Master Explains The Piaget Altiplano Series Ultra-thin Watch

Piaget Altiplano ultra-thin watch with 1208P ultra-thin self-winding movement
Ultra-thin movement is difficult to make and more difficult to maintain
What size is the standard for ultra-thin movements? There is currently no standard specification. The author has set a standard, which I believe is more reasonable and acceptable to all brands: manual winding movement is within 2mm, automatic winding movement is within 3mm, and quartz movement is within 1mm. The movement needs to be slender. It needs to be considered from the beginning of the entire movement design, such as the width of the barrel and the spring, all the way to the gear and escapement structure, to the winding system, and to the winding plate, The cooperation of pointers and so on. Since it is a thin movement, of course, the case is also an ultra-thin design, and the aspects to be considered are extremely extensive, which means that it is difficult to make it, which is not easily done by ordinary watch factories.

伯 The Piaget 12P was the world’s first mass-produced and thinnest micro-disc movement in the 1960s, with a thickness of only 2.35mm. This record has not been broken so far.
The ultra-thin movement is difficult to manufacture, and it is relatively deeper in repairing technology than the general specification movement, especially in the skills of assembly and adjustment. Although the ultra-thin movement has superb craftsmanship, I look at it from another angle. The production of the ultra-thin movement is actually asking for trouble. Take a hand-wound movement as an example. Can 2mm and 2.5mm thin movements be placed on the wrist and worn on the wrist to feel the difference? The precision of the thin movement is extremely high, and a slight impact may hurt the gear train, because its gears are thin and the gear axis is relatively short, which cannot withstand large collisions, so the failure rate is naturally high. The ultra-thin movement must be matched with a thin case, otherwise it is meaningless. Too thin a case design must sacrifice waterproof performance, and even the diameter of the Godson must be reduced. The daily winding movement may also reduce its durability. These are the fatal injuries of the ultra-thin movement. Therefore, if it is to be ultra-thin, it must give up the advantages of durability, and it is difficult to choose between the two. From a long-term perspective, the thin movement is not easy to maintain and has insufficient handling resistance, which may affect the operation of the parts or lose accuracy. Normal thickness movements are less of a problem. How to choose depends on the wisdom of the user.

