Of Piaget’s 35 manufacture calibers, 25 of them are ultra-thin, according to Piaget CEO Philippe Leopold-Metzger, who presented some of the brand’s 2014 models at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in January. The brand now holds 14 world records for thin calibers. It comes as no surprise, then, that Piaget introduced the world’s thinnest mechanical watch this year, at 3.65mm thick, the Altiplano 900P. This feat is achieved not just by miniaturizing as many components as possible but by eliminating the dial plate. The caseback doubles as the main plate, onto which the movement is built, with the whole assembly also serving as the dial – there is no extra layer between movement and sapphire crystal. The hands are integrated on the same level as the movement components. In case this isn’t impressive enough, Piaget also introduced a high jewelry version that contains about five carats of diamonds and is just 5.65mm thick.
Given Piaget’s love of roses – there is a rose named after Yves Piaget, and the company is supporting the restoration of Empress Joséphine’s rose gardens at Malmaison near Paris, as well as plantings at the New York Royal Botanical Gardens – so it is also not surprising that the company introduced two rose themed watches at the SIHH this year. The first, the Limelight Blooming Rose, has a two-part case that, when turned, produces additional “petals” of the rose, as it transforms from bud to bloom. All the petals are paved in diamonds.
The second rose-themed watch is crafted using micro-embroidery. The process, which takes 40 hours per dial, is done by hand, using twisted French silk thread sewn onto a silk background. Like a fine paintbrush, the needle delicately applies thousands of tiny straight stitches to the silk canvas. The bezel is set with diamonds.