Whether it is a bezel adorned with the finest baguette-cut diamonds or an exquisite enamel dial, the new Piaget Altiplano Infinitely Personal concept gives clients the possibility to create a personalised Altiplano Tourbillon.
The Art of Movement
Piaget was founded in 1874 by Georges Edouard Piaget who started making watch components in his workshop on the family farm in the village of La Côte-aux-Fées. He sold high-precision parts and movements to some of the leading international watch companies across the Swiss Jura. Already at this time, the components he was manufacturing were ultrathin. By 1943, the company was being run by his grandsons, Gérald and Valentin Piaget, who
together took the company into a new era by registering the Piaget name and starting the production of the company’s own creations.
Ultra-thin: The Aesthetics of Purity
Ultra-thin movements and timepieces have always been at the heart of Piaget’s culture and history. In the 1950s, Piaget set itself the challenge of creating a revolutionary new watch movement of unheralded thinness. The result, unveiled in Geneva in 1957, was the 9P. At only 2mm thick, this calibre was universally hailed for the elegance of its profile, its performance, and its outstanding reliability. The 9P was one of the world’s thinnest mechanical movements.
In 1960 Piaget unveiled the 12P, the thinnest automatic movement in the world, becoming the first of many world records for the Maison. Since the 1960s, ultra-thin watches have become one of Piaget’s horological specialties.
An ultra-thin movement is not a complication per se, but the art of creating components two to three times thinner than regular parts is something incredibly complex. To date, Piaget presented more than 50 in-house calibres, of which 35 are ultra-thin.
The Altiplano Tourbillon
In 2017, Piaget celebrated the 60th anniversary of its ultra-thin movement with the ultra-thin Altiplano Flying Tourbillon, putting the movement at the service of the design. This manufacture, manual-winding movement featured the time at eight o’clock and the tourbillon at two o’clock. With 157 ultra-thin and ultra-light components, such as a carriage measuring a mere 2.88mm, three titanium bridges weighing no more than 0.2g, and some components measuring no more than the thickness of a human hair, the Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon is a feat of engineering. It also holds a patent for its stem mechanism, featuring an intermediate wheel that looks like a staircase and enables the user to set the time of the off-centered dial — another first in the watch industry.
Piaget Infinitely Personal – The Personalisation Process
Personalisation is nothing new for Piaget. In the 1960s, the Maison’s American subsidiary designed the Piaget “Style Selector”. This useful tool was created to help better serve Piaget high-society who all wanted to get their hands on one of the brand’s ultra-thin timepieces. They could choose the components of each model, from the shape of the case, to the bezel, jewellery settings, straps, dials and more. It was such a success that it was rolled out to boutiques worldwide. The Piaget “Style Selector” now provides the inspiration for a brand-new personalisation programme: The Piaget Infinitely Personal concept.
Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon is recognized for its elegant design that includes baton hands and indexes, and beautifully-shaped lugs. Personalisation of this model allows each new owner numerous options to co-create an exceptional piece of art by choosing the case size (38mm or 41mm), type of case, dial, tourbillon ring, strap and buckle.
The 38mm model comes in a choice of a diamond set white or rose gold bezel. There is a wide selection of dials, including sunburst mother-of-pearl dials in blue, pink, red, or white, hand guilloché radiating gold dials covered with translucent blue, green, teal or red Grand Feu enamel or diamond snow-paved dial. There is also the option for a sunburst lacquer dial which can be matched to any colour. Piaget can even match the dial’s shade from a photograph of a personal memory, for a truly unique personalisation.
The 41mm model offers additional cases with options in white or rose gold that can be set with brilliant-cut or baguette-cut diamonds. Piaget is also offering the possibility to adorn the Altiplano Tourbillon with baguette-cut emeralds, sapphires or rubies for additional colour and sparkle. For the dial, the possibilities include a hand-engraved guilloché enamel grand feu decoration, a diamond snow-paved dial, or a sunburst lacquer dial that can be customized with any colour.
The tourbillon ring of the 38mm and 41mm models come in white or rose gold, set with diamonds or engraved with a personal message. The case back can also be engraved. To compliment the Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon Infinitely Personal, there is also a selection of over 25 different alligator straps.
With the Altiplano Tourbillon Infinitely Personal, Piaget continues the customisation service that has been a hallmark of the brand for more than 50 years, and allows its clients to become part of the creation of their unique watch. The only limit is their imagination.
Shown here are three examples of customized Altiplano Tourbillon models using the Altiplano Tourbillon Infinitely Personal tool.
The first edition is a 38mm white gold case with a stunning array of snow-set dial and brilliant-cut diamonds totalling 3.26 carats. It is paired with a red alligator strap.
This 38mm white gold case is adorned with brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel and around the tourbillon’s aperture (1.26 carats). This particular timepiece comes with an exclusive guilloché dial in red mother-of-pearl that is complemented with white gold coloured hands and indexes. It is paired with a red alligator strap.
Last but not least, a 41mm white gold case and hand-guilloché gold dial with a sun-ray motif covered with a translucent green enamel. The bezel is framed by baguette-cut diamonds (5.07 carats) and paired with a matching green alligator strap.