Piaget 1208P ultra-thin self-winding movement
Piaget (PIAGET) engraved 12P movement
At the Geneva watch exhibition in 2010, Piaget re-engraved the 12P movement, and Vacheron Constantin launched an ultra-thin watch equipped with a 1003 movement. Both movements were very classic works of the year. The 12P was launched in 1960. In the 1950s, most of the automatic watch thickness was 5-6mm. The 12P, which is only 2.35mm thick, does have its characteristics. The first 12P uses a screw balance with a vibration frequency of 19,800 times, and the second generation uses a ring balance with a vibration frequency of 21,600 times. 12P uses a quarter micro-automatic disk with a two-way winding as the winding mechanism. In order to achieve the winding performance quickly and smoothly, the automatic disk is made of 24K gold with a large proportion, which has both lining and face. In the 1960s, it was very rare to use pure gold as the material for automatic discs. Even PP was only 18K gold. The ultra-thin, noble and honor made PIAGET quite beautiful. However, the design of the 12P also has its shortcomings. Its automatic disk bearings use the shaft type instead of ball bearings (ball bearings) with small steel balls. The pure gold automatic disk makes the shaft unbearable, and gradually wears and becomes too heavy. The small automatic disk will shake, which is probably the only thing missing. In addition, only the hour and minute hands are displayed, and without the second hand, it is impossible to see the operation of the hands and the passage of time. This is a design that most consumers care about, but some features must be abandoned in order to be ultra-thin.
厚度 The thickness of the 1208P movement re-engraved this year is still 2.35mm, but the earlier defects have been improved, and ball bearings and 22K gold automatic disks are used. However, the fine-tuning mechanism of the movement only uses the most common fast and slow needle design. It is a little disappointing to use the big brand PIAGET, at least it must be equipped with a thread fine-tuning system. In 1977, Patek Philippe launched Cal.240 with a thickness of 2.4mm. This ultra-thin automatic watch, which also uses a micro-automatic disc, has been used to this day, and it is still the most thin model of Patek Philippe. Not only used in two pointer models, but also equipped with a perpetual calendar mechanism. More than thirty years of hardening chain, performance is competent. Although 240 is designed for single-winding, the weight of the 22K automatic disc is well matched with the winding mechanism, and the winding performance is very good. It is a very high-quality thin automatic movement.
In 1996, the advent of Chopard’s 1.96 pushed a quarter of the micro-rotor movement to the peak of watchmaking. The thickness of this newly developed movement is 3.3mm, which exceeds the thickness of the 3mm ultra-thin movement identified by the author, but there are double-layer springs not found in other ultra-thin movements, and the rare micro-automatic winding in both directions And gooseneck trimming system. 1.96 also has dual certification of the observatory and the Geneva Seal, which is a very high-quality movement. However, most consumers have positioned Chopard as a fashion brand. The impression is only Happy Diamond, and the brand has not been fully marketed. This makes Chopard LUC’s watches with the Geneva mark sold at the auction at a very low price, and the brand value is greatly reduced. ,What a pity.
In addition, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 920 is considered to be the most sophisticated in the ultra-thin automatic watch movement with a large automatic dial. In addition to the ultra-thin automatic movement used by the three major brands of Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin, the biggest feature is the use of a suspended barrel, which is hung on the upper plywood, which is higher than the average movement. The shaft center is fixed on the base plate, which will not cause the main shaft shaft to wear. At the same time, its automatic winding mechanism is also very unique. The automatic turntable is fixed with a semi-circular automatic disk with round bar metal. The side of the automatic disk is made of 21K gold as a material, which can enhance the winding performance. The upright round ruby ​​support makes it smoother when turning, and this excellent design has been well received. Although the thin automatic movement is very thin, it can challenge the watchmaking technology, but the characteristic thin movement has the finishing touch. Under the limitations of ultra-thin congenital defects, if new designs and ideas are injected, they will still be deeply loved by players.

Cal.240 is the main automatic movement that pays back. The thickness is 2.4mm. Although it is single-up, it has good winding performance.
Manual winding ultra-thin movement first debuts Audemars Piguet 2003 and Vacheron Constantin 1003
The ultra-thin movement on the bracelet first introduced Audemars Piguet 2003 and Vacheron Constantin’s 1003. These two movements have the same structure and were first used by Audemars Piguet in 1946. This is by far the thinnest manual winding type in use. This year’s Geneva watch exhibition, Vacheron Constantin’s hand-wound watch is equipped with a 1003 movement, vibrating at 18,000 times, adjusted in five directions at different temperatures, with the Geneva mark. The quality of this movement is very high, but it is difficult to repair. Although it only adjusts the speed of the needle slowly, it is equipped with a screw balance wheel, which has a high level and is a movement worth collecting. As long as the watch equipped with this movement is definitely not low, because it is a good watch. In fact, whether it is Audemars Piguet’s 2003 or Vacheron Constantin’s 1003 movement, it was designed and produced by Jaeger-LeCoultre in the early days. JLC was originally a manufacturer of movements, often providing high-quality movements for big brands. Only in 1994, Jaeger-LeCoultre improved a movement numbered 849 for itself, with a thickness of 1.85mm, 19 stones, a vibration frequency of 21600, increased thickness, and improved durability, which meets the requirements for durability, low price, and easier maintenance. , Found in today’s Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC thin bracelet watch models, good evaluation.

