Swiss watchmaker Piaget has created something exceptional for its first-ever collector’s piece, but unless you’re based in mainland China you’re unlikely to get your hands on one. If you find yourself in Bangkok, Singapore or a handful of other Asian cities you might catch a glimpse – but the bar is set high to own this watch. Why? Because the Piaget x Phillips Altiplano Origin China Special Limited Edition is restricted to 21 pieces. And only one of those is available outside of China. That watch – number 00 – is going on tour, before heading to Hong Kong for auction at the end of November.
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It’s been nearly 150 years since Piaget began making watches and 65 since it debuted the famed ultra-thin Altiplano model – and only now has the brand created a watch specifically for collectors. Highlighting its ambition to capture a stake in China’s growing luxury market, Piaget has designed a wonderful watch that references the Chinese landscape. With that in mind, 20 of the 21 watches are only available on the Chinese mainland.
This exciting release is a collaboration with Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo – the watch department at Phillips auction house. To give you an idea of its stature, in 2021 it grossed more from watch sales than any previous auction house in watch auction history. So this is a notable collaboration and called for a special watch.
Piaget’s Altiplano Origin China Special Limited Edition delivers and is instantly recognisable as being faithful to the brand’s DNA. It features the hallmarks of the Altiplano collection, including the signature sub-dial at 4 o’clock and a date window repositioned to 9 o’clock. When originally released in 1957 the Altiplano was one of the thinnest watches in the world, and this new model retains that ultra-thin aesthetic. The Altiplano name comes from the Spanish for Plateau and is noted at the 8 o’clock marker.
Continuing that theme – a flat plateau – Piaget has styled this watch around the majestic landscapes of the world’s highest plateau – China’s vast Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Piaget’s unique Altiplano design is enhanced by a rich green dial – lacquered in three layers, each with a subtle gradient effect. The classically styled case is 40mm wide, forged from white gold and has slim lugs that reinforce the minimalist elegance. Piaget is renowned for its ultra-thin mechanical movements and the Altiplano Origin China Special Limited Edition is powered by the 1205P calibre, meaning the watch is only 6.36mm thick.
This is a watch that most of us will have to lust after from afar. But if you do want to get your hands on it, head to Hong Kong for the auction on 28th November – the estimate is USD$32,000.
Piaget x Phillips Altiplano Origin China Special Limited Edition
Case: 18K White Gold
Movement: Piaget Manufacture Ultra-thin Self-winding
Strap: Green Alligator Leather
Water Resistance: 30M
Price: USD $32,000