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Piaget Altiplano Chronograph Watch Sets New Record For Slimness

Piaget Altiplano Chronograph Watch Sets New Record For Slimness Watch Releases

For SIHH 2015, Piaget will unveil a new ultra-thin flyback chronograph, further helping them to round out their range of “world’s thinnest” watches. The Piaget Altiplano Chronograph is not only very beautiful, but it finally adds another chronograph-based model to Piaget’s slim men’s collection. Until now, if you wanted a Piaget Chronograph you needed to get a Polo Chronograph or a Gouverner Chronograph – two decidedly niche designs, without as much mainstream appeal as something more classic, such as this. With the new Altiplano Chronograph, Piaget is able to combine the elegance of their famous dress watch with the appeal of a sporty chronograph – all in a very slim package.

Piaget claims to make “double records” with the Altiplano Chronograph. First is the world’s thinnest (manually wound) mechanical flyback chronograph movement, with the in-house made Piaget caliber 883P that is just 4.65mm thick. Second is the world’s thinnest flyback chronograph movement based watch case, as the Piaget Altiplano Chronograph is just 8.24mm thick. Available in 18k pink or white gold, the case is also a welcome 41mm in width.

Piaget Altiplano Chronograph Watch Sets New Record For Slimness Watch Releases

Piaget Altiplano Chronograph Watch Sets New Record For Slimness Watch Releases

Note the specific verbiage used by Piaget: while the Piaget Altiplano Chronograph is very thin, it doesn’t contain the thinnest chronograph movement in the world. Movements such as the caliber 1180 family by Blancpain (F. Piguet) are thinner. The distinction here is the flyback feature. Also, while the layout of the 883P at first glance appears to resemble a traditional 12-hour chronograph dial, it isn’t. The 883P is built based on Piaget’s existing 880P family of in-house made chronograph movements. These have 30 minute chronographs (counter at 3 o’clock), a running seconds indicator at 6 o’clock, and a GMT 24-hour hand in the subdial at 9 o’clock, used to indicate the time in a second time zone. Also, no date here, to detract from the elegantly clear face. This is actually the first time I’ve seen an Altiplano dial with more than two hands be symmetrical.

At SIHH 2014, Piaget released the Altiplano 38mm 900P, which is the thinnest mechanical watch in the world, at just 3.65mm thick. You can’t actually distinguish between the movement and the case in the Altiplano 38mm 900P because the movement plate is actually the caseback of the watch. It isn’t likely that anyone is going to beat that record (anytime soon at least). Consumers have been increasingly interested in really thin watches, which is cool. My favorite ultra-thin Piaget is still the Piaget Altiplano 43 Automatic (hands-on) given its size and design. However, to some, “thin is the same as thin.” As I’ve said several times before, once you get too thin (say under 5mm), the watch case appears to be thinner than the strap! So basically, anything under 8 or 9mm thick is going to feel rather svelte on the wrist.

Piaget Altiplano Chronograph Watch Sets New Record For Slimness Watch Releases

Piaget Altiplano Chronograph Watch Sets New Record For Slimness Watch Releases

At 8.24mm thick, the Piaget Altiplano Chronograph is going to feel very nice on the wrist, but not like you are wearing a wafer that is too delicate. The minimalist Altiplano case has a modern, yet traditional aesthetic to it, and the design of the dial happens to flatter the Piaget logo rather well. Or, alternatively, perhaps the Piaget logo happens to flatter the dial – which might otherwise be too minimalist for some people’s tastes.

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If you don’t know what a flyback chronograph is, the answer is very simple. Whereas in a traditional chronograph, you need to first stop the running chronograph before resetting it, with a flyback chronograph you can hit the reset pusher while the chronograph is running to start it again. I have yet to be in a situation where this is necessary, but I’m not timing races or whatnot. All movements in the 880P movement family have a flyback complication, but the 883P sheds the automatic rotor, as it is manually wound, and about a millimeter of thickness in the process. The in-house made movement is comprised of a lean 240 parts, operating at 3Hz (21,600 bph), and has a power reserve of 50 hours.

Piaget Altiplano Chronograph Watch Sets New Record For Slimness Watch Releases

Piaget Altiplano Chronograph Watch Sets New Record For Slimness Watch Releases

Rare for an Altiplano is the exhibition caseback on the rear of the Piaget Altiplano Chronograph. The finishing is up to typical Piaget standards, and I look forward to experiencing this pricey beauty on my wrist. If I had to choose a chronograph dress watch, the Piaget Altiplano Chronograph would likely top the list right now.

For 2014, Piaget will produce two versions of the Piaget Altiplano Chronograph – both in 41mm wide cases. First is the 18k pink gold reference G0A40031 version (with a brown alligator strap and matching gold buckle). Second is the reference G0A40031 in 18k white gold that also adds a ring of 56 diamonds (about 1.8 carats) around the bezel of the watch. Price for the Piaget Altiplano Chronograph starts at about $29,000. piaget.com

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  • Beautiful. I am seriously beginning to take Chopard and Piaget (along with the uppity “newcomers” like Journe and Moser) into consideration now when thinking about the next nice, classic, and mechanically interesting dress watch. 
    Gone are the days of only Lange, PP, VC, Blancpain & Breguet.

