Piaget is most famous in watchmaking circles for two things: making some of the thinnest watches, and fake watch movements, anyone has ever produced; and making spectacular jewelry and gem-set watches. The two aren't mutually exclusive, of course, and though many of Piaget's most lavishly decorated gem-set replica watches are more notable for sculptural three-dimensionality that for being svelte, it's happened more than once in Piaget's history that ultra-thin and high jewelry have made a happy marriage. I think it's safe to say, though, that never have those two worlds been brought together in a more extreme way than in the Piaget 900D.
The Piaget 900P was first seen here on HODINKEE in 2014, when we gave you our exclusive first look.
The 900P was a pretty revolutionary construction. The entire fake watch ?not just the movement, but the entire fake watch ?is only 3.65 mm thick. This obviously represents something of an extreme, and to get there, Piaget had to reorganize the entire layout of the movement. As you can see, most of the actual train, including the mainspring barrel and wheels for hand-winding, as well as all the gears of the train and the balance, are basically on the same plane. The back of the fake watch is not a standard case back; it also acts as the top plate of the movement. The dial is on the same plane as the going train https://www.togoleseembassy.com, barrel, and wheels for the winding train and the balance cock is part of the dial as well. This is not the first time anyone's used this sort of architecture ?the most famous example is the world's thinnest self-winding tourbillon, made by Audemars Piguet in 1986 ?but it's very rare thanks to the additional challenges in everything from the unforgiving tolerances to the inherent challenges in making such a flat movement run accurately, and with an adequate power reserve.
Which makes it all the more amazing that Piaget managed to take what you see above, and turn it into what you see below.ADVERTISEMENT
This is the Piaget 900D (for diamond) which is set with 5.77 carats of diamonds. There is a bit of an increase to the size of the watch, from 3.65 mm to 5.65 mm, from the original; the case metal remains white gold and the diameter (38 mm) is the same for both watches. There are a total of 361 diamonds on the case, lugs, case band, and on the dial, as well as on the movement bridges and balance cock.
For sheer obsessive elaborate decoration this is a very difficult fake watch to beat. The gem-setting work just becomes more and more incredible the closer you look, and the more so when you remind yourself that the decorated surfaces under the dial aren't just static elements. Since the dial and movement are one and the same, all the elaborate, painstaking setting work has to be done without compromising functionality ?very demanding, as the tolerances are vanishingly small.
The bottom of the two images above shows the winding mechanism and mainspring barrel (left) under high magnification and here you can really appreciate the attention to detail that went into making a visually harmonious experience. Transitions are handled with great sensitivity, as in the engraved tails on the settings for the tiny diamonds between the barrel, and the baguettes that surround the dial, which look like so many tiny comets.
High jewelry replica watches are sometimes rightly dismissed by enthusiasts when such replica watches create their effect through the sheer carat weight deployed, or the proudly (one wants to say, garishly) announced cost of the watch. (This isn't to say that a heavily bejeweled fake watch is necessarily tasteless; far from it. But as with any real luxury craft product, the price is apt to be the least interesting aspect at best, and a distraction at worst, from the real point, which is the amount of skilled time and work that goes into making such a product.)
One of the nicest things that can happen in any domain of design is to be hit with something that is both very unexpected and very successful. Probably the last thing in the world I'd have expected to happen with the 900P is for it to become the 900D ?I suppose mostly because the technical message from the fake watch is so powerful. But here it is, blinking in the sunlight, so to speak ?a fake watch not only with a very strong technical statement, but one in which the extremes to which it carries technical watchmaking support, and in fact are essential to, a strong aesthetic statement as well.
The Piaget 900D: "World's thinnest hand-wound mechanical high jewelry watch," according to Piaget. Integrated movement and case. 38 mm x 5.65 mm overall, 48-hour power reserve, 21,600 vph, running in 20 jewels. 38 baguette and 266 brilliant cut diamonds. Dial set with 33 baguette cut diamonds, crown set with one brilliant cut diamond. Snow-set movement. Water resistance 2 ATM. Price, $165,000. Browse all Piaget replica watches online here.
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