Whereas Piaget remains the only watch Manufacture capable of gem-setting the functional elements of an ultra-thin skeleton calibre, it now presents a further breakthrough in this demanding art. It takes boldness to a whole new level by presenting a unique baguette-set skeleton movement: Calibre 1270D beating at the heart of the Emperador Coussin Tourbillon Automatic diamond-set automatic skeleton exceptional piece. Baguette-cut diamonds form a figure 8 around the rings embracing the flying tourbillon carriage and the oscillating weight. To create this undulating line, the supremely skilled artisans at Piaget had to delicately adjust and recut the stones one by one so as to achieve an impeccably smooth overall effect.
While the diamond-set movement is crafted in 14K gold, the oscillating weight – also entirely paved but with baguette-cut diamonds only – is made of platinum to enhance its winding properties.
Calibre 1270D thus epitomises a wealth of challenges and represents another first in the Piaget world, since it is entirely set on both the bridge side and the mainplate side. The 71 baguette-cut diamonds (totalling approx. 1.1 carats) are accompanied by 561 round diamonds (1.8 carats) set on either side of the functional elements, therefore creating a truly unique work of art showcasing three different gem-setting techniques: rail setting for the baguette-cut diamonds, grain setting and “pushed-grain” setting for the round diamonds.
Piaget has gone so far as to set the sides of the bridges – a daunting task, in that the surfaces involved are so tiny that they can only be prepared and set by the most experienced artisans of their generation using the “pushed-grain” technique. The manufacture has even gem-set certain screws of Calibre 1270D – another amazing feat when one considers that the shape of these screws had to be specially designed to house a diamond while preserving optimal tightening torque.
The master gem-setters of the Manufacture Piaget are at the very peak of their art and thus well-prepared to take up the challenge of entirely gem-setting a 14K gold skeleton movement measuring just 6 mm thin – an eminently lengthy and complex process involving 47 hours of setting for each individual calibre.
Ultimate degree of finishing
In keeping with its motto “Always do better than necessary”, Piaget reveals the fascinating radiance of this exceptional mechanism, in perfect harmony with the brilliance of the diamonds, through the ultimate degree of finishing devoted to the various parts. These prestigious entirely hand-crafted finishes include a mainplate and bridges that are gem-set, polished and hand-bevelled with a file; a gem-set and polished oscillating weight; sunburst or mirror-polished wheels hand-bevelled with a file; blind-hole and mirror-polished pillar screws; a mirror-polished barrel hand-bevelled with a file; as well as tourbillon carriage bridges hand-bevelled and hand-drawn with a file. Bearing eloquent testimony to the truly unique nature of Calibre 1270, these outstanding finishes highlight such complex techniques as hand-bevelling with a file and mirror-polishing. The latter represents one of the most demanding expressions of the watchmaking art, since it involves polishing the parts with a circular movement so as to achieve a perfectly smooth surface free of the slightest protrusions in such a way that this entirely unmarked surface reflects a deep black colour.
Enchanting diamonds adorning both movement and exterior
Piaget has drawn upon the combined skills of its twin Manufactures to develop the most exclusive calibre it has ever produced. No less than three years were required to reach such a degree of perfection. Three years during which the master-watchmakers of La Côte-aux-Fées worked in close collaboration with the case developers and gem-setters to create the unique baguette-set tourbillon automatic skeleton movement – appearing in addition within an ultra-thin 6 mm cushion-shaped composition.
Piaget drew inspiration from its iconic automatic Calibre 1270P tourbillon movement, which it recreated in 14K gold before hollowing it to create a skeleton-type structure – all the while anticipating the numerous constraints involved in gem-setting the functional parts.
The sophistication of this unique exercise in the domain of Fine Watchmaking was compounded by the difficulty of reproducing the reversed construction of the original Calibre 1270P so as to remain loyal to its signature characteristics. The oscillating weight set with baguette-cut diamonds and the bridges are thus visible on the display side, while the tourbillon and the hour and minute indication opt for off-centred positions. As if suspended in thin air, the flying tourbillon bearing the P for Piaget spins airily at 2 o’clock, weighing a mere 0.2 grams despite its 42 components including three titanium bridges. Meanwhile, the mainplate entirely set with round diamonds reveals its radiantly seductive elegance through the sapphire case-back.
The contemporary lines of the white gold case are lit up by an enchanting cloak of diamonds individually calibrated to respect the unique aesthetic of the Emperador Coussin. Highlighting the exclusive character of the movement, the case itself is a masterpiece of gem-setting calling for 136 hours for a single watch. No less than 794 diamonds (15.2 carats) featuring an appealing variety of baguette, round and emerald cuts – work their magic on the bezel, case profile, lugs and crown, while 24 baguette-cut diamonds (1.7 carats) adorn the clasp of the strap.
The incomparably exclusive Emperador Coussin Tourbillon diamond-set automatic skeleton exceptional piece is decked out in a total of 1,450 diamonds totalling 19.8 carats between the mechanism and the exterior.