Piaget’s flagship Altiplano is sixty years old now, and although Horologium is significantly younger than that, we have liked featuring it, and have a special fondness for the record-breaking version that came out in 2014.
At the SIHH 2017 Piaget will celebrate the Altiplano’s birthday with a new 38mm manual-wind model, and 43mm automatic model, both in white gold.
The modern Altiplano movements are descendants of Calibre 9P, the first ultra-thin hand-wound movement made by Piaget in 1957, which was 2mm thick. Since 1957, the Piaget Manufacture has produced some two dozen ultra-thin calibres in-house, with around a dozen of them having set new records for thinness. These achievements and focus are a major distinguishing feature of the brand.
Both of the new Altiplano anniversary models have a deep blue sunburst dial in a blue that has been strong part of Piaget’s history and which will be familiar to many. The blue cross is also a nod to the past, as is the use of “Piaget Automatic”, which appeared on their first ultra-thin watch. The white gold of the case is carried through to the hour markers and baton hands.
Now what is really interesting is what’s inside.
Inside the 43mm model is the 2.35mm thin Calibre 1200P, representing the fourth generation of its ultra-thin self-winding movements and measuring 2.35 mm thin. Launched in 2010 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Calibre 12P, Piaget see it as a ‘bridge between past and present’, and have chosen it for this watch for this reason. It beats at 21,600VPH and has a power reserve of forty-four hours.
Visible through the open case back are the micro-rotor associated with this movement, along with are bevelled bridges adorned with circular Côtes de Genève, a circular-grained main plate, satin-brushed steel parts, and blued screws. The gold oscillating weight is engraved with the Piaget coat of arms.
Obviously, the 38mm model also has something interesting inside, the 2.1mm thin Calibre 430P, which represents the second generation of Piaget’s manual-wind ultra-thin movements and also beats at 21,600VPH, with a power reserve of forty-three hours.
Coming on matching blue alligator straps, these are two quintessentially Piaget dress watches that are, both inside and out, pretty much as timeless as you want a dress watch to be.
23/1/17 ADDENDUM : For photos of these watches taken at SIHH 2017, click here.