The Piaget Altiplano 40mm is the ultra-thin watch you won't miss in your collection
Piaget is synonymous with all things ultra-thin as well as with old school craftsmanship. The ultra-thin technology is not exclusive to the Geneva-based watch brand any longer, yet prove me wrong if you believe there's a brand safeguarding this legacy just as well as Piaget. Other competitors like Bulgari and its Octo Finissimo keep challenging Piaget in this category of products, but the Italian contender's territory is primarily the luxury sports watch. However, Piaget has just unveiled the stunning new Polo Skeleton. Is the classic Polo undergoing a major overhaul, and is an ultra-thin steel Polo in the works? We'll find out in a couple of months, so stay tuned! In the meantime, the Piaget Altiplano currently ranks high among classic super-slim wristwatches and outperforms most competitors, inside the Group and out.
Getting up close to and enjoying a 40mm Altiplano in rose gold is a rare bird these days. Such a style looks niche in a scenario where so-called "disruptive" designs are hitting the spot. In this regard, a Piaget Altiplano truly belongs to a class of its own. Conversely, I would hardly assign this specific Altiplano an ultra classic foothold; other luxury brands adopt a vintage formula; I'll pick a couple of Vacheron Constantin, for example, while Piaget has gone with a more contemporary formula instead.
The dial is large, and the bezel is thin, but not that thin, in the benchmark. The case has long straight lugs; comfort is paramount in this class, you can't go wrong; yet, again, the proposition is chic but is not drawing from the past: the multi-tier clean dial, the extended Piaget logo, date font, and date window's refined design, and the off-center running seconds counter are as distinctive as they get. You can place this Altiplano in any Manhattan's shop's multi-brand display and quickly point the Piaget among its siblings.
I don't get the brand's designers leaving the term "Automatic" instead, even more so when you expect your timepiece to mimic a hand-wound watch. A micro-rotor is mandatory if you are required to sketch and design an ultra-flat self-winding wristwatch. You have no better option unless you're opting for a peripheral rotor. Here is where the magic happens: the dial is as uncluttered as the case back is the manifesto of Piaget's artistry's capabilities; the white cream dial contrasts the ultra-flat Piaget 1205 P caliber's exquisite detailing and engineering. According to specification, the watch's thickness stops at 6,36 mm and showcases excellent "savoir-faire."
The small 22-karat rose gold winding mass comes engraved with the Piaget coat of arms and helps to keep the movement's thickness to an outstanding 3 millimeters. The bridges are beveled and circular Côtes de Genève decorated; up close, the wheels sport a brushed sunray finish and, icing on the cake, the "P" by Piaget stands on top of the balance wheel. Although the 1205P can't prize itself with being the thinnest self-winding caliber around, it still is the thinnest automatic caliber with a date and arguably one the most refined to abide by the rules of classic watchmaking.
In such a small area, it's hard to exceed a 44-hour power reserve. However, you hardly make a 40mm Piaget Altiplano your everyday watch, but please raise a hand if you're wearing it from Monday to Friday and beyond. In summary, an extended power reserve isn't a plus, and it's not a call to action for potential buyers. The Piaget Altiplano 40 mm in rose gold is Piaget's hero product par excellence; the option pictured above is not a new watch since it is part of the standard collection since 2013, and not by coincidence. It's a winner and doesn't' look any outdated. If you're ready to pay 24,700 Euros, here is a classy dinner or gala event slim three-hands gold watch destined to pass from one generation to another.
(Photo credit: Marco Antinori for Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®