the stud holder, optimizing space and aesthetics.

Functionally, the hand-wound caliber 970P-UC acts as the movement, dial, and case back, with a peripheral tourbillon at 10 o'clock that also indicates seconds. The movement, running at 28,800vph, features strategic placements for its components to enhance functionality and design. The off-center dial is neatly positioned between 12 and 1 o'clock with streamlined indexing and integrated hands. Adjustments to the watch require a special stylus to protect its delicate inner workings, reflecting Piaget's commitment to precision and user safety.

Watch Specs of Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon as the World's Thinnest Tourbillon Watch

Brand: Piaget

Model: Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

Dial: Dark blue PVD-coated cobalt alloy

Case material: PVD-coated cobalt alloy

Case dimensions: 41.5mm x 2mm

Crystal: Sapphire with antireflective coating

Case back: PVD-coated cobalt alloy

Movement: Piaget 970P-UC

Power reserve: 40 hours

Water resistance: 2 atm

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds

Watch Specs of Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon



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