Piaget Altiplano turns 60, and it’s still the choice of today’s jetset sophisticate – City A.M.

Posted: February 6, 2017 at 3:16 pm

Last week the great and the good of the luxury world descended upon Geneva Airports Palexpo convention centre for the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie which basically translates as glamorous showcase of mindbogglingly complicated timepieces.

So glamorous, in fact, that even the iron-clad bleakness of Palexpo was not enough to dissuade a healthy crop of A-list visitors, among them Patrick Stewart, Lewis Hamilton and that loveable puppy of hunk, Ryan Reynolds Piagets latest signing alongside equally fabulous Jessica Chastain.

When hes not extolling the virtues of BT Smart Hubs wi-fi reach, Reynolds is persuading newly wealthy millenials that Piaget is no longer the preserve of retired bankers or Steve Martin in Planes, Trains and Automobiles and quite right too; the 60th-anniversary Altiplano pieces he was at SIHH to promote are as crisp and contemporary as youd want from a dress watch (the fact it was his love of that Eighties roadtrip movie that convinced him to sign with Piaget simply makes Ryan even more loveable).

What all this overlooks, however, is the technical mastery involved in realising such a slimline mechanical watch, while maintaining an accuracy that barely wobbles beyond 3 seconds a day. This trademark expertise began in 1957, when Valentin Piaget presented his ultra-thin 9P manual-winding movement to the Basel watch fair.

Being just 2mm thick, the 9P was universally hailed for the elegance of its profile, as well as for its performance and its reliability. Above all, it enabled a broader 20.5 mm dial opening, heralding a new, clean, expansive aesthetic hence the Altiplano name, after the Atacama Deserts pancake-flat Bolivian Plateau.

Ticking inside Ryans new 38mm-diameter is a worthy modern-day heir to the 9P, the manual-winding calibre 430P at just 2.1 mm thick, its combination of winding barrel, geartrain and ticking balance no more voluminous than a two-franc coin.

As confirmed by our two other examples below, and befitting Mr Reynolds zeitgeist appeal, the thinner watch is clearly having something of a moment no bad thing after so many years of flashy, outsized cuff-busters but Piagets is the one to get, and probably will be for another 60 years.

The starting price for the Piaget Altiplano 60th Anniversary pieces is 16,100 (for blue dial model in white gold); Ryan Reynolds green-dial version in yellow gold, pictured, is 22,400. For more information, visit

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Piaget Altiplano turns 60, and it's still the choice of today's jetset sophisticate - City A.M.

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