Watches Wednesday: Piaget's Altiplano Tourbillon Infinite Blue Limited Editions
5 August 2020

Watches Wednesday: Piaget’s Altiplano Tourbillon Infinite Blue Limited Editions

Piaget‘s Altiplano dates back to 1874, when founder Georges Edouard Piaget began his watchmaking business by making high-precision components for the leading watch brands during his time, particularly his ultra-thin parts, which was a catalyst to his fame throughout the Swiss Jura region. His humble beginnings as a “supplier” for intricate watch mechanisms led him to start his own namesake luxury timepieces brand 69 years later, with the ultra-thin savoir faire as the foundation of the Manufacture’s specialty. To date, Piaget has developed 35 in-house calibres, with 23 of these, as ultra-thin.

2017 marked Piaget’s 60th Anniversary of its ultra-thin movement. To commemorate this momentous occasion, the Maison introduced the ultra-thin Altiplano flying tourbillon with a manual self-winding movement, with the time at 8 o’clock, and the tourbillon position at 2 o’clock. Comprising 157 ultra-thin and ultra-light components with the carriage measuring 2.88 and its three titanium bridges weighing just 0.2g, with some so intricate that its widths as thick as a mere strand of human hair, the Altiplano Tourbillon is a magnificent feat of engineering. It also holds a patent for its unique stem mechanism, with a wheel that looks like a staircase, thus enabling the wearer to test the time of the off-centred dial, was another first (of its already many firsts!) in fine watchmaking.

This year, Piaget has unveiled 3 new Altiplano Flying Tourbillon timepieces handcrafted in its Ateliers de l’Extrordinaire, come in an intense midnight blue, or, what is known by the Maison, as Infinite Blue, and are powered by the Manufacture’s 670P flying tourbillon movement. This trio of 41mm novelties possess dials designed with a gem-set motif that accents and shines the spotlight on the off-centred hour and minute counter and tourbillon carriage, thus making the 2 symbols – the figure 8which, in Chinese culture, represents prosperity, good fortune, and joy, as well as the Infinity symbol, signifying limitless possibilities – immediately noticeable. And, just like how these luxurious timepieces allude to prosperity, each of these Limited Edition wristwatches are produced in auspicious quantities, namely, 38, 18, and 8 pieces, with each for which translating to “the birth of prosperity”, “certainly prosper”, and “prosperity”, respectively.Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon Infinite Blue Limited Edition 38The Altiplano Tourbillon Infinite Blue Limited Edition 38 is fitted with a blue sunburst PVD dial, with 135 round brilliant-cut diamonds (with a total carat weight of approximately 2.29 carats) on the bezel, lugs, buckle, and dial, encircling the flying tourbillon movement and off-centred hour and minute counter, and is finished off with a blue alligator strap.Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon Infinite Blue Limited Edition 18The Altiplano Tourbillon Inifinte Blue Limited Edition 18 is the most elaborate in design out of the trinity, with a hypnotic swirl of diamonds in a circular-esque pattern, created by concentric circles which expand from the centre of both the hour and minute counter, and the off-centred tourbillon. Reminiscent of ripples of water and the way both these concentric circles overlap, this design suggests a multitude, or rather, infinite figure eights, in turn signifying boundless abundance and good fortune. The bezel, lugs, and buckle are also embellished with diamonds, totally 276 round-brilliant cut diamonds with a total carat weight of approximately 3.41 carats.Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon Infinite Blue Limited Edition 8Finally, last, but certainly not the least, the Altiplano Tourbillon Infinite Blue Limited Edition 8unlike the first 2, comes with baguette-cut diamonds on the bezel and dial, which further intensifies the blue of the sunburst PVD dial, as well as round-brilliant cut diamonds on the lugs, buckle, and case (profile and back) making it truly a precious creation. Completed with a blue alligator strap, the it is accented with 386 diamonds, with a total carat weight of approximately 6.05 carats.

How truly simple these Altiplano Tourbillon Infinite Blue Limited Edition timepieces look at first glance, but the intricacy involved in the workmanship, is most certainly unparalleled. These timepieces would certainly appeal to UHNWI (ultra high net worth individuals), who have a quiet confidence about them, and don’t need to flaunt their wealth on their sleeve, pun intended).

 

Images courtesy of Piaget