The bigger, the better! At least, that was the thinking at the turn of the century. But brands put their watches on a strict diet in 2014. Ultra-Thin watches stole the headlines at SIHH and BaselWorld, and chances are, other brands will have noticed. Here’s a breakdown of some of our favorites on the market:
Piaget Altiplano 38mm 900P With more than a dozen records in the category, Piaget is the master of ultra-thin watches. The brand was the first to introduce an ultra-thin movement, with the Calibre 9P in 1957, and introduced the Altiplano 900P to celebrate that landmark’s 140th anniversary. At 3.65mm thin, it’s quite simply the thinnest mechanical watch in the world. It is also available in 18K white gold. Cost: between $20,000 and $30,000.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon This piece is considered a trailblazer in the field of ultra-thin Grand Complication timepieces, since it’s the first wristwatch to feature a flying tourbillon combined with a flying balance and a peripheral self-winding system. With a thickness of only 7.9mm, it can claim its place as the thinnest minute repeater watch ever made. Limited to only 75 pieces in 18K white gold.
Hublot Classic Fusion Ultra Thin Skeleton 42MM The king of BIG watches, Hublot showed it could also master ultra-thin as well with this elegant evening watch, which has the sophistication of an ultra-thin wristwatch, and the eccentricity of a skeletonized dial. This is ‘fusion’ at it’s best. It’s still the ‘fattest’ in this group, at 8.3mm, in case you forgot who made it. It is also available in titanium. Cost: between $15,000 and $17,000.
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Contemporaine Ultra Thin Caliber 1731 Minute Repeater The thinnest Minute Repeater currently on the market, this Vacheron Constantin measures 8.09mm, and is only slightly thinner than Hublot’s release. But inside, it’s a different story. The new Calibre 1731 manually wound movement, which bears the Seal of Geneva, is just 3.90mm thick, and that’s ridiculously slim for a Minute Repeater. Limited production of 15 watches per year.
Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Extra-Thin Bolshoi Limited Edition On the occasion of the re-opening of the Bolshoi Theatre, the manufacture from Le Bassus raised the curtain on a special ultra-thin Jules Audemars series, featuring an open-worked oscillator engraved with the effigy of the famous building. All of that, inside a 6.7mm watch! Limited to only 99 pieces; 50 in rose gold and 49 in 18K white gold.