High time: The Piaget Altiplano celebrates 60 years
The luxury watchmaker has named 2017 "the year of the Altiplano", and it kicks off the festivities with two chic releases
Piaget watches have always been about unostentatious glamour, coupled with horological sophistication. In 1957, the brand introduced the Altiplano, and its ultra-slim silhouette, purity of dial and refined style won it a place in watchmaking history. Marking the 60th anniversary of the launch, Piaget has declared 2017 the year of the Altiplano and unveiled a limited-edition collection.
Historically, Piaget has always been involved in the pursuit of the slimmest timepiece, creating technical innovations that not only result in superior performance and reliability, but that also have – no small feat – the ability to be housed in an ultra-slender case. In doing so, Piaget created a new horological design lexicon.
Named for the high-altitude plateau of the Andes cordillera, the Altiplano reflects the region's pure and natural beauty in its restrained grace and discreetly refined architecture. The Altiplano's perfect ergonomics are matched by its alluring aesthetic, which has evolved through the decades. Always attractive and graceful, it is dressy yet casual, which is a siren call to those with a love of jet-set glamour, as epitomised in the 1960s – when it was presented as "the watch of the international elite" – by the iconic French actor Alain Delon, and today with Piaget’s international ambassador, the actor Ryan Reynolds.
Now, six decades on, two models – one hand-winding at 38mm (£16,100), the other self-winding at 43mm (£21,500) – have been launched, and will be added to during the year. Inspired by the iconic model's history, they have a white-gold case and feature a plain, polished bezel, slim baton hands, and chic sunburst dial in the historical Piaget blue, an intense shade between cobalt and midnight. They are contemporary with a nod to the past, debonair and sexy, luxurious and unpretentious. These timeless timepieces are charismatic and charming, still eliciting the glamour of a more romantic era, with a modern disposition.
Joanne Glasbey is watch editor for The Times