A Swiss high-end brand Piaget is renowned for its products in both watchmaking and jewelry and this is particularly visible in its newcomers from the Altiplano series. The new watches are heavily influenced by the original timekeepers from the 1960s which were made with exotic hard stone dials of exceptional beauty. However, the timepieces made half a century ago, as well as the latest ones, are not solely based on the use of precious decorative materials. The production of these delicate watches with thick hard stone dials was enabled by the horological breakthroughs by the brand – specifically by the creation of the legendary ultra-thin 9P hand-wound movement. Based on this caliber which was 2mm thick, the new timepieces utilize 430P movement which is just 1 mm thicker than its predecessor.
The manually-wound 430P movement used in the new Altiplano Hard Stone Dial watches consists of 131 components and integrates 18 jewels in its construction. It beats at the frequency of 21,600 vph (or 3 Hz) and provides a power reserve that lasts for about 43 hours. Its only functions are hours and minutes, which is not that surprising, considering its dimensions. The caliber is also adorned with Haute Horlogerie finishing which includes blued screws, beveled bridges, a circular-grained mainplate and a circular Cotes de Geneve pattern.
As it has been said, the new Altiplano watches are influenced by the original timekeepers with hard stone dials that appeared in the 1960s. During that period, the brand had more than thirty different models of this sort. They soon became were fashionable, especially after a renowned watchmaker and jeweler Yves Piaget became involved in their production back in 1967. Soon, these watches became even more sought-after and were worn by some of the timeless icons of high-end style, such as Elizabeth Taylor and Jacqueline Kennedy. Unlike it was the case in the 1960s, the modern models with hard stone dials and mechanical calibers are available in just four incarnations, while they are two more new quartz-driven models of this sort.
Mechanical Versions with the 38mm Width: Malachite and Lapis Lazuli Dials
The four new mechanical watches can be divided into two categories based on their dimensions. The two larger ones are made with the diameter of 38mm and the thickness of 6.6mm (all models, regardless of the type of caliber and dimensions, are with round cases). The first one of them is the one with the reference G0A37202 which is fitted into a yellow gold case and made with a malachite dial, the material known for its delicacy and fragility. It features an intense green shade with strikethroughs in a slightly lighter color. The second of the larger models is the G0A37200 which is made of a housing from white gold and a lapis lazuli dial studded with pyrite in order to create an appearance that resembles a starry night.
Smaller 34mm Mechanical Incarnations: the Heart of Ruby and Jade Dials
On the other hand, two smaller mechanical models are made with the width of 34mm and are 0.1mm thinner than the larger ones (6.5mm). The smaller versions are likewise made with bezels encrusted with 72 brilliant-cut diamonds with the approximate total weight of 0.5 ct. The first one of them is the version G0A37204 which has a dial with another one of the most desirable stones which is extremely delicate and hard to shape – the heart of ruby. This material has a vibrant and warm purple color which is paired with a rose gold case. The final of the mechanical Piaget Altiplano watches with hard stone dials is the G0A37205 timekeeper featuring a green face made from jade and a case made of yellow gold. Each of four mechanical iterations is combined with a black alligator strap which fastens with an ardillon buckle.
Quartz Versions: Opal and Turquoise
Furthermore, there are also two new hard stone timepieces with a quartz movement – Caliber 690P. These additional versions have the width of just 24mm and the thickness of 5.7mm. Just like the mechanical Altiplano timekeepers, they are fitted in 18k gold housings. The first one is the G0A37206 with a white gold case and a lovely blue opal dial, while the other one (with the reference number G0A37207) sports a pink gold case and a dial made of turquoise. Unlike the mechanical models, the quartz ones are paired with satin straps. Regardless of the incarnation and the type of caliber, each of Piaget Altiplano Hard Stone Dial timepieces is individually numbered and available exclusively in Piaget boutiques.