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Ultrathin watch making as a Unique Complication?

  1. WestCoastTime Dec 18, 2021

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    Youtube Sideprojects video on the Piaget Altiplano;


    Ultrathin yes, but...
    Not really an Apples To Apples comparison to a conventional movement. The Altiplano takes each component group (winding mechanism, setting mechanism, going train, motion works, dial / hands) & spreads these out each into their own portion of mainplate real estate. This compared to a conventional movement that would have winding mechanism overlapping the setting mechanism, setting mechanism overlapping the going train, going train overlapping the motion works, & the dial / hands overlapping everything.

    Something like taking the three layers of a layer cake, spreading these out separately on the serving platter, & then claiming to have invented the "ultrathin cake".
     
  2. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Dec 18, 2021

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    Bit harsh….Have you seen one of these in the metal? They are amazing.
     
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  3. WestCoastTime Dec 18, 2021

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    I don't disagree that it's an impressively thin movement, much like the Seiko 68A (1.98mm) & the JLC 849 (1.85mm). My point being that comparing the 2mm Altiplano to the Rolex Sky Dweller (annual calendar) & Omega Seamaster (300m co-axial escapement dive watch), as the Sideprojects video does, is not terribly meaningful.

    And no, I have never handled one in the metal, I don't turn in the same circles as the Altiplano buyers...
     
  4. bradurani Dec 18, 2021

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    How about a peripheral rotor column wheel chronograph with GMT in a 3.3 mm movement?
    PXL_20211219_042815501.jpg PXL_20211219_042811672.jpg PXL_20211219_042801569.jpg
     
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  5. Evitzee Dec 18, 2021

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    I have an AP manual wind perpetual calendar ca 1992 based on their Cal 2003 ultra thin movement developed around 1946, 1.64 mm thick and 20.8mm diameter. On top of this AP added the perpetual calendar module, 1.55 mm thick, for a total movement thickness of 3.19 mm. This is very thin and a pretty small diameter movement with this complication. All based on old skool technology.
     
    IMG_9932.JPG IMG_5791.JPG IMG_5843.JPG
  6. cvalue13 Dec 18, 2021

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    damn I want one.

    need your review
     
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  7. dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Dec 18, 2021

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    Ultra thins are definitely cool and making a comeback, the thick watches of the 2000s have become a bit tiresome and its good to see Omega and others trying to make thinner watches again in general but the engineering that goes into these legit ultra thins is just amazing
     
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  8. WestCoastTime Dec 19, 2021

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  9. Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Dec 19, 2021

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  10. JimInOz Melbourne Australia Dec 19, 2021

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    Peripheral rotor winding watch?

    Pfffft! Old hat. I've got one waiting for some enthusiasm on my part. I just need to find about 30 jewels for the rotor that some curious tinkerer managed to lose. I imagine all over the carpet in their house.

    :rolleyes:
     
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  11. Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Dec 19, 2021

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    I was looking at the Bulgari ultra thins, and thinking that those really need some depth on the dial to make them really pop...

    I deserved the facepalm I gave myself...
     
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  12. bradurani Dec 19, 2021

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    I questioned whether the gray on gray is too plain, but I've grown to really love it. It lets the beautifully sculpted case be the star. The case is the really inspired part on the watch. Like the Nautilus, it's the kind of thing where if you sketched a million watches, you'd never hit on these particular angles and proportions.
    They made the steel version with colored dials which have depth and contrast if you like, but they did that because statistics show that's what sells. It was a marketer's choice, not a designer's choice. The gray is great precisely because it's completely different from everything else at the boutique, and in my watch case. There's a gloss to the numerals and markers and hands that give it some subtle textural variety. It has a high fashion look that's on-brand for a company like Bvlgari, and that's what I like: a watch that's completely and unabashedly of this day and age in technology, design, materials and style. I wouldn't change a thing.
     
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  13. cvalue13 Dec 19, 2021

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    I’ve read and wish I could recount here what goes into the dial and handset tolerances, and was pretty blown away.

    In addition to being blown away, I was left with the question: how can these be serviced by mere mortals?
     
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  14. Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Dec 20, 2021

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    I skipped through a lot of the video, so only really started watching at "chapter 4"...first thing he says is that many of the movement parts used by other brands are "standardized" and implies that they can be used across many different movements/brands which is completely false. He then says every part of the Piaget watch had to be made "by hand" which is false, unless the watchmakers are very productive with their use of files...:rolleyes:

    Not sure I really understand this criticism. Ultrathin watches have for many years used techniques that are not used in traditional watches, so these particular changes (if you have cited them accurately) are just more of the same. In the past everything from using the case back as the main plate, to cantilevered mainspring barrels, and all kinds of other things have been done to make movements thinner. They are all valid techniques to making the watches thinner.

    I think you also may fail to realize that the "spreading out" of the layer cake makes it inherently more fragile, and the same goes for the watch movement. So these changes do not come without expense and creation of additional problems that have to be overcome.
     
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  15. WestCoastTime Dec 20, 2021

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    The criticism, if there is one, is not of the watchmaking but rather in the video's comparison of the ultra-thin Altiplano to the annual calendar Sky Dweller & to the 300m Seamaster tool watch, & that the thinness of the 2-hand dress watch is a mark of superiority over those other watches. Different horses for different courses.
     
  16. Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Dec 20, 2021

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    Well, clearly a posh accent doesn't mean you know what you are talking about, as this guy clearly illustrates. But your post seemed to be aimed more at the watch, not the guy in the video, where it now appears to be more appropriate to direct your ire.
     
  17. lightweight Tues. 10:47pm

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    Imagine the price and hype surrounding these watches with a different more established name on the dial. Seriously under appreciated watches doubly in today's 'steel integrated bracelet sports model' dominated market. If I was smart I would save up and snag one new instead of spewing cash on vintage pieces. On well the heart wants what it wants c'est la vie.
     
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