Proving that thin is most definitely in, the world’s foremost luxury watch brands have been breaking all sorts of records over the past few years. Resulting from their respective efforts are some of the thinnest watches the world has ever seen. Indeed, whether it’s the Altiplano Ultimate 910P from Piaget or the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, watchmakers are finding new ways to pack big things into smaller and smaller packages. If you’re a gent who prefers his watch to be runway ready, now is the time for you to spend those hard earned dollars. And when you do, accept nothing less than one of the 10 thinnest watches in the world, which we’re listing out for your convenience.
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 910P
Three years in the making, the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 910P measures in at just 4.30 mm thick. It was the world’s thinnest automatic watch for a brief stint, until Bulgari upstaged it at Baselworld 2018. Nevertheless, Piaget’s timepiece is resoundingly slim, and bolstered by a design identical to that of the Altiplano 900P (i.e. the world’s thinnest mechanical watch). According to the brand, some of the watch’s 238 components are “barely thicker than a hair’s breadth”. It’s also worth noting that Piaget makes the Altiplano Chronograph, which is, you guessed it, the world’s thinnest chronograph. Daaaamn, Piaget, you’re looking fine!
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater
While on the subject of the world’s thinnest watches, how about showing some love for the world’s thinnest minute repeater? That honour goes to Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, which debuted at Baselworld 2016. More than just a slim stunner, the Octo Finissimo is the world’s smallest striking watch. To achieve robust but balanced acoustics without resorting to larger construction, Bulgari developed BVL Caliber 362 movement in house, and kept it to 3.12 mm thick. Meanwhile, the watch case is a mere 6.85 mm thick, and made of low-density titanium. Put it all together and you get a supremely elegant striking watch that retains a slim profile in spite of its formidable sound.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Hybris Mechanica 11
In order for Bulgari to claim the title for the world’s thinnest minute repeater in 2016, it had to knock the Jaeger-LeCoultre Hybris Mechanica 11 off its throne. Nevertheless, the Hybris Mechanica 11 remains a truly slim, sexy and sophisticated beast. Introduced in 2014, the watch packs all sorts of ultra-premium technology–including flying tourbillon and automatic winding (via peripheral motor) movement–into a beautifully thin package. Just how thin, you ask? Try 7.9 mm in thickness on the case. That might not make it the thinnest watch in the world, but it did make it the thinnest watch to host such a labyrinthian array of complex mechanisms. It’s therefore no wonder that Jaeger-LeCoultre obtained eight patents when making the thing, while limiting production to a mere 75 units. Meanwhile, the watch’s full name–Jaeger-LeCoultre Hybris Mechanica 11 Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon–is almost ironically oversized.
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Contemporaine Ultra-Thin Calibre 1731
Introduced the same year as the Jaeger-LeCoultre Hybris Mechanica 11, the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Contemporaine Ultra-Thin Calibre 1731 broke the record for the world’s thinnest manual-winding minute repeater, which measures in at 3.9 mm thick. The watch’s manual-winding movement comes with a 65-hour power reserve, and utilises a flying strike governor to control the speed and sound of the repeater’s chimes and whirring noises. Also featured is an 8.09 mm thick case of rose gold, and a minimalist dial aesthetic.
Arnold & Son UTTE
Short for “Ultra Thin Tourbillon Escapement”, the UTTE from Arnold & Son definitely takes its name to heart. Specifically, the brilliant watch broke the record for the world’s thinnest tourbillon when it debuted at Baselworld in 2013. While that record would be broken just a year later, Arnold & Sons wasn’t sweating it, whereas according to head of movement development Sebastian Chaulmontet, the brand wasn’t necessarily trying to break any records in the first place. As for that flying tourbillon, it measures in at just 2.97 mm thick (discounting the height of the cage), and comes equipped with a 90-hour power reserve between two barrels. It’s all housed in a 8.34 mm thick case of either rose gold or palladium.
Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Thin Automatic 5377
Giving Arnold & Son a run for its money was Breguet, which unveiled the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Thin Automatic 5377 at Baselworld 2014. Tucked inside its 7 mm thick case is Calibre 581DR movement, which is 3 mm thick and fortified by a “high energy” barrel (good for a 90-hour power reserve). That movement also delivers an impressively high (for tourbillon) frequency of 4-Hz, and includes a peripheral winding motor in addition to automatic winding. Throw in a dial design that’s as avant-garde as it is elegant and you have yourself a classic, indeed.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon
Just when you thought tourbillon couldn’t get any thinner, Italy’s Bulgari unleashed the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon at Baselworld 2014. To get such a complex movement down to 1.95 mm, the brand substituted ball bearings for jewels on various moving parts, and adjusted the timing directly on the balance wheel, among other innovative touches. Making this watch all the more chic is an uber-thin case that’s just 5 mm thick. To be clear, the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon wasn’t the world’s thinnest tourbillon watch upon its debut, though it did host the world’s thinnest tourbillon. That brings us to Bulgari’s latest, the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic. It was introduced at this year’s Baselworld, and is in fact the world’s thinnest tourbillon watch, with a case that’s just 3.95 mm thick. The Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic is also the thinnest serially produced automatic watch, a title previously (and briefly) held by Piaget.
Rado True Thinline Automatic
While Bulgari and Piaget’s ultra-thin tourbillon watches are certainly a sight to behold, it’s mostly a “look, but don’t touch” situation given their exorbitant price tags. At the more consumer-friendly end of the spectrum is the Rado True Thinline Automatic. Awash with high-tech ceramic and powered by self-winding mechanical movement, the piece offers a case that’s 40 mm in diameter and 4.9 mm thick. That makes it a slim and sturdy stunner you can actually afford.
Chopard L.U.C. XPS
More than just a relatively thin watch, the Chopard L.U.C. XPS is also quite small, with a rose gold case that’s just 35 mm in diameter. Under the skin is self-winding Calibre L.U.C 96-12-L movement, which is 3.3 mm thick with a power reserve of 65 hours. Streamlined and sophisticated, this isn’t the world’s thinnest watch, but it does go light on the wrist, and looks damn good in the process.
Zenith Captain Ultra Thin
Here’s another watch that doesn’t necessarily break any records, but does maintain a slim and sexy aesthetic. Specifically, the Zenith Captain Ultra Thin delivers a case that’s 40 mm in diameter and 8.3 mm in depth. Meanwhile, it’s automatic Elite 681 movement is 3.47 mm thick and bolstered by a power reserve of 50 hours. Giving the watch its visual edge is a creamy, minimalist dial. Ooh la la.