FrontRunners: Piaget Altiplano Skeleton

When viewed from the front of its case, the Piaget Altiplano Skeleton (www.piaget.com) appears similar to traditional skeleton designs. But the case is so svelte—less than a quarter of an inch thick—that when you look at it from the side, it all but disappears. The case contains the thinnest-ever skeletonized automatic movement. Assembled in-house by Piaget, the Caliber 1200S measures just 2.4 mm thick, which makes the task of skeletonizing the movement—removing extraneous material from the plates and bridges—an especially delicate and time-consuming process that surely will limit production of the Altiplano. While developing the watch, Piaget’s engineers had to redesign several areas of the movement to increase their rigidity and enable the skeletonization. Instead of the frilly engraving that adorns many skeleton designs, the Altiplano features clean matte and brushed-metal finishes and black dauphine hands. Piaget had yet to announce an exact price for the watch but hinted that it would be about $32,000.

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