01 A MATTER OF MILLIMETRES
Given the consistency with which brands are flattening their timepieces, ultra-slim watches will soon be less of a trend than an expectation. Not that we’re complaining; the race to break ever more thinness records has given us some truly stunning and jaw-droppingly slender new pieces.
Leading the pack is Piaget, with its thinner-than-a-coin Altiplano Ultimate Concept, a concept timepiece just 2mm thick. Five patents are pending for the Ultimate Concept, the world’s thinnest watch. Also not (yet) for sale is Audemars Piguet’s new concept model, the world’s thinnest automatic perpetual calendar. The in-house 5133 movement is 2.89mm thick, giving the Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin a height of 6.3mm.
Bulgari enters the fray this year with the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic, a triple record-breaker as the world’s thinnest automatic watch, thinnest automatic tourbillon and thinnest tourbillon. The flying tourbillon movement (BVL 288) is a mind-boggling 1.95mm thick, with the entire watch coming in at 3.95mm.
But you don’t need to break records to build something slim and beautiful. Patek Philippe has introduced the first perpetual calendar in its Nautilus family with the white gold 5740G, while Vacheron Constantin’s Overseas Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar from 2016 returns in a new pink gold case.