Piaget LUXOS Caseback of the Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P, with the power reserve indicator Piaget LUXOS Caseback of the Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P, with the power reserve indicator

Electromagnetic innovation: Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P Featured

The Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P is a revolutionary combination of a mechanical movement and a quartz regulator, for the best of both worlds.

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28 April 2016

Watches are an interesting area of design, and not just because everything takes place in just a few square centimetres. Traditional techniques still dominate the area of high watchmaking to a degree that is not found in architecture or automotive design, and many watches made today look very similar to their 19th century ancestors. At the same time, there is a lot of research going on, and a few brands are making watches that look like something out of this world.

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LUXOS-Caseback of the Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P, with the power reserve indicatorCaseback of the Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P, with the power reserve indicator

The Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P, presented at Baselworld 2016, is revolutionary because it combines the characteristics of both mechanical and quartz watches. Its heritage as a mechanical watch is proudly displayed on the dial, where on the left there is an oscillating weight bearing the Piaget logo. Further up on the right, another circular well encloses the other fundamental component, a generator. Instead of the oscillating weight winding up a mainspring to provide energy for a mechanical movement, in this piece the weight delivers kinetic energy to some sort of generator, called an “electrodynamic energy” generator. The result is electrical energy that is then used in a conventional quartz movement. The watch therefore provides a combination of the superlative precision of quartz with the potentially infinite power supply provided by the oscillating weight.

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LUXOS The Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P has a white gold case, bezel with black ADLC coating, and black alligator leather strapThe Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P has a white gold case, bezel with black ADLC coating, and black alligator leather strap

A conventional quartz watch is powered by a battery that has to be replaced every few years. This watch on the other hand will continue functioning indefinitely, or at least until the quartz crystal stops functioning – possibly after about half a century. It’s a beautiful concept, in a complex timepiece with 298 components in the movement. There is a power reserve indicator on the caseback, and the power reserve is about 42 hours. The exact details of how the watch works have not been published, because it includes a number of inventions with about ten patents still pending.

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LUXOS Caseback of the Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P, with the power reserve indicatorCaseback of the Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P, with the power reserve indicator

The name of the watch, Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P, has a reference to Piaget’s very first quartz movement, the 7P, presented in 1976, 40 years ago. Like many high-end watch brands, Piaget has no problem about using battery-powered quartz movements in its watches, above all those for women. This piece is definitely for men, with a case that is 46.5 mm across. A collector’s piece, in white gold, a bezel with black ADLC coating, and an exposed movement with Piaget’s customary superb finish. Just 118 pieces will be built, available from April 2016. About 70,000 Swiss francs plus tax. www.piaget.com