Piaget Introduces the Limelight Gala Automatic

With clouds in diamonds.

Originally a watchmaker, Piaget made its first foray in jewellery in the mid-20th century (which was also the period it debuted its ultra-thin movement, a feat Piaget has since surpassed by a large margin).

One of its signature jewellery timepieces is the Limelight Gala, a quirky but elegant watch available only with a quartz movement, till now. Piaget has finally unveiled a mechanical version that preserves the same asymmetric style, the Limelight Gala Automatic.

Initial thoughts

While evening watches are often conveniently conceived as pick-up-and-go quartz accessories, a mechanical alternative is an intuitive addition to the line given the growing appreciation for old-school watches.

Even though the cal. 501P inside the new Limelight Gala is a razor-thin movement of the likes found in the Altiplano automatic, it is small enough for a 32 mm case, larger than the traditionally-tiny norm for evening wear but still agreeable. The larger size, as well as the fact that the cal. 501P is a workhorse movement, making the new Limelight suitable as a daily-wear watch.

That said, the cal. 501P is a workhorse – it’s also found in the entry-level and sporty Polo S – which means it doesn’t seem upscale enough for the higher-end versions of the Limelight, which costs a little over US$50,000. The new Limelight Gala is priced steeply, starting at from US$35,000 for the base model with a diamond-set bezel.

The quintet

The new mechanical Limelight Gala is largely similar to its quartz counterpart, characterised by asymmetrical lugs. All five watches feature the same diamond-set bezel and lugs, with the differences in the dial and strap.

The simplest variants are equipped with a clean, silver dial finished with a grained texture. Though simple, the dials are well detailed with applied indices that give it some visual depth. They are available in white gold and rose gold, with either a leather strap or a gold mesh bracelet.

The highlight is definitely the diamond-paved variant, set with varying sizes of diamonds, creating a texture slightly reminiscent of clouds. The diamonds on case, dial, and buckle total 3.5 carats

The Limelight Gala case features lugs that seemingly flow into the case from top and bottom. A thoughtful design feature is the hidden crown that sits in a recess underneath the bezel, creating a seamless case outline. And through the sapphire crystal back the attractive but largely mechanically decorated cal. 501P is visible.

Key Facts and Price

Piaget Limelight Gala Automatic
Ref. PGG0A45360 (white gold on strap)
Ref. PGG0A45361 (rose gold on strap)
Ref. PGG0A45212 (white gold on bracelet)
Ref. PGG0A45213 (rose gold on bracelet)
Ref. PGG0A45362 (diamond-set dial)

Diameter: 32 mm
Height:  Unavailable
Material: 18k white gold or rose gold
Water-resistance: Unavailable

Movement: Cal. 501P
Functions: Hours and minutes
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 43 hours

Strap: Alligator with diamond-set buckle

Availability: Already at boutiques and retailers
US$ 35,000, or 55,000 Singapore dollar (white gold on strap)
US$ 36,100, or 57,000 Singapore dollar (rose gold on strap)
US$ 42,300, or 66,500 Singapore dollar (white gold on bracelet)
US$ 44,000, or 69,500 Singapore dollar (rose gold on bracelet)
US$ 53,500, or 83,500 Singapore dollar (diamond-set dial)

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