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Piaget Altiplano 900D Hands-On: World’s Thinnest Mechanical Jewelry Watch

Piaget Altiplano 900D Hands-On: World's Thinnest Mechanical Jewelry Watch Hands-On

In 2013 Piaget released the 3.65mm thick Altiplano 900P making it the world’s thinnest manually-wound watch ever. It is so thin that the backplate of the movement is also the caseback. I don’t really think anyone will be able to appreciably decrease this minuscule size anytime soon. So what did Piaget do for 2016? Jewelry watch lovers, feast your eyes on the Piaget Altiplano 900D – the thinnest manually-wound mechanical watch with a case and dial covered in diamonds. Ultra-thin “haute joaillerie” has never looked better as the Altiplano 900P is transformed with 304 diamonds into the impressive Altiplano 900D.

Piaget Altiplano 900D Hands-On: World's Thinnest Mechanical Jewelry Watch Hands-On

Piaget Altiplano 900D Hands-On: World's Thinnest Mechanical Jewelry Watch Hands-On

The good news is that the watch is still very thin, and for the most part, has the same look and feel as the 900P (hands-on here). The bad news is that, of course, some extra thickness is necessary, but it really isn’t much. Even at the new “thicker” size of 5.65mm thick the 900D is still thinner that most of the competition. Really, the only difference visually is that now the case doesn’t look thinner than the strap, and it also doesn’t look like a coin with attached straps.

Piaget Altiplano 900D Hands-On: World's Thinnest Mechanical Jewelry Watch Hands-On

Piaget Altiplano 900D Hands-On: World's Thinnest Mechanical Jewelry Watch Hands-On

One of the coolest things about the 900D, is just how many diamonds and how many places Piaget found to put diamonds. If you are the type of person who tends to be in the market for high-jewelry watches, then the Altiplano 900D is going to be hard to resist. The 18k white-gold case is given an extra bezel structure which is set with baguette-cut diamonds, while the rest of the case sides and lugs are set with round-cut diamonds. For the size, it is really a brilliant exercise in gem-setting.

Piaget Altiplano 900D Hands-On: World's Thinnest Mechanical Jewelry Watch Hands-On

Piaget Altiplano 900D Hands-On: World's Thinnest Mechanical Jewelry Watch Hands-On

Of course, it would not be a 900D (“D” for diamonds!) if the dial were not also set with diamonds. The trick here, is that the dial is also mostly the movement with a section for the off-centered dial for the time. Dial or movement, all of it is set with either baguette or round-cut diamonds. Even the screws are set with diamonds, and even if you aren’t a precious stone lover you have to appreciate the clever effort that went into transforming the thinnest mechanical watch in the world into the thinnest high-jewelry manually-wound mechanical watch.

Piaget Altiplano 900D Hands-On: World's Thinnest Mechanical Jewelry Watch Hands-On

Piaget Altiplano 900D Hands-On: World's Thinnest Mechanical Jewelry Watch Hands-On

The Piaget Altiplano 900D watch doesn’t have a separate designation for the movement, because if you’ll recall, watch and movement are quite literally merged. The movement is built on the caseback as the backplate and together they are comprised of 145 parts. The movement operates at 3Hz (21,600 bph) and has a power reserve of 48 hours indicating just the time with hours and minutes. On the dial, you can view the oscillating balance wheel as well as the gear train and much of the mainspring barrel.

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Piaget Altiplano 900D Hands-On: World's Thinnest Mechanical Jewelry Watch Hands-On

At 38mm wide, the Altiplano 900D wears well as a dress watch. The black hands are remarkably legible, especially because the dial for the time is highlighted with the ring of baguette-cut diamonds. I would have loved a bit more demarcation for the hour markers, but for a watch like this, why complain about something like that? In total, the 900D case and dial contain 5.77 carats of diamond stones.

