Once confined to women's watches, quartz movements have prompted a number of surprising new developments in Fine Watchmaking of late. Piaget's engineers started out with a traditional mechanical movement, with an off-centre micro-rotor to wind the mainspring and a conventional gear train. Its force is regulated not by the usual balance-and-spring assembly but by a miniature generator which, as it turns, produces an electric current. This acts on a quartz timing package which regulates the generator's rotational speed of precisely 5.33 turns/second. The principle behind this type of hybrid movement, implemented for example by Seiko, builds on an original concept that was registered in 1972. Piaget spent two years stabilising this movement.
Altiplano 40 mm