Piaget Altiplano, The Thinnest Watch in the World
In modern times, there are a few accepted rules about matching your watch with your outfit. While some well known rules about proportions exist and are generally accepted, e.g., making sure the lugs of the watch case does not extend pasty your wrist and the diameter of the watch covers your more than 3/4 of your wrists, few other rules have been debated more than how high the watch stands on your wrist.
Generally, the accepted convention is to have the watch on wrist easily fit under your shirt’s cuffs. The main message being that a large watch, for instance, such as most Panerai watches, typically seat high on the wrist and therefore are not necessarily good dress watch but make for great sports watches.
Piaget is one brand that has taken this to heart and has obsessively produced thinner and thinner watches. Some of the new Piaget watches are so thin that they are hardly visible on wrist if one was to look at your arm from a profile angle while wearing it.
Piaget’s collection for thin dress watches is the Altiplano. Recent models are created in a classic round case with leather strap, modern Altiplano contain an in-house micro-rotor movement. To make the watch as thin as possible in recent models Piaget has reduced the number of lines (a measurement of the thickness of the watch) by mounting as many parts on the main plate of the watch itself.
For 2018, Piaget create a model that will be hard to beat as it stands at 3 mm high for the completed watch. Typically that size would be the height of a thin movement, however, Piaget was able to have the completed watch with that height.
The trick was to do away with any caseback, embed the rotor directly on the main plate and have a sapphire glass be glued to the top. Additionally, the crown is square and embeds itself on the watch case. It is a new record in thin watches and has not been made available for production yet.
While there is a constant stream of competitors trying to dethrone the Piaget Altiplano as the thinnest watch on the market, Piaget has done a great job at leapfrogging the competition regularly and continuing innovating on their main Altiplano line.
While we don’t have the latest Altiplano at our store (no one does, only one was produced) we do carry a great selection of older models just a couple millimeters thicker than the record holder. We invite you to come visit, dressed with your best shirt, and try them on. Once you do, you might just be hooked and find the next dress watch for your collection.