While the watchmaking team knew that certain developments in the watch — the planet’s thinnest at just 2mm — would trickle down to be utilised in production models, there was no expectation that the notion itself would be reproduced. The response was so amazing that we decided to make it commercially available” Although, as the watch takes longer than a minute repeater to build — a job that could only be done by 2 of Piaget’s watch makers — it is unlikely that more than three or four pieces will be generated annually, with a starting price in six figures.
In addition to being limited by manufacturing, additional exclusivity is offered in the level of personalisation offered on the watch. The colour of the case, bridges, palms and dial (those descriptions are used broadly as among the elements are standard ) can all be customised and individual engravings can be included on front and back of the watch. In accordance with Hébert, more than 10,000 variants are possible. Finding strength within thinness was a substantial factor and also to overcome this Piaget appeared to the space sector where they discovered a specific cobalt alloy that was equally rigid and scratch-proof, which allows it to be coated with various coloured finishes. Working on the movement, it was decided to unite the case back and main plate (some thing Piaget had already done with Calibre 900P at 2013).
Then it was time to consider each element, with the tiniest wheel being just 0.12mm thick, in contrast to an average 0.2millimeters in a standard watch. Next came the winding system. To maintain the slimness, components had to be eliminated, allowing the crown to fit flush to the circumstance. Winding is done by means of a particular tool which contains the clutch and slipping pinion to stop over winding. Necessarily elastic, when pressure is put on the glass it pushes and, while tolerances are typically built in to prevent the crystal touching the movement, in an ultrathin watch each nanometer counts. This possible issue was solved in the AUC by ensuring that bridges had been strategically placed so that the crystal would touch them rather than the balance wheel.
Among the biggest space savers was accomplished through eliminating the need for Incabloc shock protection and stones, substituting them with ball bearings — five in all to keep the equipment train and oscillator. As ball bearings lead to some reduction of energy, it had been essential for the mainspring to have additional energy, something accomplished via the use of a particular metal and a redesigned barrel, which has allowed a power reserve of over 40 hours.
Deceptively easy, Hébert says,”The execution is complicated but, yes, the idea is quite simple. What’s with Piaget. People buy our watches as they are amazing — the technology is there but it does not overshadow aesthetics”