Hidden Gems: The Piaget Altiplano

The burgeoning watch enthusiast and insecure teenager share a similar predicament – what will people think? The negative connotation of flashy watches (while sometimes true) sheds a negative light on the watch community. For young professionals or those wishing to fly under the radar, this Piaget Altiplano offers the perfect solution. This watch is a hidden gem, a beacon to other watch lovers. It signals class and sophistication while perfectly accenting a level of understated modesty.


Piaget has a long and rich history when it comes to watchmaking. Founded by Georges Piaget in 1874, in La Côte-aux-Fées, the brand started out only producing watch movements. It wasn’t until the twentieth century that they actually began making their own line of watches. Originally on a small farm in Switzerland, the brand continued to grow and in 1943 registered the “Piaget” trademark. Shortly after in 1945, they moved into a larger factory and began to ramp up production.

In 1957, Piaget introduced the Calibre9P hand-wound movement. This movement, awarded “Worlds Thinnest Movement,” came in at an astonishingly thin 2mm. A mere three years later, they introduced the Calibre12P. It came in at 2.3mm thick and was the world’s thinnest automatic movement. Even to this day, movements that thin are still remarkable feats of micro engineering. After many years of continuing to innovate, the Richmond Group purchased them in 1988. They still own the brand to this day.


The Watch

Cased in 18K white gold, the 40mm case of the Altiplano looks as innocent as a $200 Daniel Wellington. The dial is stark and modern. To the casual observer, it’s nothing more than just a “nice watch.” However, flip the case over and the exhibition back gives a framework to the in-house 1205P movement. Powered by the beautifully finished movement, the sub-second hand glides in the Art Deco inspired dial.

At an approximate thickness of only 6.3mm, this watch melts into the wrist. Coming on a beautiful crocodile strap, the Altiplano wears incredibly comfortable on the wrist. This is a true gentlemen’s watch, best worn with a suit or better yet, a tuxedo. The refinement of the Altiplano flies under the radar to most. However, to those who know, it doesn’t get much better for under $20,000. This watch makes a statement to the select few who can truly appreciate this form of mechanical wrist-art. The 18K white gold gives it the perfect balance to complement the 40mm case size.

Closing Thoughts

A Piaget sitting in a cactus

This watch is for the guy who not only has to get dressed up but also enjoys it. The art of a well-tailored suit and silhouette of a beautiful Italian loafer are the ensemble this watch plays off. Its thin profile and elegantly understated dial make it so much more than just a mere watch. This is the definition of a timepiece. Frank Sinatra once said, “You buy a Ferrari when you want to be somebody. You buy a Lamborghini when you are somebody.” I’d say that sentiment rings true when talking about this watch. You buy flashy gold watches when you want to be somebody. But, you buy a watch like the Piaget Altiplano when you are somebody.


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