Almost exactly two years ago, I covered the introduction of Piaget’s Tribute to the Altiplano Ultimate Concept. It was a “dark mode” version of the Altiplano Ultimate Concept that celebrated the watch’s fifth anniversary. The year 2024 marks another anniversary for Maison Piaget as it has been 150 years since Georges-Edouard Piaget opened up his first workshop in La Côte-aux-Fées in 1874. To celebrate this sesquicentennial anniversary, Piaget introduces another dark blue version of its 2mm-thin Altiplano. Indeed, it’s not thinner than its predecessor. But the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon does feature, as the name suggests, a flying tourbillon, and that’s the clincher.

I guess by introducing this watch, the folks at Piaget are unofficially saying, “We’re okay with letting Richard Mille and Bvlgari fight it out for who can make the thinnest mechanical watch.” Just this Monday, Bvlgari announced its 1.7mm-thin Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC, which beats Richard Mille’s RM UP-01 Ferrari by only 0.05mm. However, the fact that the new Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept features a flying tourbillon allows it to break a different record. In 2014, Bvlgari set the previous record for the thinnest tourbillon watch with its Octo Finissimo Tourbillon. The caliber measured just 1.95mm thick, allowing a 5mm total case thickness. This new Piaget, however, has obliterated that record, measuring 2mm thick, case included. So, now that all this Piaget has worked its way back into the record books, let’s take a look at the very impressive Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon.

Same thinness, bigger diameter

As I said in the introduction, the new Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon is made of the same dark blue PVD-coated cobalt alloy as the Tribute version. Both watches also have the same thinness, but the Tourbillon version’s diameter increased by half a millimeter. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but for a watch on which every millimeter counts, it is. It was probably done because the watchmakers needed more space to fit the tourbillon inside. That’s also why they made the sapphire crystal up top even thinner than on previous Altiplanos.

And even though this new Altiplano looks a lot like previous ones, 90% of its components have been redesigned. That’s because, apart from needing more room, the watchmakers also needed to take away friction. Obviously, a tourbillon eats into a watch’s power reserve, but the watchmakers wanted to keep it at a comfortable 40 hours. That’s why they’ve increased the blade thickness for the mainspring. And they’ve fitted ball bearings to the tourbillon instead of a pivot.

A flying tourbillon

Just like on previous Altiplanos, the movement also serves as a dial and a case back at the same time. In the Tourbillon’s case, it’s the hand-wound caliber 970P-UC. It holds a one-minute peripheral tourbillon at 10 o’clock, which also serves to indicate the running seconds. It’s not only visible on the front of the watch but also peeks through the back. This movement features 13 jewels and six ball bearings and runs at a 28,800vph frequency. The barrel is placed between 6 and 7 o’clock with the Piaget logo right next to it.

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

The typical off-center dial takes its place between 12 and 1 o’clock. It’s decorated with baton indexes and has a pencil-shaped minute hand. The hour pointer hand looks like it’s a hand as well, but it’s actually part of a single disc. You can operate the movement via the crown that sits flush with the case. When you pull it out, you need a special stylus, which features a gear-reduction and torque-control system. All this is to prevent the user from placing too much force on all the delicate components.

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon case back

Final words

The watchmakers at Piaget went through a lot of trial and error while developing the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon. They tried a whopping 70 different versions for the cage, 15 different anchors, and 30 different cases. And even now that there is a working concept, it will still take one entire year to make another one. That’s why this watch automatically becomes a very limited edition. We haven’t received any word about the pricing yet, but if you’d like more information, please visit the official Piaget website.

Not only is Piaget’s new Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon the thinnest tourbillon watch in the world, but it’s also better looking than the Bvlgari’s Octo Finissimo Tourbillon. That said, while I do appreciate all the research, development, blood, sweat, and tears that went into watches like these, I do think I prefer beefier ones on my wrist. But maybe that also has something to do with the fact that record-breaking watches are simply too expensive for my wallet.

What do you think of the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon? Let me know in the comments below.

Watch specifications

Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon
Dark blue PVD-coated cobalt alloy
Case Material
PVD-coated cobalt alloy
Case Dimensions
41.5mm (diameter) × 2mm (thickness)
Sapphire with antireflective coating
Case Back
PVD-coated cobalt alloy
Piaget 970P-UC: hand-wound, 28,800vph frequency, 40hr power reserve,13 jewels, one-minute peripheral tourbillon
Water Resistance
Hours, minutes, and seconds
On request
Special Note(s)
Limited edition as it takes one year to make one watch