October 29, 2011
by Ariel Adams
For 2012 Piaget will release this very special watch that furthers their desire to be the thinnest around in a number or categories. Last year it was the Altiplano 43 Automatic that was the thinnest automatic watch with the thinnest automatic movement. This year (perhaps among other “record” things) Piaget will offer the thinnest skeletonized automatic watch around with this strikingly good looking Altiplano Skeleton Ultra-Thin timepiece.
The Altiplano Skeleton Ultra-Thin is technically another “double record holder.” That means it has the thinnest automatic skeletonized movement and the thinnest case for an automatic skeletonized watch. The Piaget in-house made Caliber 1200S is just 2.40mm thick while the entire case is just 5.34mm thick. This all makes for extremely wafer-like wrist wear.
In a 38mm wide case the Piaget Altiplano Skeleton Ultra-Thin is yet another good-looking watch with black dauphine hands. The black & white gold look is very handsome. You see more of that for the movement’s micro-rotor that is actually platinum and coated in a matte black. The 1200S automatic movement is based on the 1200P automatic movement. Piaget modified it a bit and highly skeletonized it. The skeletonization aesthetic is very modern and lovely. There are no floral patterns or highly decorative details. Mostly elegant lines and delicate polishes. The beveled edging on the bridges is a great touch. This is a formal looking watch with a very contemporary feel.
There is a great view of the movement through the two AR coated sapphire crystals. I like how well you can see the rotor spinning around, as well as the placement of the balance wheel. The layout of the movement is very clever. I would have liked however for there to be some hour indicators – perhaps engraved into the movement – to improve legibility.
The finishing on the movement is all done by hand. Piaget (again) is first and foremost a good movement maker. So this is beyond a mere fashion watch. It is probably one of the most interesting tuxedo watches that we will see in 2012. While it is only available in 18k white gold to start, I think it would look equally good in yellow or rose gold. A 43mm wide version would sit very well with me as well! Price is estimated by Piaget to be in the $60,000 range.