Sunday, May 14, 2017

Piaget Altiplano 60th Anniversary Collection

In 1957, Piaget revolutionised the watchmaking world by launching an ultra-thin watch defining the codes of a new elegance. The unprecedented thinness of its profile and the purity of its dial endowed it with a distinguished look that immediately earned it a place in watchmaking history. A legendary timepiece was born. To mark the 60th anniversary of the launch of its iconic model, the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget is dedicating the year 2017 to the Altiplano. Celebrated by a limited numbered edition, it welcomes for the very first time a tourbillon – the noblest of watch complications – and lights up with original radiating colours. Through this new Altiplano anniversary collection, supreme elegance reveals itself ever more precisely, like a skyline opening up fascinating new perspectives.
Ever since it was founded in 1874 in La Côte-aux-Fées, a small village in the Swiss Jura, the history of Piaget has been inseparably bound up with that of ultra-thin watchmaking. The 20th century had barely begun when the Maison began appearing in supplier catalogues as an expert in ultra-thin components. Perpetuating the family tradition of boldness and perfection,

Valentin Piaget revolutionised the watchmaking world in 1957. His ultra-thin 9P manual winding movement presented at the Basel watch fair became an instant legend. Being just 2 mm thick, the 9P was universally hailed for the elegance of its profile, as well as for its performance and its reliability. Above all, it enabled a broader 20.5 mm dial opening, heralding a new watchmaking aesthetic, while facilitating the construction of a remarkably slim timepiece. Three years later, in 1960, the founder’s grandson scored another success with the 12P, an ultra-thin self-winding movement measuring just 2.3 mm. This previously unthinkable degree of thinness was made possible by the use of the 24K gold off-centred micro-rotor, ensuring optimal barrel-spring winding efficiency. On April 27th 1960, the Journal de Genève published an article singing its praises: “Creating a 2.3 mm-thin self-winding calibre had previously seemed a pipedream. The entire research team in La Côte-aux-Fées can take pride in having written one of the finest chapters in watchmaking history, and in having worked in the same spirit that drove the pioneers”. Keenly aware of having taking a decisive new direction, the Manufacture decided to dedicate the 12P to its men’s models, while equipping both men’s and ladies’ watches with the 9P movement. By becoming a specialist of ultra-thin horology, Piaget demonstrated its taste for making daring moves.

These two revolutionary calibres enabled Piaget to focus firmly on the modern nature of ultra-thinness and thereby invent a new horological design vocabulary. Especially since the Maison announced at the time that it would be concentrating its endeavours on the finest materials: gold and platinum. The slenderness of the movements unleashed creativity in terms of both dials and cases, thereby highlighting Piaget’s unique style. Representing the peak of timeless distinction, the ultra-thin Piaget watch is endowed with finely balanced proportions whose purity conveys a sense of discreet, unostentatious elegance. The aesthetic delicacy of its case is extended by a large dial epitomising ageless restraint. This generous face is graced by a subtle alternation between slim single and double hourmarkers, swept over by slender baton-type hands confirming this art of understatement.

Renowned for its perfect ergonomics, the ultra-thin Piaget watch radiates an allure that immediately delights clients looking for style stripped of anything superfluous. A principle epitomised by Alain Delon, the French actor and style icon of his generation who adopted it in the early 1960s, as well as by today’s Piaget International Ambassador Ryan Reynolds. Nonetheless, the apparent simplicity of the ultra-thin Piaget watch conceals great horological sophistication, exemplified by the circular Côtes de Genève, bevelled bridges, circulargrained mainplate and blued screws. Each stage in the making of an Altiplano watch, from its development through to its finishing, is performed in specialised Fine Watchmaking workshops where the full in-house integration of diverse skills guarantees the trademark Piaget excellence.

