World's Thinnest Mechanical Watch Is as Thick as Two Stacked Quarters

You don't think it's only laptop, tablet, and smartphone designers that go the extra mile to make their devices thinner and thinner do you? Watch makers are constantly battling each other for the same notoriety, and now Piaget has reclaimed the title of 'world's thinnest mechanical watch' with its new Altiplano 38mm 900P that measures in at 3.65mm—making it thinner than many digital alternatives.

Snatching the title from Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget managed to shave a full 0.4mm off the thickness of the previous record holder. But the company's watchmakers did it in a very clever way. Normally a mechanical watch features a movement—all the gears and mechanisms that make it tick—inside a case. But with the Altiplano 38mm 900P, the movement is built right into the actual watch's body.

World's Thinnest Mechanical Watch Is as Thick as Two Stacked Quarters

So the watch is just as much a technological and engineering achievement as it is comfortable to wear. Every single one of the Altiplano 38mm 900P's 145 components had to be manufactured with extreme levels of precision, which, not surprisingly, contributes to its wallet-thinning price tag. When available, the watch will sell for between $20,000 and $30,000, but eventually you can expect to see the innovations that made it possible trickle down to other more affordable pieces. [Piaget via Hodinkee]