Piaget has always straddled the line well between fine watchmaking and high jewellery. This has especially been highlighted among many of their women’s watches, but it often spills over to some of their men’s watches and can be noticed when examining Piaget’s use of gem setting and unique dials that have graced so many Altiplano models as well as a few Emperadors. What stands out especially is Piaget’s relatively heavy use of malachite dials, although most of those watches were released close to five years ago now. Piaget has continued to use new interesting dials, such as red-tinted mother of pearl, and that trend continues with the introduction of the Altiplano Tourbillon Aventurine. A watch that balances fine watchmaking, unique dial materials, gem setting, and an overall masculine feel.
If you can deal with the attention you’ll get wearing it, this is a great evening watch. The main feature of this watch is its aventurine glass dial. A material that looks like the night sky on your wrist. Variations of Aventurine and Aventurine glass were used a few years ago in watches such as the Arnold & Son HM Perpetual Moon Aventurine and the Omega Speedmaster Moonphase Chronograph in aventurine, but the popularity of the effect has since skyrocketed with releases such as the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia in copper blue, as well as a number of Parmigiani Fleurier, Girard-Perregaux, and H. Moser & Cie models. As a result, the existence of the material has come more into the mainstream of knowledge among watch enthusiasts. This model’s 38mm 18K white gold case shows off Piaget’s gem setting. The bezel is fitted with 48 baguette-cut diamonds, while there are 12 brilliant-cut diamonds on the lugs. The crown itself has a single larger brilliant-cut diamond set in it.
The Altiplano, a watch renowned for its thinness, comes in at only 7.35mm thick even with it being in its tourbillon configuration. Piaget’s ultra-thin 670P manual-wind movement is employed here and has a power reserve of 48 hours. The watch features a 60-second flying tourbillon at 2 o’clock, which serves as the seconds indicator. The watch comes on a shiny dark blue alligator strap with a black interior lining. The folding clasp is made of 18K white gold as well and is fitted with 24 brilliant-cut diamonds.
This is a good release from Piaget. I still would like to see more done with what was previously called the “Polo S” line, but that’s a gripe for another day. As stated previously, this watch combines everything Piaget does well and is a very “complete” feeling watch. The technical precision, movement finishing, dial material use, and gem setting are all there. I’m not surprised this watch was done so well though, because this is what Piaget does best: dress watches. Hopefully releases like this continue for Piaget, a company that is capable of so much and can really continue to make a name for itself in watchmaking… especially if they could figure out (what I still refer to as) the “Polo S” line and really have a competitive sports watch.
The Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon Aventurine is limited to 38 pieces and is priced at 153,000 USD.