Presented in 1960s and advertised as “the watch of the international elite”, the ultra-thin Piaget model has evolved over the decades in perfect sync with the times. When pop culture reigned supreme, dials turned colourful with hard ruby, tiger’s eye, lapis lazuli, coral, malachite, onyx and jade stones. White and yellow case bezels and lugs were adorned with sophisticated “Clous de Paris” hobnail guilloché patterns or set with diamonds. Whether for 1970s businessmen in double-breasted suits flying to New York on Concorde; or for neodandies shunning any ostentation, the ultra-thin Piaget watch remained an inseparable companion.

Named in tribute to the eponymous high-altitude plateau of the Andes Cordillera mountain range, an environment vividly reflecting the pure and natural beauty of its stellar model, Altiplano lent its restrained elegance to the new century’s desire for absolutes. Its skeletonised design revealed the magic of an airy mechanism featuring openwork components pushed to the very limits of their resistance. This inherently playful collection dared to introduce an iconoclastic version of the dual-time function, measured by two stacked cases with the Altiplano Double Jeu.

The Altiplano line continued to develop, welcoming ever richer technical content, such as the calendar or chronograph, while losing nothing of its signature slimness and elegance.

In 2014, to mark Piaget’s 140th anniversary, the Manufacture once again revolutionised the ultra-thin world by presenting the Altiplano 38 mm 900P. Symbolising the unbelievably audacity of literally merging the case and movement, the new timepiece showcased an inverted movement construction, revealing the bridges and the going train on the dial side to create a unique and hypnotically fascinating sight. Connoisseurs also appreciate its generous 48-hour power reserve, ensured by a suspended barrel held by a single bridge. Capable of adapting to the lifestyle of each individual – whether complementing a smart tailor-made two-button suit jacket with open lapel buttonholes, or a casual look with a cashmere sweater teamed with a pair of loafers – the Altiplano 38 mm 900P firmly anchored the iconic watch in the third millennium. In 2016, it even appeared set with diamonds right the way through to the heart of its movement (Altiplano 900D), a technical and elegant feat that Piaget is alone in offering.

2017: the Altiplano year
Loyal to its reputation, Altiplano is celebrating its anniversary with its characteristic supreme elegance. Stemming from an ongoing dialogue between horological tradition and the new millennium, the anniversary collection opens up whole new horizons inspiring a lifestyle based on essential values. Among these, elegance released from any superficiality remains a benchmark, and absolute distinction a guiding principle.

Altiplano 34 mm, Pink Dial (G0A42100 and G0A42109)
Embedded at the very heart of Piaget’s creative signature characteristics, colour and light naturally find their place within the anniversary collection. The dials with their graded shades radiate an original and refreshing mood entirely attuned to the codes of contemporary elegance.
Feminine wrists are thus lit up by a vivid pink subtly transitioning from a more intense to a softer shade, magnificently framed by a case in polished white gold (G0A42109) or diamond-set white gold (G0A42100).  At the heart of these two 34 mm-diameter watches beats Calibre 430P (2.1 mm thick), a worthy heir to the hand-wound Piaget 9P movement.
Technical details
Altiplano - 34 mm, G0A42109
18K white gold case
Pink dial with gold appliques
Manufacture Piaget 430P mechanical hand-wound movement, 2.1 mm thick
Number of jewels: 18
Frequency: 21,600 vph / 3 Hz
Power reserve: approx. 43 hours
Finishing: circular Côtes de Genève, circular-grained mainplate, bevelled bridges, blued screws
Functions: hours and minutes
Pink alligator leather strap with 18K white gold pin buckle
360-piece limited edition
Available in boutiques as of April 2017

Altiplano - 34 mm, G0A42100
18K white gold case set with 72 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.52 ct)
Pink dial with gold appliques
Manufacture Piaget 430P mechanical hand-wound movement, 2.1 mm thick
Number of jewels: 18
Frequency: 21,600 vph / 3 Hz
Power reserve: approx. 43 hours
Finishing: circular Côtes de Genève, circular-grained mainplate, bevelled bridges, blued screws
Functions: hours and minutes
Pink alligator leather strap with 18K white gold pin buckle
360-piece limited edition
Available in boutiques as of April 2017

