Piaget has established a solid reputation as a leader in the manufacture of ultra-thin watch movements. After producing the world’s thinnest hand-wound shaped tourbillon movement and ultra-thin versions of some of the main watchmaking complications, the brand now reaches the pinnacle of thinning down the mechanical movement with the presentation of the world’s thinnest self-winding minute repeater movement in the Emperador Coussin Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater.
It has taken the company three years of development work to design and produce the 4.8mm thick Calibre 1290P with its 407 individual components. Based on the Calibre 1200P, the world’s thinnest self-winding movement, it contains components whose size is difficult to imagine, some of which—at 0.07mm—are thinner than a hair’s breadth. In spite of its size, the movement exhibits an exquisite level of finishing with bridges drawn and bevelled by hand with a file, a decorated platinum micro-rotor and polished pink-gold and rhodium-plated screws.
The elegant mechanism is housed inside a 48mm diameter cushion-shaped case from the Piaget Black Tie collection. Fashioned in 18-carat pink gold, the case alone comprises 69 individual elements, yet it is only 9.4mm thick, making this the world’s thinnest self-winding minute repeater timepiece. In the absence of a dial, the ornate decoration on both sides of the movement can be admired through sapphire crystals on the front and back of the watch, with the 60 rays of the sunburst engine-turned pattern on the mainplate acting as the watch’s minute markers.
A minute repeater must, of course, be heard in order to be judged. Connoisseurs of this highly complicated mechanism will be able to appreciate the significance of the finer details that allow the hours to be struck in G sharp and the minutes in A sharp in the fifth octave at a volume of 64 decibels—just one decibel less than the level of an average conversation.
Source: Europa Star December - January 2012-13 Magazine Issue
See the other SIHH 2013 previews in this issue:
- “Audemars Piguet: infusing a new way of thinking”
- Baume & Mercier’s seaside odyssey continues
- Roger Dubuis leads the way in self-sufficiency
- Cartier’s new manufacture chronograph
- Panerai’s celebration of classic yachting
- Ralph Lauren’s Sporting World Time in steel
- Richard Mille’s support for road safety