Audemars Piguet Cal. 2870, the world’s first automatic tourbillon movement, has a thickness of 3.3mm. In order to make the watch equally thin, the back is the substrate, and the exposed ruby ​​is very special.
Frederic Piguet movement factory also launched the FP 21 movement, which is only 1.75 mm thick, vibrating frequency 21600, 18 stone, belonging to the high-end sub-calibration. So far, it has also been used in a few two-hand watches, as well as Blancpain and Kunlun’s early bracelet gold coin watches. Lemania’s ultra-thin movements Cal.1210, Cal. 2010 Although ultra-thin movements first appeared in pocket watches more than a century ago, in addition to the above-mentioned ultra-thin movements of watches, Lemania had The ‘ultra-thin’ movement has been produced. The machine number is Cal.1210 with manual winding, with a thickness of 1.2mm, and Cal. 2010 with automatic winding, with a thickness of 2.08mm. These two numbers are still to date. No other brand can break through. This ultra-thin record is extremely glorious on the surface. In fact, faults are frequent and maintenance is not easy. In the end, it can only enter the history of watches and clocks. I believe that many watch friends have not heard of these two movements.

Piaget’s 25P movement is produced by Lemania. The thickness of the automatic disc is 2.08mm. It is the world’s most reported automatic movement, but it is not durable and has been replaced.
I bought an automatic winding model (organic core only) about ten years ago, and the automatic winding mechanism was removed as a hand-wound model. This movement is really a crazy research and development. To the old watchmaker’s phrase now, ‘I really don’t care about my life’. Just a little inspection, you can find that the design of the movement is not reliable, and the logic of the design is a bit out of reality. Just for thinness and not considering practicality. Therefore, this record so far no other label is interested in competing with it. A too thin movement has a high failure rate and is meaningless. For the brand’s image, durability and precision are king.

Piaget 25P movement is equipped with more than ten sets of ball bearing, which is the most special and crazy design.
From the 1950s to the 1960s, Piaget successively introduced 9P and 12P ultra-thin bracelets and automatic movements. It is conceivable that Piaget has a special interest in thin expressions, so it used the thin movements produced by Lemania in the 1980s. Cal.1210 is numbered 20P in Piaget and Cal.2010 is numbered 25P. Piaget is really powerful. It also engraved such a thin 20P movement into a carved movement, which can really be included in the collection. Piaget was discontinued due to poor evaluation after a period of use. It was replaced by a self-made thin movement after 1998, and officially entered another era equipped with its own movement. Take Piaget 20P as an example. In order to make the movement thinner, in addition to the design of the balance wheel with a straddle plywood, only a single-layer substrate is used. There is no table bridge for ordinary movements, so there are only 7 rubies (including the balance wheel). 5 of them and 2 of puppies), but 13 sets of ball bearings are used, which is very special; the barrel is suspended, and the three sets of triangular ball bearings are supported by the track, which is even more genius. design.

Count Earl’s 25P barrel is supported by three sets of ball bearing bearings in orbits. This genius design has never been seen in the history of clocks.
If you have noticed the development of the movement, you can find that most of the recent trends are complex performance-oriented. The maximum performance is more than 30 types. Modules are stacked on top of each other, so multi-performance movements are usually very heavy. Some are presented on both sides, while Jaeger-LeCoultre Triptyque displays its 19 performances in three directions. The Swiss research and development technology is amazing. In the ultra-thin movement part, the aforementioned Lemania’s Cal.1210 and 2010 are the thinnest manual-winding and automatic-winding movements, but they are currently disabled. Vacheron Constantin’s 1003 and Audemars Piguet 2003 are the thinnest bracelet movements in use today, while Piaget’s 1208P is the thinnest automatic movement.
In the part of tourbillon, the thinnest movement is the world’s first self-winding tourbillon launched by Audemars Piguet in 1986. Its thickness is 3.3mm. The author claims to have long-term experience in wearing watches, and there are many styles. Which watch is more durable, accurate, or has a higher failure rate, probably better than the average consumer. The author recommends that too thin watches should not be worn too often on weekdays, which can be used for storage and appreciation; watches that are often worn can choose a normal thickness. Of course, mechanical watches are not suitable for wearing golf, otherwise the hairspring may be deformed after impact, affecting accuracy. The structure of the watch is extremely precise, and it must be properly kept and stored for a long time and passed down from generation to generation. At least, you can sell it for a good price.

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