Altiplano 40 mm patinated dial in grey (G0A42050), blue (G0A42051) and green (G0A42052)
The boundless creativity cultivated by Piaget is also confirmed through an irresistible trio of Altiplano 40mm models attired in daring colours.
Beautifully accentuated by a white gold case and hour-markers, slate grey takes on various nuances (G0A42050).
Midnight blue strikes a beautiful contrast with pink gold and flirts with electric blue (G0A42051), while pine green slides towards emerald green (G0A42052) surrounded by a glowing yellow gold case.
To fit neatly inside this 40 mm case, the Manufacture has developed the 1203P movement. Inspired by Calibre 1205P – presented in 2013 as the natural heir to the iconic 12P –, this new self-winding movement picks up the essential elements of time read-off while adding the date. The historical inscription “Piaget Automatique” – which appeared on the very first ultrathin timepieces by the Maison – sets the signature touch to the new trio and honours the line’s rich history.

Technical details
Altiplano - 40 mm, G0A42050
18K white gold case
Sapphire case-back
Grey patinated dial with gold appliques
Manufacture Piaget 1203P ultra-thin mechanical self-winding movement, 3.00 mm thick
Number of jewels: 25
Frequency: 21,600 vph / 3 Hz
Power reserve: approx. 44 hours
Finishing: circular Côtes de Genève, circular-grained mainplate, bevelled bridges, blued screws, gold oscillating weight engraved with the “P” for Piaget
Functions: hours and minutes, date at 3 o’clock
Patinated grey alligator leather strap with 18K white gold pin buckle
260-piece limited edition
Available in boutiques as of April 2017

Technical details
Altiplano - 40 mm, G0A42051
18K pink gold case
Sapphire case-back
Blue patinated dial with gold appliques
Manufacture Piaget 1203P ultra-thin mechanical self-winding movement, 3.00 mm thick
Number of jewels: 25
Frequency: 21,600 vph / 3 Hz
Power reserve: approx. 44 hours
Finishing: circular Côtes de Genève, circular-grained mainplate, bevelled bridges, blued screws, gold oscillating weight engraved with the “P” for Piaget
Functions: hours and minutes, date at 3 o’clock
Patinated blue alligator leather strap with 18K pink gold pin buckle
260-piece limited edition
Available in boutiques as of April 2017

Altiplano - 40 mm, G0A42052
18K yellow gold case
Sapphire case-back
Green patinated dial with gold appliques
Manufacture Piaget 1203P ultra-thin mechanical self-winding movement, 3.00 mm thick
Number of jewels: 25
Frequency: 21,600 vph / 3 Hz
Power reserve: approx. 44 hours
Finishing: circular Côtes de Genève, circular-grained mainplate, bevelled bridges, blued screws, gold oscillating weight engraved with the “P” for Piaget
Functions: hours and minutes, date at 3 o’clock
Patinated green alligator leather strap with 18K yellow gold pin buckle
260-piece limited edition
Available in boutiques as of April 2017

