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Piaget Marks Its 150th Anniversary With Its Watches and Wonders Offerings

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

The Maison showcases its watchmaking prowess and jewellery-making savoir-faire at this momentous occasion.

Back in February, well ahead of Watches and Wonders, Piaget gave us a sneak preview of its 150th-anniversary releases in the form of the vintage-chic Polo 79, signalling that what is old will be novel again for the brand. And indeed, we witnessed Piaget revisiting its House signatures at the fair, offering fresh takes on familiar icons while turning heads and setting a world record with aplomb.

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon
The Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon currently hold the world record for the thinnest tourbillon watch.

Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

The headline-grabber of the lot is the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon. This, of course, is a timely reminder of Piaget’s illustrious legacy in ultra-thin watchmaking, with milestones such as the 2mm-thin Calibre 9P in 1957, the 2.3mm-thin 12P micro-rotor movement in 1960, and, more recently, 2018’s Altiplano Ultimate Concept (AUC) that held the record of the thinnest mechanical watch at the time of its launch with a mere 2mm thickness. The new watch is the successor of the latter, adding a flying tourbillon to the mix while astoundingly maintaining the svelte 2mm height, making it the thinnest tourbillon watch ever.

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon
The Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon’s 41.5mm case is crafted in a cobalt alloy, which offers an excellent thinness-to-hardness ratio.

The AUC Tourbillon’s most apparent inheritance from its forbear is the fusion of the movement into the case, where the caseback also serves as the movement’s mainplate. The 41.5mm case is still made from a cobalt alloy, which offers the best thinness-to-hardness ratio. But make no mistake that it is just an evolution of its predecessor. According to Piaget, adding a flying tourbillon required the redesign of 90 per cent of the original AUC’s components and even the development of new machinery. The space constraint also forced a reimagining of the tourbillon. Here, it is not held in place by an upper bridge but peripherally by a ceramic ball bearing that drives its one-minute rotation. Remarkably, despite the 25 per cent additional power required by the tourbillon, the watch still manages to deliver a power reserve of around 40 hours. 

Piaget Polo Date 150th Anniversary Editions
The Polo Date 150th Anniversary Editions combine the distinctive design elements of the modern Polo collection with the signature horizontal gadroons of the 1979 original.

Polo Date 150th Anniversary Editions

Deftly bridging the gap between the original Polo watch of 1979 and the modern cushion-shaped revamp introduced in 2016, the Polo Date 150th Anniversary Editions offer practically the best of both worlds. Presented as a pair of his and hers models, each limited to 300 pieces, the stainless steel tickers boast modern flourishes, including the distinctive case shape and interchangeable rubber straps in beige or brown with embossed grooves. The latter, of course, echoes the horizontal gadroons of the Polo 79, which also appear on the dial of the watches. Both driven by self-winding Manufacture movements – Calibre 1110P for the 42mm and 500P1 for 36mm – the ladies model has added glamour thanks to 60 brilliant-cut diamonds set into its bezel and more diamonds on its hour markers.

Piaget High Jewellery Watches
The Hidden Gem Cuff Watch (centre) is flanked by the Aura watches, all of which demonstrate Piaget’s jewellery-making savoir-faire.

High Jewellery Watches

Speaking of glamour, Piaget also took the opportunity to revisit some of its most iconic High Jewellery timepieces, including the Cuff Watches introduced in 1969 and 1989’s Aura. Perhaps spurred by the Hidden Treasures Cuff Watch winning the Ladies Watch prize at 2023’s GPHG, this year’s Hidden Gem Cuff Watch is no less spectacular with its black opal dial surrounded by an almost coral-like gold chain cuff, each twisted expertly by hand. The Aura, on the other hand, is a true proponent of the jewellery-as-watch trend, with two unique pieces dripping with rubies, pink sapphires, and diamonds demonstrating the Maison’s gem-setting savoir-faire as well as its horological prowess in the form of the ultra-thin manual-winding Manufacture 40P movement beating within.

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jewellery watch, Piaget, Sports luxe, Watches and Wonders, ultra-thin watch, Watches and Wonders 2024


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