Few, if any, watches are as capable of inspiring a sudden and unexpected feeling of pure awe as the Swiss made replica Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept watch. It’s not very likely that you’ve had a chance to see one, much less strap one on – it was released as a pure concept watch only, in 2018 and was announced as a full production watch this year – but if you are one of the very few who’ve had an opportunity to experience it, it’s not likely you’ll forget the encounter any time soon.
The cheap replica Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept watch is remarkably – and almost unbelievably – thin. Stack two credit cards together and you’ll be able to gauge the thickness of this watch. It’s just 2mm thick. It is nothing less than the thinnest mechanical watch, overall, ever made.
Few watchmakers have done as much to innovate, elevate, and advance the art of ultra-thin watchmaking as Piaget. Founded in 1874 in the small village of La Côte-aux-Fées, Piaget was born as a movement manufacturer, producing movement components for other fine watchmakers. With a family motto of “Always do better than necessary,” the Piaget family was determined from the start to make a name for their brand, and so they focused on the specific engineering and production craft of ultra-thin manufacturing.
Since the beginning, Piaget has repeatedly pushed manufacturing and design boundaries, breaking its own records time and time again while creating watches that are beautiful, wearable, and awe-inspiring. This deliberate choice to focus on ultra-thin watchmaking is just one reason it can be said that ultra-thin is the Piaget complication.
The sun peeks over the mountains in La Côte-aux-Fées and lights up the Piaget manufacture, just as it has since the 1800s. It’s here that Piaget’s master watchmakers focus on producing some of the slimmest watches in the world, continuing a decades-old tradition that’s put Piaget on a plane of its own.
Ultra-thin watchmaking is a distinct craft in and of itself. The Altiplano Ultimate Concept watch required completely rethinking every single part of a watch – from movement to case to crystal – all while balancing elegance and technical engineering, as manufactures push material and machining capabilities to the limit. The design and development of a new balance spring alone took three years. The development of a new cobalt alloy case cost the company a production machine that couldn’t withstand the stress of the rigid new material. The extreme mastery of manufacturing required for ultra-thin is unlike any other complication, and best AAA fake Piaget has not only perfected it for hand-wound, but also automatic and tourbillon movements. So challenging is ultra-thin watchmaking, that it is often considered a complication in its own right.
“The thinner you are, the more complicated it is. There are no miracles,” says prototype watchmaker Jean-Daniel Hofman. “It’s much more complicated to produce an extra-thin watch than a classic watch, especially in terms of manufacturing.”
As a result, manufacturing and design times for watches like the Altiplano Ultimate Concept watch are measured in years – not months.
“The thinner you get, the more complex it is to have a wheel pinion, a main plate or a bridge that is perfect, that is reliable,” says Quentin Hébert, Head of Global Watch Marketing at Piaget.
Piaget’s approach to watchmaking and ultra-thin innovation is directly tied to the brand’s “four pillars of craft” – gold, movement, color, and light. These ever-present tenets infuse every Piaget creation and keep each watch firmly rooted in the brand’s legacy, serving as touchstones for even the most avant-garde timepieces.
With more than 160 years of fine watchmaking to lean on, Piaget’s evolution is set within a context of juxtaposition – of past and present, craft and technology, and form and function. Balancing this juxtaposition is central to Piaget’s ethos and managed gracefully by a team of watchmakers who have dedicated their careers to preserving ultra-thin technology.
“Our way of thinking about innovation and the future of watchmaking is to really think about how we can make these four crafts evolve, be different, be transformed, to innovate and to create the watches for the future of Piaget,” says Hébert. “Ultra-thin is not our history. This is our DNA.”
The first Piaget Altiplano was announced in 1957, debuting the legendary Caliber 9P. The Caliber 9P introduced the brand’s first ultra-thin mechanical hand-wound wrist watch to the market with a movement a mere 2mm thick. Built without precise machining or computers, to produce such a thin watch was nothing short of a technical revolution. Its 2mm thickness truly allowed Piaget to present itself as the “specialist of the slimmest watches in the world.”
A 2mm thick movement has always been the goal for Piaget and continues to be the backbone of the entire Altiplano collection, inspiring the design, shape, and profile of every watch leading up to the Altiplano Ultimate Concept. From 1957 to today, this has been the constant driving force to do, as Valentin Piaget would say, “what has never been done before.” Unbelievably thin, the introduction of the Caliber 9P forever changed ultra-thin watchmaking.