Altiplano Manual-Winding 38 mm (G0A42107) and Altiplano Self-Winding 43 mm (G0A42105)
The two models – one manual-winding and the other self-winding – are inspired by the aesthetic characteristics of the first ultra-thin Piaget watches: an historical logo, applied gold hour-markers and a central cross, in tribute to the origins of the line. Each features a sunburst dial in the historical Piaget blue, a deep shade somewhere between cobalt and midnight blue. The result is the epitome of vintage elegance with a contemporary twist. Likewise, the understated blue cross engages in a fascinating visual dialogue with the applied white gold hour-markers and the slim baton-type hands typical of the line.
The 43 mm diameter of the self-winding model emphasises the perfectly balanced lines of the Piaget Altiplano. The historical mention “Piaget Automatique”, which appeared on the very first ultra-thin timepiece by the Maison, also sets the seal on this new model. In honour of this large-sized ultra-thin watch, the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget has equipped it with Calibre 1200P (2.35 mm thin).
The result of a full three-year development process, this exceptional modern calibre was presented in 2010 for the 50th anniversary of the legendary 12P. It forms a bridge spanning past and present, while paying homage to the Manufacture’s rich history. The 18K white gold case fitted with a sapphire crystal is an open invitation to admire the splendid finishing, such as the bevelled bridges adorned with circular Côtes de Genève, the circular-grained mainplate, the satin-brushed steel parts and the blued screws. Adopting the off-centred micro-rotor principle of the legendary calibre, the self- Winding version reveals a gold oscillating weight engraved with the Piaget coat-of-arms.
At the heart of the new Piaget Altiplano 38 mm-diameter model beats a manual-winding calibre 430P (2.1 mm thick). Developed, produced and decorated by the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie, this movement has established itself as a worthy heir to the 9P. Like the latter, universally acclaimed in 1957 for the beauty of its profile and its construction, calibre 430P is renowned for its aesthetic appeal and its reliability. It confirms Piaget’s unique expertise in the demanding world of extreme thinness.

Technical details
Altiplano 38 mm, G0A42107
18K white gold case
Blue dial, cross in the center, white gold appliques index
Manufacture Piaget 430P ultra-thin mechanical hand-wound movement, 2.1 mm thick
Number of jewels : 18
Frequency : 21,600 vph/3Hz
Power reserve: approx. 43 hours
Finishing : Circular Côtes de Genève, circular-grained mainplate and bridges, beveled bridges, blued screws
Functions : Hours, minutes
Blue alligator leather strap with an 18K white gold pin buckle
460-piece limited edition
Available in boutiques as of April 2017

Altiplano - 43mm, G0A42105
18K white gold case
Sapphire case-back
Blue dial, cross in the center, white gold appliques index
Manufacture Piaget 1200P ultra-thin mechanical self-winding movement, 2.35 mm thick
Number of jewels: 25
Frequency: 21,600 vph/3Hz
Power reserve: approx. 44 hours
Finishing: Circular Côtes de Genève, circular-grained mainplate, bevelled bridges, blued screws, sunburst-brushed wheels
“P” fixed to the regulator-assembly as Piaget signature, 22K slate grey colored pink gold oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes
Blue alligator leather strap with an 18K white gold pin buckle
360-piece limited edition
Available in boutiques as of April 2017

Piaget Altiplano natural turquoise dial (G0A42173) and Piaget Altiplano opal dial (G0A42174)
For its anniversary, Altiplano revives one of the Piaget style signatures: flamboyant hard stone dials. In the 1960s, the 9P ultra-thin manual-winding calibre opened up all manner of possibility for ornamentation and colour. Alongside traditional gems such as diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires, the Maison also worked with hard ruby, malachite, lapis lazuli, jade, tiger’s eye, coral and onyx. Their vivid colours enlivened dials and overturned the watch industry’s traditional design codes. In 2017, Altiplano flaunts the unique radiance of each stone. The dial is thus adorned with an age-old gemstone, the turquoise, already worn by the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. Its superlative quality, characterised by a perfectly uniform sky blue colour, is accentuated by white gold set with 72 brilliant-cut diamonds (G0A42173).
A second timepiece with a white opal dial reveals a milky background shimmering with iridescent facets, enhanced by a pink gold crown also set with diamonds (G0A42174). These two models enable the Piaget artisans to demonstrate their virtuoso skills in the incredibly delicate realm of working with hard stones.
Technical details
Altiplano - 34 mm, G0A42173
18K white gold case set with 72 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.52 ct)
Natural turquoise dial
Manufacture Piaget 430P mechanical hand-wound movement, 2.1 mm thick
Number of jewels: 18
Frequency: 21,600 vph / 3 Hz
Power reserve: approx. 43 hours
Finishing: circular Côtes de Genève, circular-grained mainplate, bevelled bridges, blued screws
Functions: hours and minutes
White alligator leather strap with 18K white gold pin buckle
38-piece limited edition
Available in boutiques as of February 2017

