February 8, 2008
by Ariel Adams
Piaget is a watch maker I love. I may give it a hard time because it reminds me petite European man in flamboyant attire, but Piaget makes nice looking watches. Piaget came to the watch scene from a jewelers perspective, so everything had to look nice. Their watches each embody a degree of minimalism with subtle accents of top design flair. These are extremely attractive watches for people innately comfortable with their sense of taste. Flicking out their Piaget nonchalantly to tell the time, realizing it looks that good without expression.
The newest addition to the Piaget watch line family is the Piaget Altiplano Petit Seconds. That is a fancy way for saying that it is a three-handed watch with a small subsidiary seconds dials asymmetrically placed in the top left-hand corner, which is really the major appeal of this watch. Traditionally, Piaget watches have focused on detail orientated minimalist watches, with a high degree of symmetry using high quality materials. Look at most Piaget watches and you will discover platinum, gold, or white gold watches that are very easy on the eye with a distinct symmetrical appeal. Stepping away from this tradition, the Altiplano Petit Seconds throws an extra point of focus on the watch. Not just a mere sub-dial either, this seconds dial has a half circle adjoining the full circle. The effect is appealing, but it is unclear why. There is a degree of three-dimensionality that is created, as well as another semi-circle that add to the overall theme. Another effect is for the semi-circle to help “anchor” the subsidiary dial without it looking too misplaced on the face. Not being enough of a designer, the best comment I can make is that the placement is well-done and fitting of the Piaget name.
The name “Altiplano” literally means “high plain.” Whether this regards the “elevated” status of the watch and its design, or it refers to a geographic location best suited to appreciate this watch, it is a fittingly “high-class term.” The Altiplano is a very thin watch with a movement just 2.5mm thick. To allow for this slim size, it has a manually wound movement, which requires winding from time to time. This however is an in-house movement and offers over 60 hours of power reserve. So you only have to wind the watch each couple of days. Piaget is uncommon in the jeweler class of watch makers that provide manufacture movements.
So here you have it, Piaget has filled the small yet open gap in its lineup of slim, stylish, yet slightly avant garde watches. What will they come up with next?
See Piaget watches on eBay here.