Piaget Brings the Lion of Venice to Life with Bulino Engraving

An engraving technique used for rifles and banknote plates, bulino engraving is used to render the Lion of Venice in minute, lifelike detail on the dial of the Piaget Altiplano Bulino Engraving wristwatch.

Using lines and dots to create a photorealistic image, bulino engraving was first used to decorate a wristwatch when Piaget introduced the first Altiplano Bulino Engraving in 2013. This year Piaget has unveiled an eight-piece limited edition depicting the Lion of Venice in all its majestic detail.  Originating in Italy, bulino engraving gets its name from bulino, Italian for “burin”, the knob-handled tool used to engrave metal. Often used to decorate guns, the technique is sometimes known as banknote engraving, being the same one used to engraving the printing plates for currency in the past.

Inspired by the winged lion statue in the Piazza San Marco in Venice

While more elementary engraving techniques use broad lines to form a pattern, bulino engraving relies on fine lines and tiny dots to create shading and depth, resulting in an image that is almost lifelike. The detail possible with the bulino engraving technique is evident on the Altiplano Bulino Engraving, with the fine fur and mane of the lion comprised of hundreds of tiny strokes. 

The Altiplano Bulino Engraving Lion is in white gold and 40mm in diameter, equipped with the 830P movement, an extra-thin hand-wound calibre that’s just 2.5mm high. Limited to eight pieces, the Altiplano Bulino Engraving Lion is priced at S$86,500 including 7% tax in Singapore. That’s equivalent to US$61,600.

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