The year 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the Piaget Altiplano, the groundbreaking ultra-thin wristwatch that debuted in 1957 and contained what was then the world’s thinnest mechanical movement, Caliber 9P. At SIHH 2017 this week, Piaget commemorates this watch-world milestone with the launch of new limited-edition Altiplano timepieces. Here’s a closer look.
Both of the new models, which are adorned with a historical Piaget logo, have sunburst-finish dials in what Piaget refers to as its “historical Piaget blue, a deep shade somewhere between cobalt and midnight blue.” They also feature the light-blue crosshairs motif found on vintage Piaget watches, as well as the white-gold hour markers and thin baton hands that are typical of the Altiplano collection. Both are in white gold cases, with dark blue alligator leather straps and white-gold ardillon buckles.
The larger of the two watches, the Piaget Altiplano Self-Winding 43 mm, is distinguished by the word “Automatic” beneath the Piaget logo at 12 o’clock, which appeared on the brand’s very first ultra-thin watch; in the contemporary version, the letter “A” has been subtly updated. The ultra-thin 43-mm diameter case is made of 18k white gold and fitted with a sapphire crystal. The movement, visible through a clear sapphire caseback window, is Piaget’s self-winding Caliber 1200P, which measures 29.9 mm in diameter and a mere 2.35 mm thick. Like all Piaget manufacture movements, it boasts a high level of finishing, with circular côtes de Genève, beveled bridges, a circular-grained mainplate, blued screws and sunburst-finish wheels. It has a power reserve of 44 hours. Like its historical predecessor, 1960’s Caliber 12P, the movement is wound by means of an off-centered gold microrotor, which is engraved with the Piaget coat-of-arms. The watch (Ref. G0A42105) is limited to 360 pieces and priced at $23,900.
The other Altiplano anniversary watch is the Piaget Altiplano Manual-Winding 38 mm, in a smaller white-gold case and equipped with the manual-wind Caliber 430P, which checks in at just 2.1 mm thick and is a descendant of the original Caliber 9P. The movement has all the decorative flourishes of its self-winding cousin (except, of course, for the gold microrotor) but is slightly smaller in diameter, at 20.5 mm, and slightly shorter power reserve (43 hours). It is also hidden behind a decorative, engraved caseback bearing Piaget’s logo and coat-of-arms, along with the watch’s limited edition number. The Altiplano Manual-Winding 38 mm (Ref. G0A42107) is limited to 460 pieces and priced at $17,900.
Both of these 60th Anniversary Piaget Altiplano watches, automatic as well as manual winding, are just stunning, as these watches are perfect combination of art and engineering.