Piaget typically relies on a conventional palette for its signature ultra-thin dress watches, but its latest Altiplano livens things up. A collaboration between Piaget and auctioneers Phillips, the Altiplano Origin China Special Edition is based on the watchmaker’s wafer-thin watch equipped with its in-house, super-flat automatic movement.
Ordinarily found with a sedate silver dial, the Altiplano gets gradient green dial with pink gold hands and markings in a 21-piece limited edition available only in China.
Piaget’s typical formal watches with silver dials are classic, but they can be too plain. Excepting a handful with dials in unusual materials or finishes, I find many of them overly formal and visually flat.
The China edition, in contrast, instantly stands out. Though it changes nothing in terms of the basic design, the gradient green lacquer and pink gold accents give the dial a vibrance absent in the standard models.
Green, however, is today’s fashionable colour, which means it’s more common than it should be. Even so, the China edition has minor design tweaks that give it a more appealing aesthetic than the standard version, like the elimination of the numerals from the seconds register.
Priced at 10% more than the standard model in white gold, the China edition is more appealing.
In contrast to similar Altiplano models that are almost uniformly kitted out in silver dials, the China edition has a dial that’s a deep, shaded green. The colour is the result of three layers of lacquer, each applied slightly thinner at the edges to create a gradient effect. It’s matched with pink gold-plated hands as well as dial markings in pink gold-tone print.
According to Piaget, the green dial is inspired by the verdant landscape of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, a vast expanse that’s the world’s highest plateau. And the star in the seconds register represents the North Star visible from the plateau at night. The origins of the inspiration lie in the model name – Altiplano is the plateau that stretches across Bolivia, Peru, and Chile, and the world’s biggest outside of Tibet.
Though the dial is largely identical to the standard version, two key details have been refined in the China edition. One is the seconds register, which is now free of Arabic numerals and instead echoes the baton markers for the hours. The other is the Altiplano “secret signature” that forms the the baton hour marker at eight.
Entirely in polished, 18k white gold, the case is identical to the standard version of the watch, which means it has a wonderfully thin profile that’s just 6.36 mm high.
Inside is the cal. 1205P, an ultra-thin self-winding movement with solid pink gold micro-rotor. Slim enough to be ultra-thin and one of the thinnest movement Piaget makes, the cal. 1205P is also sturdy enough to practical in an everyday watch.
The back is engraved with requisite special edition text along with the limited edition number. Though it is numbered “22” on the back, the edition is actually limited to 21 pieces. The 21 pieces omit the numbers “4” and “14”, often regarded as inauspicious in Chinese culture, while including “00/21”, which will be sold at Phillips at its upcoming Hong Kong sale on November 28, 2022.
Key facts and price
Piaget x Phillips Altiplano Origin China Special Limited Edition
Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 6.36 mm
Material: 18k white gold
Water resistance: 30 m
Movement: Cal. 1205P
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and date
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 44 hours
Strap: Green alligator with pin buckle
Limited edition: 21 pieces
Availability: Only at Piaget boutiques in China
Price: RMB228,000 (equivalent to US$31,900)
For more, visit piaget.com.
Back to top.