New for 2013 is the Piaget Emperador Coussin XL Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater watch.
Piaget make the art of creating ultra-thin mechanical watch movements seem almost effortless. When I write about their extraordinary timepieces, naturally I am inclined to measure their achievements in millimetres. This Emperador model however, also measures its creation in the hours taken to craft its slender form such are the horological challenges involved. Three years in the making with six highly skilled individuals assigned to it only scratches the surface of its many press released statistics - because not content with just reducing a calibre's thickness to its most minimised minimum, Piaget have managed to slip in a Minute Repeater complication, and in order to make this piece the world's thinnest self-winding movement of its kind in production, have also squeezed in the kinetic structure required to power it.
The 1290P calibre inside this watch is just 4.8mm thick and consists of 407 parts assembled and arranged in a case measuring under 10mm. But this skinnying of components is not the only astounding feat - a minute repeater, by its very nature also needs resonance, which generally means space - so that slender case is, as you might imagine complex in the extreme and has been hollowed out where possible in order to obtain the purity of sound that a chiming watch deserves.
Some modifications were needed, the hammers have been relocated to the bridge side and the on-demand repeater slide pushes downwards rather than upwards. There are additional trick features - an inertia flywheel ensures regulation for the start and finish of the chimes and an instant hour jump at the end of the 59th minute aids precision. That the piece also has water resistance to 30m, despite the need for a case-side slider, is a subtle achievement but an astonishing additional feature nonetheless.
Finishing is exemplary, inside and out. I particularly like the dialside handworked sunburst finish which is mirrored by the eye-lash slim elongated markers. Added wrist presence comes thanks to the handsome cushion-shaped 48mm Emperador case created for this edition in pink gold.
The Piaget Emperador Coussin XL Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater will be a limited edition of 10 pieces, more information from Piaget.
Think less is more? How about last year's Piaget Altiplano Skeleton Ultra-Thin the world’s thinnest self-winding skeletonised watch?