Piaget Altiplano 900D Hands-On: World's Thinnest Mechanical Jewelry Watch Hands-On

The extra 2mm of thickness compared to the 900P without diamonds is a small sacrifice to make in exchange for this fascinating jewelry watch creation. It would not have been reasonable to expect this type of gem setting with much less extra space, and, in person, the watch doesn’t really feel that much thicker even though it is a thicker watch that is a super slim counter-part. Attached to the Piaget reference G0A41122 Altiplano 900D is a black alligator strap and the price for this non-limited edition model is $165,000. piaget.com

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Comments

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  • Roma KLM

    I’ve never understood men wearing diamonds. I can’t even imagine on what occasion a man could wear this piece of glamour.

  • I really enjoy the non-diamond encrusted Altiplano with its clever caseback is the movement plate and good looks. Personally, I think the diamonds ruin it. But I guess Piaget knows their market and someone “has to have it”.

  • iamcalledryan

    Wow.

    • Shinytoys

      Yea, it’s got it going on !

  • “…If you are the type of person who tends to be in the market for high-jewelry watches”

    Read: Eastern European organized crime kingpins and hip hop recording artists. No other man should wear diamonds on a watch. I don’t even think women should wear jewel-encrusted watches; no matter how expensive they might be, they always look tacky. This watch is exceedingly tacky.

    • Marius

      I am an Eastern European mafia kingpin but I wouldn’t wear this watch. I am a man of style, I prefer my gold Rolex Daytona Leopard.

  • BNABOD

    I am sure it takes serious skills to put something like that together but nonetheless it does not take away my thought that such a timepiece should not be worn by a dude and unless you are going with your exceedingly expensive wife to a bal masqué at the chateau de Versailles then no I see no use for it. The plain (read better) Altiplano is a different ball game though.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Its weird, seeing a diamond piece like this is both fascinating and vulgar at the same time.

  • DanW94

    Almost every men’s watch reviewed here that’s encrusted with diamonds (on the case, bezel…etc) is universally derided by the members on this board. Come on guys, are we so constrained by traditional gender separation that we can’t even consider this as a mans’ accessory? Are we so brutish we can’t put aside our provincial attitudes and appreciate this wonderful piece of jewelry?
    JUST KIDDING! It’s gaudy and feminine and if gifted to me I’d be chipping off those diamonds on my way to the local jewelry exchange. (I do like the regular version though)

    • word-merchant

      “are we so constrained by traditional gender separation that we can’t even consider this as a mans’ accessory?”
      Yes. We very much are.

  • SuperStrapper

    Thank goodness Piaget finally entered the ultra thin game. It is extremely important that we work towards a watch that is almost 2 dimensional. Can mine also use pink diamonds and have a unicorn engraved on the caseback?

    • Rupert Muller

      Agree.
      Next will be: The world’s thinnest automatic watch with only yellow and green jewels on the bezel ring (Piaget), the world’s thinnest hand-wound watch with a mother-of-pear dial and less than four hands (Piaget), the world’s thinnest chronograph with pushers made of jade a bracelet made of ruby filled tantalum (Piaget).

      • iamcalledryan

        The best way to take over the Guinness Book of World Records, is to do very poor versions of every record, but mark each description with the following addition “…whilst wearing a red hat”

        • And standing on one foot.

          • iamcalledryan

            And with a mustache.

    • Instead of diamonds, how about petrified unicorn tears (faceted of course).

  • Shinytoys

    Super high fashion. You’ll know it when you see it out on the town. No doubt!

  • Ulysses31

    It’s too thin… You limit what you can do with a watch stylistically when you are reaching to produce a watch as thin as a communion wafer. It’s like with phones. Does a point-something millimetre reduction in thickness really matter to anyone anymore? Don’t become a one-trick pony, Piaget.

  • funNactive

    I’d love to watch the diamonds spinning on the gears. The options w/out diamonds = easier to look at (both watch face & inner workings = function)

  • Nelson

    Too many diamonds. Looks feminine.

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