The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon is the world’s thinnest tourbillon watch The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon is the world’s thinnest tourbillon watch

The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon is the world’s thinnest tourbillon watch

Buffy Acacia
  • The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon is the thinnest tourbillon watch in the world.
  • Introducing complications to the battles of thinness makes things much more exciting.
  • The whole watch with a peripherally-mounted flying tourbillon is 2mm tall including the sapphire crystal.

Ultra-thin watches are a bit of a strange niche. There’s a constant battle to be the thinnest something, whether its thinnest overall or thinnest with a particular complication. When something is no longer ‘the thinnest’, you’re left with a wafer-thin watch which has the unfortunate title of has-been. But, is that really fair to the amount of R&D which went into producing it? They’re still technical marvels in their own right, whether or not they’re the current world record holders. Well, considering the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept from 2018 lost its title as world’s thinnest watch some time ago, the Swiss brand just had to come back with the new world’s thinnest tourbillon watch.

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon 1

Let’s be real. Between Piaget, Bulgari and Richard Mille one-upping each other every year with a new world’s thinnest watch, we’re sure to hit diminishing returns if not issues with quantum mechanics some time soon. Throwing some complications into the mix makes things interesting again, and this new Piaget absolutely smashes the record for world’s thinnest tourbillon. Previously held by the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon at 3.95mm, the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon basically halves that down to an exact height of 2mm. In fact, it’s actually now the thinnest watch with any kind of complication beyond just hours, minutes and seconds. It did have to sacrifice the exhibition caseback of the first Altiplano Ultimate Concept, but everything you’d ever want to look at is right there on the dial.

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon 2

The case is 41.5mm in diameter, spreading its components fairly wide to help cope with the thinness. There is always going to be an element of ‘dinner plate’ to wearing a watch this thin, but you kind of want it to stand out. The dark colouration helps to reduce its visual bulk, but this is no simple black-coated titanium or steel. It’s actually a dark navy blue PVD coating over a cobalt alloy named M64BC. With 28% chromium (almost three times as much as stainless steel) and 6% molybdenum, M64BC is highly corrosion and fatigue resistant, making it ideal for manufacturing very thin parts. In fact, it’s usually used for permanent surgical implants. Its properties aside, the deep blue finish allows the rose gold highlights to pop beautifully.

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon 3

Although the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon may not be the thinnest watch out there, it is still one of the only watches 2mm or below which still has a beautiful, traditional dial. There are no QR code eyesores to be seen here. The hours and minutes can be read easily from the subdial at the top, while the tourbillon structure is clearly laid out to its left. There are some more visible components leading down the train of gears to the large mainspring, which is engraved to denote Piaget’s 150th anniversary. The surfaces have been treated with a similar deep navy to the case, and a variety of pleasing matte textures across the different surfaces.

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon 4

Pretty much indistinguishable from both the case and the dial is the calibre 970P-UC, allowing the watch to come to its total thickness of 2mm including its crystal. Creating it wasn’t just a case of just cramming a tourbillon into the established Altiplano Ultimate Concept, as about 90% of it had to be redesigned. The tourbillon was designed from scratch, utilising a very rare peripheral scheme which looks as if it’s simply floating. The tourbillon is actually the one component which can be seen from the caseback, interrupting the solid M64BC. It beats at a smooth 4Hz with a power reserve of approximately 40 hours, and you may have noticed the total lack of a crown on this watch. Piaget also supply the watch with a mechanised tool, with which you can wind and adjust the movement.

The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon pricing and availability

The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon is not a numbered limited edition, however production will certainly be tiny, if not by request. Price: on request

Brand Piaget
Model Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon
Case Dimensions 40.5mm (D) x 2mm (T)
Case Material M64BC cobalt alloy
Water Resistance 30m
Crystal(s) Sapphire crystal
Dial Navy blue and rose gold accents
Bracelet Calf leather
Movement 970P-UC
Functions Hours, minutes, peripherally-mounted flying tourbillon
Availability Limited production, not numbered
Price On request

Learn more about the watches released by Piaget at Watches & Wonder 2024.