Piaget continued to outdo itself in 1960, when the brand announced the Caliber 12P, then the thinnest automatic movement in the world. At 2.3mm thick, the Caliber 12P movement was slightly thicker than the 9P, but housed a movement that represented a new set of exceedingly difficult technical challenges. . Most importantly, the 12P introduced a micro-rotor automatic winding system to the movement. For decades, the 12P held the record for the thinnest automatic watch, redefining men’s elegance in watches, but at no point would Piaget abandon its quest for slimness. It also developed the thinnest quartz movement in 1976 with the caliber 7P, and several record-breaking calibers at the onset of the 21st century.
In 2002, Piaget struck gold again, with the introduction of the Caliber 600P – a 3.5mm hand-wound tourbillon. Not only had Piaget mastered the production of ultra-thin watchmaking – defining the craft as a complication in and of itself – but now it had produced the thinnest tourbillon available on the market, once again redefining the limits of movement thinness for the entire industry.
Soon after, Piaget took watchmaking even further, integrating case and movement design to go beyond the pursuit of ultra-thin caliber development. In 2014, Piaget debuted the Caliber 900P, which fully integrated the caseback and bottom plate of the movement, resulting in an entire watch now measuring a mere 3.65mm thick. The 910P, introduced in 2018, relied on the fusion of case and movement to achieve a new record of thinness for an automatic watch, at a mere 4.3mm thick. This new achievement set the stage for a world of ultra-thin opportunities to be achieved by Piaget in the coming years.
In 2018, Piaget debuted the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept – a continuation of the last 80 years of work for the brand and the culmination of generations of dedication to ultra-thin. The thinnest hand-wound mechanical watch in the world again achieved the ultimate goal of reaching only 2mm in thickness overall – an unbelievable feat for even Piaget. Simply put, the Piaget Ultimate Concept defies the rules of watchmaking and achieves a wearability that is unprecedented.
The development of the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Watch provided watchmakers with the opportunity to build upon the achievements of the first Altiplano watch and infuse the design and spirit of the original ultra-thin watch into this mechanical marvel. From an engineering standpoint, the AUC takes cues from the 910P to eliminate a separate movement and instead integrates the movement into the caseback itself, which performs the function of plates and bridges – a perfect fusion of movement and case. With the entirety of the mechanism exposed, the movement becomes the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Watch’s design, and wearers are offered a look inside the world’s thinnest mechanical watch with every glance at the wrist.
Nothing wears like a Piaget Altiplano. On the wrist, the impossibly thin watch seems to almost disappear. This is, of course, deliberate. In the ultra-thin mindset, there’s an inseparable harmony between watch and wearer. Piaget’s watches are designed to sit close to the skin and become an intimate part of the wrist.
The evolution that led to this point of view is a direct result of Piaget’s reinvention of ultra-thin technology, not just to break records, but to practically serve the lifestyles of those clients that appreciate unparalleled wearability and a push to the edge of possibility.
In many ways, personalization is connected to the exclusivity of Piaget, as the entire experience of purchasing and owning an Altiplano Ultimate Concept is intended to be personal. On one hand, the level of detail and intense care that is channeled into the production of each AUC results in the customer being able to touch and feel the individual work that goes into his or her watch. The ornamental side of Piaget allows for more explicit personalization, all going back to the four pillars of craft (gold, movements, color, and light) established by the brand.
“Ultra-thin is not our history. This is our DNA.”
Piaget’s approach to the personalization of the Altiplano takes this to the next level, providing customers with the opportunity to create a watch that is inextricably a part of his or her identity. Through the Piaget Infinitely Personal concept, collectors have the ability to customize the colors of the dial, bridge, hands, screws, case, and strap. There are more than 195,000 possible unique permutations. With each customization, the watch becomes bespoke and entirely individual.
“Personalization is really an experience at Piaget,” says Hébert. “A specific experience that clients have with Piaget.” But it’s also something more beyond bespoke special orders. It’s the personal experience of wearing something so technical. It’s the personal expression of thousands of hours of hand craftsmanship.
“You experience the manufacturer with the Altiplano Ultimate Concept,” he says. It’s really the experience of the ultra – the extreme technicity – of Piaget.
Producing genuine awe in watchmaking is not easy. But as a brand committed to elegance, Piaget is motivated by a desire to explore refinement in a modern context, and the result is just that.
For quality Piaget replica, ultra-thin is at the service of the aesthetic to offer something different, creating a piece of art with every watch. And while the thinness of the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept is truly awe-inspiring, perhaps even more impressive is Piaget’s decades-long commitment to the art of ultra-thin watchmaking. Or, maybe the two are the same, an expression of and commitment to excellence in craft and art.