Life starts becoming unbearably hard when you hit your 30s. Hangovers are ruinous and not just "hilarious" inconveniences, exercise becomes a chore rather than a joy and keeping slim means fad diets and blandness. After years of resisting, I succumbed to dieting, and after the initial sudden weight loss, I realised I was denying myself all the food that had even a modicum of flavour. Life without bread, cheese and pasta? This is no way to live. It is far easier to trick your mind into thinking you're slim with flattering clothing and investment pieces such as an ultra-thin watch. It all helps, trust me.
Piaget has long been ahead of the game when it comes to ultra-thin watches, with the Altiplano line seemingly becoming thinner with each iteration. The standout of this year's delightful Altiplano range is the 33mm-by-33mm square-faced timepiece, which comes with a case in either 18-carat pink gold (top right) or white gold. As with all Altiplano watches, the wonder lies with the movement, in this case a Piaget 430P ultra-thin hand-wound mechanical movement that measures a quite ludicrous 2.1mm in thickness. The design of the watch is simple and classic, with the spacing of the indices and what little detail there is on the dial in harmony with the square case. Features are kept to hours and minutes, with a power reserve of 43 hours. The watch also comes with a brown alligator leather strap. The pink-gold Piaget Altiplano square-faced watch is priced at HK$127,000.
From the established name in ultra-thin watches we go to a surprising newcomer. Hublot is better known for dominating the wrist with its watches, the ultimate masculine horological statement. However, Hublot is also a brand that understands balance and, to use its favourite word, "fusion" between various watchmaking styles and elements. Thus we have the new and extremely wordy Hublot Classic Fusion Extra-Thin Skeleton King Gold (below). Priced at HK$257,900, this watch is for the more commit-ted consumer attracted to the visual impact of a Hublot watch but perhaps put off by the sizing. The 18-carat-gold case is sized at a hefty 45mm in diameter but the HUB1300 movement is a mere 2.9mm thick, a notable achievement for a brand not focused on downsizing. The dial is skeletonised, meaning you can see all the intricate inner workings of this watch. There is a small seconds hand at the seven o'clock position and the power reserve clocks in at an impressive 90 hours. The Hublot Classic Fusion Extra-Thin Skeleton King is also available in titanium for HK$125,900.
Lastly, we have the new ultra-thin watch from Cartier's Tank collection. The Tank Louis Cartier XL slimline watch is a classic dress watch in design and in form, making it the perfect watch to wear with a tuxedo or other formal evening attire. The art deco-inspired rectangle Tank case comes in 18-carat pink gold and measures a mere 35mm in width and 40.4mm in length, but the real star feature is a case thickness of only 5.1mm. Features are kept to just hours and minutes once again, but the watch comes with a lovely brown crocodile leather strap and is water resistant to 20 metres. The dial design doesn't need too much description, or indeed introduction, as it remains true to the Tank heritage, with classic Roman numerals and the trademark Cartier cobalt blue hands. The Tank Louis Cartier XL slimline watch is priced at HK$105,000.