Altiplano - 34 mm, G0A42174
18K pink gold case set with 72 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.52 ct)
White opal dial
Manufacture Piaget 430P mechanical hand-wound movement, 2.1 mm thick
Number of jewels: 18
Frequency: 21,600 vph / 3 Hz
Power reserve: approx. 43 hours
Finishing: circular Côtes de Genève, circular-gained mainplate, bevelled bridges, blued screws
Functions: hours and minutes
White alligator leather with 18K pink gold pin buckle
38-piece limited edition
Available in boutiques as of February 2017

Altiplano Tourbillon High Jewellery (G0A42204)
For the first time in Altiplano’s history, a model beats to the rhythm of the tourbillon. This new calibre perpetuates the rich watchmaking heritage nurtured by the Maison – particularly in the development of ultra-thin movements. It also demonstrates Piaget’s capacity for innovation and creative interpretation of the finest horological complications. Developed to fit smoothly into the iconic watch case, the 670P ultra-thin mechanical manual-winding tourbillon movement measures just 4.6 mm thick. It is equipped with a patented stem-winding system featuring an intermediate wheel. It also has a new barrel increasing the power reserve to a comfortable 48 hours. To accentuate the airy beauty of the flying tourbillon, whose three-bridge titanium carriage weighs a mere 0.2 grams, Fine Watchmaking teams up with Artistic Crafts. The flinqué enamel dial is born from the virtuosity of master-artisans capable of manually creating a guilloché pattern on gold, before delicately coating it with layers of transparent enamel. Three firing phases – timed to the nearest second and set to the exact temperature of up to 800°C – are then required to achieve this shiny glaze characterised by its absolute purity and transparency. The hours and tourbillon epitomising the Piaget style are offset to form a subtle and discreet figure eight that symbolises eternity.
The offset sunburst guilloché motif is enhanced by the deep grey-blue shade of the dial. A past master in associating the art of watchmaking with that of jewellery, Piaget adorns the case, dial and buckle with a setting of baguette- and brilliant-cut diamonds, thereby creating a fascinating radiance. The equally enchanting Fine Watchmaking finishing features circular Côtes de Genève, a mainplate and bridges circular-grained by hand, as well as handbevelled and drawn tourbillon bridges and carriage.
Bearing the historical Piaget logo like a signature in the hours counter, the Altiplano Tourbillon High Jewellery (reference G0A42204) also bears the anniversary collection inscription on its case-back.

Technical details
Model: Altiplano Tourbillon High Jewellery - 41 mm, G0A42204
High Jewellery watch in 18K white gold
Sapphire case-back
Case set with 48 baguette-cut diamonds (approx. 2.51 cts); 265 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 2.42 cts), crown set with a brilliant-cut diamond (approx. 0.09 ct)
Hand-guilloché gold dial coated with translucent blue-grey enamel
Manufacture Piaget 670P mechanical hand-wound tourbillon movement, 4.6 mm thick
Ultra-thin and ultra-light tourbillon carriage: 2.8 mm and 0.2 gr
Number of jewels: 23
Frequency: 21,600 vph / 3 Hz
Power reserve: approx. 48 hours
Finishing: circular Côtes de Genève, hand circular-grained mainplate and bridges, hand-drawn and hand-bevelled bridges and carriage, black screws on the bridge side
Functions: hours and minutes on an offset subdial at 8 o’clock, flying tourbillon at 2 o’clock, seconds indicated by the carriage at 2 o’clock
Black alligator leather strap with 18K white gold folding clasp set with 24 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.05 ct)
38-piece limited edition
Boutique-exclusive model
Available in boutiques as of September 2017

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