News and Events July 1, 2003 admin
New Model – The Piaget Emperador Tourbillon
Piaget is one of those companies, who because of their production of jewellery watches are automatically consigned by watchnuts to the “Irrelevant” file. However, perhaps you might reconsider when you understand that not only do they manufacture many of their own movements but also they make almost all of the base movements for Cartier and many of the other Richemont brands.
Piaget’s devotion to the slimness of their movements is another reason why watchnuts dismiss them; after all real men wear “butch” watches with “butch” movements; right? However as any watchmaker will tell you, making a thick movement is easy; making a thin one is a much more difficult task. Deciding that making some of the thinnest movements was not enough; Piaget decided to make the world’s thinnest tourbillon.
Called the 600P, this new movement is tonneau shaped, has 24 jewels and has a 40-hour power reserve. In order to keep the movement just 3.5mm thick, Piaget chose to use a “flying” tourbillon. In this style of tourbillon the cage is suspended only on one side, the 3 bridge tourbillon carriage is made from titanium and the total weight is just 0.2grams. The balance itself is 7.75mm in diameter, which is quite large for a tourbillon. The tourbillon has two other unusual features; it has a blued steel P mounted in the centre of the carriage and it has incabloc shock resitance. The movement is designed and manufactured completely in house.
The rear of the movement displayed through a transparent back is almost as beautiful as the front, the movement has a most unusual circular Côtes de Genève decoration and is hand finished on all its bevelled edges. The way the blued screws are fitted flush into counter sunk settings is especially nice. The hand finishing alone takes around one week for each movement. So many movements nowadays are designed without any thought for the aesthetics and this movement to me is throwback to the 1950s when form was as important as function in movement design.
The dial itself is silver with pointed barleycorn guilloche decoration in the centre, a recessed power indicator at the bottom of the dial (which provides an aesthetic counterbalance to the tourbillon at the top) and applied white gold diamond cut tapered indices, these are mirror polished on their sides to aid in reading the dial. The hands are polished diamond leaf shaped with faceted faces, which mean that each hand always has one shiny and one dull face when you glance at it quickly.
The case is white gold, rectangular with a subtle flare to the case sides, there is a slight curve to the sapphire glass and 4 screws are used to secure the case back. It comes on a crocodile strap with a deployant buckle in 18k gold matching the case material.
The watch is limited to just 20 units, 10 in pink gold and 10 in white gold
“‘Tis with our judgments as our watches: none
Go just alike, yet each believes his own.”