January 30, 2021
by Ariel Adams
Piaget makes some of the most beautiful exclusive luxury watches out there. The Swiss company combines its more than 100 years of experience producing mechanical watch movements with the contemporary values of the company that include an ultra-thin wearing experience and high-jewelry expertise. Today, I look at two members of the Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon family that includes the reference G0A44053 with a meteorite dial and the reference G0A44031 that has an entirely diamond-decorated dial.
Both watches contain the same in-house-made Piaget movement, known as the caliber 670P. This 4.6mm-thick (rather thin) manually wound movement is comprised of 157 parts and includes an off-centered dial for the time at the 8 o’clock position on the dial, as well as a window for the flying tourbillon located at about 2 o’clock on the dial. The asymmetric look of the dial is nevertheless balanced and invites curious eyes to see what the face of this elegant watch is all about.
The 670P movement operates at 3Hz with about 48 hours of power reserve. It is lavishly hand-decorated with a series of concentric Cotes de Genevé-style polish circles, which is a treat to view when looking at it through the sapphire crystal caseback window. The entire case itself is just 7.05mm – 7.7mm-thick, depending on the version. The Altiplano Tourbillon with the 18k white gold case and more robust level of diamond decoration needed a bit more thickness in order to accommodate the diamond-set dial. The 18k rose gold model is a bit thinner, given its use of a blue-toned meteorite dial.
Both of the watches are 41mm-wide, which wears large in the context of the thin bezels and thin cases. I love how these look on the wrist. Both of these Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon watches have bezels decorated with diamonds. On the 18k rose gold meteorite dial model, that is 1.44 carats of round-cut diamonds on the bezel (along with a diamond in the crown and set into the strap buckle). Many more diamonds are used for the 18k white gold model that features additional diamond decoration on the case and all over the dial.
While timepiece aficionados tend to spend relatively little time focusing on jewelry elements in wristwatches, properly setting a watch is a skill akin to putting together a complicated watch movement. Consider, if anything, the relatively small spaces and dearth of metal material in “ultra-thin” watches to carve out as cavities for stones to be set. The Altiplano Tourbillon with the superior numbrt of diamonds uses over 870 stones, the largest being baguette-cut diamonds around the bezel. Piaget wonderfully ensures a decent level of legibility in using baguette-cut stones around the periphery of the dial for the time, along with contrasting black-colored hour and minute hands. The dial is “frost-set,” which appears to be a sort of random pattern of brilliant (round) cut diamonds.
Piaget tends to do an excellent job when using precious and semi-precious materials to create its popular Altiplano family of products. Probably the three-hand automatic models (with micro-rotors) are the most popular among these, but their ultra-thin tourbillons add a wonderful flavor for serious luxury seekers. The Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon reference G0A44053 in 18k rose gold is part of a limited edition of 28 pieces at a price of $131,000 USD. The Reference G0A44031 is not strictly limited but part of a very small numbered series and has a price of $270,000 USD. Learn more at the Piaget website here.