On Nov. 10, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, WatchTime will host a new watch collectors’ event in the Miami Design District, the upscale shopping area north of downtown Miami. The event, WatchTime Miami at Design District, will offer attendees a chance to mingle with VIP guests, including watch tastemaker Anish Bhatt of Watch Anish; attend a cocktail reception with fellow watch lovers in the district’s Palm Court; visit a bevy of brand boutiques to try on replica watches, including many that are new to the U.S. market; and chat with brand representatives and WatchTime staffers, including Editor-at-Large Joe Thompson.
As we’ve seen in recent years, watch brands are pulling out all the stops to achieve new records not only in thinness, but in the level of complication and complexity that they pack into those super-slim movements and cases. Here are seven recent examples of timepieces that (at least for the moment) have set records for thinness in their respective categories.
1. World’s Thinnest Minute Repeater (Current – 2016):
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater
Introduced at Baselworld 2016, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, now claims the title of smallest striking watch on the market, a title that had been held previously by Jaeger-LeCoultre (see below). Striking replica watches carry several specific construction constraints, and require a high level of expertise to achieve the challenging goal of an intense, crystal-clear chime with a uniform, consistent cadence when the mechanism is activated. Usually, such a watch tends to be on the large side, due to the need for sufficiently generous interior volume for optimal diffusion of the sound within the case, thus ensuring ideal acoustic quality. Bulgari, however, set out to achieve this “perfect sound” within the smallest possible space. To this end, the brand developed the in-house BVL Caliber 362, which measures just 3.12 mm thick, and created a case whose overall thickness is only 6.85 mm. The case is made of titanium, whose low-density properties proved to be excellent for sound diffusion. Another clever touch was the cut-out hour-markers on the dial (also made of titanium) and cut-out ring around the small seconds subdial, which created openings that serve to amplify the resonance inside the case and thereby optimize the sound effect. More detail on that watch can be found here.
The year 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the Piaget Altiplano, the groundbreaking ultra-thin wristwatch that debuted in 1957 and contained what was then the world’s thinnest mechanical movement, Caliber 9P. At SIHH 2017 this week, Piaget commemorates this watch-world milestone with the launch of new limited-edition Altiplano timepieces. Here’s a closer look.
Both of the new models, which are adorned with a historical Piaget logo, have sunburst-finish dials in what Piaget refers to as its “historical Piaget blue, a deep shade somewhere between cobalt and midnight blue.” They also feature the light-blue crosshairs motif found on vintage Piaget replica watches, as well as the white-gold hour markers and thin baton hands that are typical of the Altiplano collection. Both are in white gold cases, with dark blue alligator leather straps and white-gold ardillon buckles.
After hosting the year’s first big watch fair, SIHH, the Richemont Group found itself in the news again this week for other reasons. The luxury conglomerate has announced the replacement of four of its brand CEOs — at Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, and Dunhill.
Fabrizio Cardinali at Dunhill will be replaced by Andrew Maag, who had previously worked as head of India, Middle East, Africa and Europe for the well-known fashion brand Burberry. At Vacheron Constantin, current Marketing Director Louis Ferla will replace Charlie Torres, who is retiring. The new CEO at Piaget will be Chabi Nouri, who will take over for the retiring Philippe Leopold-Metzger. Nouri is currently Piaget’s Managing Director for Marketing & Sales and will start as CEO on April 1, 2017.