Piaget adds to the Altiplano Concept family with a new Ultimate (2mm case thickness) model in a cobalt allow case and dark blue dial in time for Watches & Wonders Shanghai.
Press Release information with commentary in italics.
New: Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept for W&W Shanghai
The new Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept in cobalt alloy Ref. G0A47507 will retail for SGD 610,000 inclusive of GST.
We have covered the 2018 Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept release model in some detail. Read the comprehensive review, published in 2020. For the Geneva Watches & Wonders 2023, Piaget added two further models to the Altiplano Concept – an Ultimate Concept model (2mm case thickness) in emerald green version in cobalt alloy case, and a rose gold version of the slightly thicker Ultimate in pink gold case and blue dial. The Ultimate has a thickness of 4.3mm instead of the 2mm on the Concept Ultimate.
And now the collection is grown with a new Ultimate Concept model, in cobalt alloy (as usual for Ultimate Concept) case with a dark blue dial. This brings the Ultimate Concept to a total of 3 models – the launch model in the dark grey dial is now sold out, and replaced with the G0A47508 in a silver main plate and blue sub-dial. The Geneva 2023 Ultimate Concept G0A47506 has a blue main plate and green sub-dial. And now this novelty, G0A47507 with a dark blue dial. The case is still in the same cobalt alloy, but it has a PVD coating, giving it a dark blue hue, similar to the movement plate.
Since the very beginning, Piaget has cultivated the art of ultra-thin watchmaking, like second nature. The creative flow of colour and energy has yielded a brand-new Altiplano Ultimate Concept in shades of midnight blue.
Piaget is keeping the flame of ultra-thin watchmaking very much alive. It is more than just a speciality. It is a state of mind, a culture, an identity that began with watch movements and has spread to all of Piaget’s designs over almost 150 years. For Watches & Wonders Shanghai 2023, the Maison, which laid the aesthetic and technical foundations for ultra-thin watches, is launching a new version of a mechanical watch that is an astonishing 2 mm thick, the Altiplano Ultimate Concept.
With its captivating dark blue colour scheme, this new Altiplano Ultimate Concept showcases an even more pared-back design and a more marked celebration of the Maison’s signature colour. This version is a first for Piaget, as previous hours and minutes Altiplano Ultimate Concept models were designed upon request and personalised for a handful of customers: the happy few.
At Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023, Piaget presented a stunning emerald- green version of the Altiplano Ultimate Concept, alongside a blue version of the Altiplano Ultimate Automatic 910P with a rose-gold case, a piece only 4.30 mm thick. These two new models emphasised the continuing strength and relevance of ultra-thin watchmaking at Piaget, as well as another of the Maison’s deep-rooted legacies — the art of playing with colour.
Piaget presents these dazzlingly thin pieces as embodiments of the Maison’s living heritage. These are the most recent pieces in a long line of watches whose curves have grown slimmer and slimmer, achieving the seemingly impossible. Their pared-back appearance elegantly conceals the hard work required to overcome obstacles posed by materials, one millimetre at a time.
Origins of Ultra-thin watches
Before it was even a Maison, Piaget designed many different components for the biggest names in Swiss watchmaking. Ever since it was founded in 1874 by Georges-Édouard Piaget, the company has focused on creating lever escapements, the most delicate regulating system for watches.
In the 1920s, a second speciality emerged from this meticulous approach to manufacturing: the ability to design, create and finish pocket watch movements that were ground-breakingly thin, measuring as little as 2.4 mm.
To achieve this, the founding Piaget family embarked on a visionary journey, years ahead of the rest of the industry: the integration of all watchmaking processes. Their aim was to completely master the complex skills required to specialise in ultra-thin watchmaking. Springing from a mindset of unity, this single workplace, now known as the Manufacture, is rooted in the family’s home village, La Côte-aux-Fées.
Deeply committed to its identity as a manufacturer, Piaget first introduced the ultra-thin in the shape of watch movements. The hand-wound 9P movement was launched in 1957. 9 for its size, nine lines corresponding to the small diameter of 20 mm, and P for Piaget, a decisive signature.
The movement was even more iconic as Piaget only used it in watches made of precious metals. The same process saw the launch of 9P’s self-winding successor, Calibre 12P, a mere 2.3 mm thick with its revolutionary micro-rotor integrated within the movement. Gold and ultra-thin: two founding signatures of a brand that established itself by proving the unquestionable excellence of its horological creations.
As well as its design process, the manufacturing of the Calibre 9P was a daily feat of genius that continued over many decades. In the 1950s, manufacturing work was mostly performed by hand or using machines with very basic capabilities. Each component needed to be checked individually and often needed to be modified. Keeping the thickness around 2 mm was a constant challenge, an everyday mastery over materials. Therefore, while the Calibre 9P movement was followed by Calibre 12P in 1960, it was not until the 1970s that the same thinness was reached.
In 1998, Piaget invented a unique signature for its ultra-thin creations, which, since the 1960s, had only been referred to by their style. The name Altiplano was officially created. This title conveys a sense of height, of flat smooth surfaces, of stripped-down style, perfectly matching these discreetly refined, ultra-thin watches. In this field, Piaget continues to push boundaries, reaching dizzying, seemingly impossible heights.
An exceptional feat: even at 2 mm thick, the Altiplano Ultimate Concept is waterproof to a depth of 20 metres and equipped with a traditional crown. Its first working prototype took seven years to develop; two more were required for it to meet Piaget’s rigorous reliability standards. Its case is made from a special torsion-resistant cobalt alloy, which makes it 25% thinner than precious metal cases.
Piaget Altiplano Concept G0A47507 Specifications
Ultra-thin hand wound watch in cobalt alloy, 41mm, dark blue dial, dark blue alligator strap
Water resistance: 2 ATM
Movement: C. 900P-UC Piaget Manufacture beating at 28,800 bph.