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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, I am expecting the arrival any moment of an Ebel 1911 with a Lemania 8810 movement. Lemania bought this movement from Longines (where it was the L990) in the late 80's, and it has been used in a range of high-end watches, plus a few more mid-priced watches like the Ebel (and most recently a Nivrel). Now that Lemania is part of the Swatch again (since 1999), and has been renamed Manufacture Breguet, the movement is now found in certain Breguet models (but only, so far as I've been able to discover, as a tractor for complications, such as moonphase or chronographs), and has also been used again by Longines (again called the L990) in some reissues. This movement coming into my possession has me going on fresh research.

The Lemania 8810/8815 is 2.95mm thick, in its complete form including a full rotor, central seconds hand, and date. I have variously (and conflictingly) read that this movement was 1.) the thinnest full-rotor auto on introduction in 1978 and for the following decade, 2.) that it is still the thinnest, and 3.) that it was not the thinnest even when introduced. I suspect these conflicting reports have to do with the central seconds hand and the date function, though some have hinged the distinction (I think wrongly) on the full rotor versus a micro-rotor.

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(from this article)

Thus, I started digging around to identify the thinnest automatic movements.

The thinnest automatic movement I could find is the Piaget 12 series. But the 12P, which came out in 1960, does not have central seconds or date, and its 1200P replacement is the same. The 1208P has a small seconds, but no date. All of these are 2.35mm thick.

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(from Hodinkee)

Likewise, the 2.4mm JLC 920 (which is the base for the Audemars Piguet 2120, the Patek 28-255, and the Vacheron Constantin 1120), is hours and minutes only in its thinnest form. The JLC 920 also comes in with a central seconds hand, or with the seconds hand and date, but these variations are 3.05mm and 3.4mm, respectively. Patek moved to the 2.4mm caliber 240, which uses a micro-rotor, but it is hours and minutes only.

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(From an excellent Odets article)

The Frederic Piguet caliber 71 (and its derivatives like this Breguet 502) is only 2.4 mm thick, but doesn't have a seconds hand or date. I'm not sure if the FP 716 (the version with sub-seconds) is thicker, but it still has no date.

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From this thread.

I cannot find a thinner automatic with central seconds and date than 2.95 mm. The JLC 899 in the Master Control is 3.3mm, the ETA 2892 is 3.6mm, The JLC 925 in the MUT is 4.9mm (of course with a moon-phase complication), the Zenith Elite with subseconds and no date is 3.47mm, the GP movements are thicker, Rolex movements are much thicker, and so on. Lange's thinnest is a smidge thinner at 2.9mm, but is a handwind with no seconds hand or date. I can't find anything else even close.

Anybody know of one, or am I allowed to claim that the Lemania 8810 is the thinnest automatic movement with seconds hand and date ever made?

Rick "not usually studying stuff at this end of the pool" Denney
 

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Re: The thinnest auto with central seconds and date?

The Nivrel case is 7.4mm and I measured the Piaget with the Cal 12P and it was 4.88mm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Re: The thinnest auto with central seconds and date?

Sorry, Watchbreath, my title was not clear and I just edited it. I'm not curious (at least at the moment) about case thickness, but about movement thickness.

Rick "not thinking the Ebel case with this movement, at 9mm, is anywhere near as thin as it could be" Denney
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Re: The thinnest auto with central seconds and date?

Just found the Universal Geneve cal. 2-66, for the White Shadow. 2.3mm thin with a microrotor, but still just two hands and no date. It came as the 2-69 with date window but still no seconds, and thicker, but unknown how much thicker.

And another Antiplano data point: The Piaget 1205P has date and sub-seconds, but it's 3mm. And it had to use a sunken dial for the hours hand, which I thought was to make room for the date ring, but the sub-seconds dial at 4:30 is even deeper, so the date ring would have had to be deeper still. I've seen several advertisements claiming that the 1205P is the world's thinnest automatic date movement, but that is not the case--the 8810 is still made and it's thinner. Blogist Tony Axelzon claimed this at SIHH 2013: "At SIHH, Piaget presented two new double records. The Altiplano Date has the world's thinnest automatic movement at just 3mm thick, housed in a likewise record-breaking 6.36 mm case." Just not so.

Rick "impressive design for the UG, though" Denney
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Vacheron's thinnest: The caliber 1226, with central seconds and date, at 3.25mm.

And the JLC 896 in the Grande Master Ultra Thin, which has small seconds but no date, is nearly 4 mm. In this company, downright thick! But not as thick as the AP 3126, their thinnest with three hands and date, at 4.26mm.

Rick "still searching" Denney
 

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Very interesting thread Rick. I wish I could shed some useful light on the subject for you, instead of just enjoying the chase from the sidelines!
 
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