  • Feller87

    Chaz_Hen It is more expensive than the 1815 up down!

    being that the Lange is 8.7 mm thick I would gladly take it over the Piaget and “sacrifice” the extra .48 of a mm and get about three times the watch in my estimation

    Not that I dont like this watch I do, its beautiful, I just dont see a situation in where I would ever choose this one over the Lange given the pricing and the negligible difference the crown of Thinnest achieves

  • PhilR

    Mechanically splendid. And I appreciate that Piaget invests it’s time and money in real innovations, not gimmicks. But here’s my problem: If I was shown only the front view of this watch and the “Piaget” was removed, I would have thought it a quartz. Possibly from the mall. I’m all for stealth wealth, but not a lack of identity. And this piece seems to derive most of it’s aesthetic identity from the name on the dial.

  • bdekok

    Feller87 Chaz_Hen You raise a difficult choice.  Do you want a choronograph or a top end masterpiece like the ALS 1815 up down?  They’ve both got their benefits.  For me a dress watch doesn’t need a chronograph complication and so I’d go for the ALS every time.  But having said that, this watch is a very very attractive choice and wins if you want a chronograph dress, I like it a lot.

  • bdekok

    Ariel, what’s the diameter of the movement?  No doubt that they’ve made it to go into a range of possible target watches and sizes.  But one wonders how thin they could go if they used all the available case diameter available, if that’s possible.

  • Ulysses31

    It’s a nice technical achievement but there’s a point where the relentless pursuit of certain goals begins to become pointless.  It’s great to have a mechanical chrono as thin as a quartz, but if they keep going in this direction it will be for breaking records only and not for any tangible benefit to the user, unless wearing a coin on your wrist is something you truly desire.  It wouldn’t hurt to be a little more daring with the design either.  It’s nice to see the movement, but i’d prefer to see more of the inner workings.

  • Ulysses31 True, this movement looks pretty much like “automatic with rotor removed”.

  • joshgraves

    I’m sure this ia a very nice watch, but it does not excite me at all.  The dial and hand combo is too plain.

  • Freaking gorgeous. Minimalist but not boring at all. Just elegant without being at all feminine. I love that the 3rd subdial is a very useful GMT/2nd time zone. I don’t care that it’s the world’s thinnest in whatever category. But it’s thin enough to be a dress watch (under 10 mm) and that’s good enough – the final number is just bragging rights. I’m sometimes critical of watches appearing only as renders, but in this case I realize the watch won’t be seen until SIHH so I’m OK with and and I expect the final watch to also look very cool. Now which pair of pant did I leave the $30K in?

  • Jimxxx

    I wish the white gold model came without the bling and a black dial instead of that boring white one.

  • My first thought was ‘she looks quartz’ and then I see that others agree, so idont feel silly for saying it.

  • Feller87

    bdekok Feller87 Chaz_Hen Not sure if you realized the comparison I was making the 1815 up down IS a dress chronograph, of course you can get the regular 1815 as a time only as well but the comparison here was apples to apples

    Aremed with that information and I will quote you here “a top end masterpiece like the ALS 1815 up down” 
    compared with the Piaget that obviously did not earn that distinction and amazingly is more expensive …

  • shinytoys

    For me, it’s odd to consider a Piaget for a chronograph. I’ll admit it is a work of art, but I would look elsewhere for my super expensive dress  watch with a complication that is featured here.

  • Feller87 bdekok Chaz_Hen You win…if it’s this vs. a Lange, I’d lean towards Lange as the movement will definitely be more beautiful.

  • iamcalledryan

    Feller87 bdekok Chaz_Hen The 1815 up down is a simple hrs/minutes/seconds and power reserve.

  • iamcalledryan

    Very handsome, although being a manual, would love to see them sneak a little reserve indicator in there, even if it did cost them some depth. And agree the back looks off – I think it might be the rotated wording over an above decoration.

  • garph

    MarkCarson Sex watch.   g

  • bichondaddy

    I appreciate the design of the movement….but really wish they would have provided you with video showing how the movement was designed and assembled.  The resulting watch….well…like others…I wish they would have spent as much attention to the design of the dial as they did the movement.  The price of the watch….no surprises there.  I am sure there will be some Ferrari 475 Italia owners driving around somewhere in the world enjoying one on their wrist.  But…probably none will be driving around in their 1972 Ford F100 here in central Texas…uhhh…that would be me!!

  • Feller87

    iamcalledryan every manual watch should have some sort of power reserve 
    especially one that costs 29K

  • Feller87

    iamcalledryan Feller87 bdekok Chaz_Hen My apologies I stand corrected

    the model I was attempting to refer too was the 1815 Chronograph which is priced at 42K

    case unclosed 🙂

    although for me personally if I was in a position to be spending 29K on a dress chrono I would save up a drop more and get the Lange 

    so my position remains although it is less steadfast then it was previously and I am now more accepting of the price point of this watch

  • spiceballs

    Feller87 iamcalledryan bdekok Chaz_Hen  holeee ????? nice watches all but at 42K or even 29K  ‘fraid I’ll have to pass  – – -.

  • iamcalledryan

    I would take the JLC Master Chronograph over all of those for price-quality ratio. But, despite it not being a chrono the 1815 Up Down STILL takes the biscuit!

  • notech47

    A beautiful dress chrono. I suspect a buyer of a watch like this would have numerous pieces in their collection. Since it would likely get minimal wrist time and it is a manual wind watch, setting and winding it would become a chore. A power reserve indicator would be a major improvement in my eyes.

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