Low-key Display Of Watchmaking Technology: Miniature Ultra-thin Automatic Watch

In addition to innovation and complex functions, the ultra-thin movement is a way for big brands to challenge superb watchmaking technology. The placement of all kinds of tiny parts in the ultra-thin space is definitely a hallmark performance, and it is also a collector’s coveted treasure.

Piaget’s 12P movement is only 2.3mm thick. Although it is a micro-automatic disk, it uses a two-way winding structure. It is equipped with a 24K automatic disk fixed by a slightly curved straddle bridge, which has good winding performance.
   The movement must be slender, and it must be considered from the beginning of the entire movement design, such as the thickness of the barrel, the winding system, all the way to the wheel train, escapement structure, and cooperation with the face plate and hands. . Since it is a thin movement, of course, the case is also an ultra-thin design, and the aspects that need to be considered are extremely extensive, which means that it is very difficult to make, and it is not easy for ordinary watch factories to complete. The ultra-thin movement is difficult to manufacture, and it is relatively deeper in maintenance technology than ordinary movements, especially in terms of assembly and adjustment skills.

Piaget’s 12P is equipped with a screw balance wheel with a vibration frequency of 19800. The successor model was changed to a ring balance wheel.
   The miniature automatic disc movement was introduced in the 1950s. The introduction of the concept of smaller than full-size automatic discs is mainly to strengthen the slimness of the entire movement. Miniature automatic disk is also called small automatic disk, quarter automatic disk or pearl tourbillon. Its volume is reduced to cover the whole movement. Naturally, there is no need to cover the movement to increase its thickness. Piaget’s 12P movement was launched in 1960. In the past, there was no computer assistance, and the technical difficulties of punching, cutting or drilling were very high. Therefore, Piaget has greatly contributed to the development of micro-automatic disks, leading the future. Development of ultra-thin movement. How to define the inverted bottom ultra-thin movement? There is no standard in the watch industry so far. Generally speaking, manual winding movements are within 2mm, automatic winding movements are within 3mm, and quartz movements are within 1mm, which can be included in the ultra-thin category. The thickness of a thin micro-automatic disc movement is less than 2.5MM. At present, movements within this standard are rare.

PP’s 240 movement is an automatic winding movement introduced in the 1970s. It uses a 22K gold micro-automatic disc with a thickness of 2.4MM. It is fine-tuned by the eight weights on the balance wheel, which belongs to advanced models.
   Piaget’s 12P thickness is only 2.3MM. Although it is a micro-automatic disk, it uses a two-way winding structure. It is equipped with a 24K automatic disk fixed by a slightly curved straddle bridge, which has good winding performance. It is equipped with a screw balance wheel, with a vibration frequency of 19800 and a subsequent model of 12P-1. It has been changed to a ring light pendulum and the vibration frequency has been increased to 21600, which improves the stability and accuracy of travel time. The Cal.240 movement of PP is a new generation of self-winding movement developed by the brand in the 1970s. It also uses a micro-automatic disk. Its material is 22K gold, single-winding, thickness is 2.4MM, and the frequency is 21600 times. The layer alloy hairspring is fine-tuned by the eight weights on the balance wheel. It has been in use for 40 years, and its performance can be seen in watches below the perpetual calendar.

Piaget 1208P movement
   In 2010, Piaget restarted the development of ultra-thin movements, and successively launched a number of ultra-thin movements that broke records, including complex functions. Ultra-thin has almost become a brand feature. The 1200 series is an ultra-thin miniature automatic disc movement developed based on the 12P model. It is designed with a single upward training. It is different from the original two-way winding structure. It is mainly mounted on the Altiplano model. It has two hands (1200P) and three hands. (1208P) and added calendar (1205P) and other functions, and even a skeleton version of the 1200S movement. The current ultra-thin movement has been developed horizontally in response to the ultra-thin design. The diameter of the movement is nearly 30MM. All components need to be reduced in thickness. The gears must be thinner and the axis shorter. When the precision is higher, The assembly is even more difficult. This is an amazing movement project, and Piaget is No. 1 in this field.

Piaget Altiplano ultra-thin watch
   The research and development technology of Bulgari ultra-thin movement has made major breakthroughs in recent years. Since 2014, an ultra-thin tourbillon movement has been launched, with a thickness of only 1.95MM and a case thickness of 5.0MM. In 2016, it introduced a movement thickness of only 3.62MM. Minute repeater movement, case thickness 6.85MM. This year Baselworld released an ultra-thin self-winding movement with a thickness of only 2.23MM, using a micro-automatic disk, and a case thickness of 5.15MM, all of which broke the world record. At present, a self-winding movement using a micro-automatic disk with a thickness of less than 2.5MM and a small second hand movement mainly includes PP 240, Piaget 1208P, and Bulgari 138. Among them, Bulgari’s design is the most unique.

Bulgari breaks the world record with three ultra-thin movements. The right-most Bulgari Octo is equipped with a 138 movement with a thickness of only 2.23MM. It uses a micro-automatic disk and a case thickness of 5.15MM, all breaking the world record.
   Bulgari is equipped with four protruding rubies under the micro-automatic plate, so that the platinum automatic plate will not be too heavy and cause shaft wear. Of course, the platinum material also makes the winding performance better. Piaget also uses this design. In addition, there are three rubies on the outer edge of the big steel wheel, and then draw a square with the barrel as the center, and there are four rubies. This design can prevent the gear from shaking when the movement is wound. The structure of the entire movement has a protective effect. With Octo models with 110 facets in the case, it is even more worthy of possession and collection. The addition and multiplication of the two seems to be a miniature work of art.

Bulgari’s Octo is equipped with a 138 movement, with a thickness of only 2.23MM, a micro-automatic disc, and a case thickness of 5.15MM, all breaking the world record.
   The precision of the thin movement is extremely high, and a slight impact may hurt the gear train. Its gear is thin and the gear axis is relatively short, which cannot withstand large collisions. The ultra-thin movement is basically matched with a thin case, otherwise it is meaningless. This must sacrifice the waterproof function. Even the diameter of the dragon core must be reduced, which may reduce its durability. limit. In comparison, Bulgari’s 138 movement has a number of protection devices, and it is believed to be an ultra-thin automatic watch that is really suitable for daily wear.