Piaget Altiplano Flying Tourbillon Stone Marquetry Dial Hands-On

Piaget Altiplano Flying Tourbillon Stone Marquetry Dial Hands-On

A week has passed as of now and SIHH is still however a blur… And if I somehow managed to pick the blurriest piece of all, it would be the windows of the corners – yet exclusively after the innumerable straight faces that fly past me in that absolutely beige inside of the reasonable. When surging from one 30 to hour long balanced arrangement to the following, I generally must be head-somewhere down in my telephone or some other customer electronic gadget that requested my consideration, leaving time just to wave hi to companions and partners, yet none for window shopping. Accordingly, in this week long distance race most all windows with pretty watches, I didn’t will see at all… And yet, I was unable to miss this Piaget Altiplano Flying Tourbillon, with its green malachite marquetry dial – it was nearly asking for consideration, despite the fact that it was not in an unmistakable area of the Piaget stall. Luckily, I got an opportunity to go hands-on with it and its blue, lapis lazuli marquetry dial counterpart.

All watch pictures by David Bredan. Work in cycle pictures from Piaget.

On an individual note, I will say that, for various reasons, this green dial Altiplano was a common case of becoming hopelessly enamored from the outset sight. Every little thing about it, to me in any event, appeared to be both charmingly astonishing and reassuringly recognizable; exceptional but common. It was all stunning in the most genuine feeling of the word. Totally common for such issues, it was simply inevitably that I started to see its blemishes and I am yet to acknowledge them – obviously, the early introduction was simply excessively flawless to its benefit. Let’s start with the positives.


Wrapped in a 41mm wide, totally round cleaned lace of rose gold, with its limited, straight carries and thin profile, the outside of this green dialed Altiplano works more as a deliberately picked casing of a flawless artistic creation than something that would convey a lot of visual weight or significance in its own right. I’m sure there’s an incredible article in the distance about how picking some unacceptable casing can obliterate the survey joy of the best of artworks, and I’m likewise sure what’s been said there applies to this watch case simply the same.

The Altiplano truly sparkles in this setting significantly more so than when combined with a portion of the dull, more fundamental dials that Piaget offers further down the Altiplano evolved way of life. It is just since I understand how for quite a long time I’ve been attempting to “get” the Altiplano yet it not even once met up how this one does – there at last is an ideal harmony among dial and case, extents savvy, yet additionally in surfaces and colors thus on.

The dial is by all methods the gathering piece of this Piaget Altiplano Flying Tourbillon, something that remains constant in any event, when seen live face to face. The ticking and turning of the tourbillon can’t stay aware of the limitless example of lively shades of green and dark. It’s delivered by Hervé Obligi, a multi-capable craftsman – precisely the sort more brands should credit when they take his work and stamp their own names on it, as, amazingly, Piaget did in their authority documentation of the watch just as while introducing it to me at SIHH. When it’s an in-house ability of a brand that gives it to its labor force of mutiple, I’m significantly more willing to acknowledge that said creation strategy has a place with the brand – however when it’s only 1 individual delivering such a work, as it regularly is, they do merit the credit Piaget gave here.


Produced with a smaller than normal marquetry procedure throughout 2 to 3 weeks, the green malachite or blue lapis lazuli dials structure a winding example from the manner in which the individual pieces are cut, and afterward a progression of different examples that come both from the individual bits of stones and their direction. The manner in which the equals and perpendiculars work would be refreshingly noteworthy even in a printed or guilloché dial, however here, made up by what has all the earmarks of being unimaginably dainty and delicate bits of stones, it’s simply on another level.

As Obligi explained: “One of the hardest difficulties is to make the shade of the stone really lively by making realistic impacts on a particularly surface.” The shape of every component is correctly followed on the stone utilizing a sharp metal instrument. The plate is cut into very slight strips utilizing a small bow saw composed of a hazel tree limb and a rough covered steel wire. When removed, the components are changed and amassed with adjoining components. The confronting in this way composed is appended to a smooth red or white gold surface before heat sticking the joints by documenting the unfilled space between the angled edges with pine resin.

Hervé Obligi. Picture shots by juliencresp.com

This really is such a work that is difficult to speed up and automatize – it takes huge ability to pick the correct stone in any case, pick the right pieces and bits of it and afterward machine, modify, calibrate and collect it into an entire that looks so normal like these arbitrary bits of stone were constantly intended to fit thusly. Past the sheer nature of execution, it is this completely characteristic and unforced look that commands appreciation. I’m not astounded there’s only one person who does these for Piaget.

All this amazing play with stone marquetry would not have been conceivable to introduce in a particularly smooth structure without Piaget’s super slender types. Curiously, the road of stone marquetry opened in 1957 for Piaget because of its dispatch of the 9P development family that was just 2mm thick. This left much more space for the situation for thicker dials and subsequently they could start trying different things with stone marquetry. By 1963 in excess of 30 distinct kinds of stones discovered their place in Piaget’s collections.

This Altiplano Flying Tourbillon highlights the 4.6mm thick Caliber 670P that is currently furnished with another barrel to extend its force hold to 48 hours – that isn’t incredible, however isn’t terrible either from a slight development that needs to control a tourbillon. Discussing which, the carriage of the tourbillon, got uniquely from the caseback side, is created from titanium which, with all its 42 components introduced, still weighs just 0.2 grams (that’s 0.007 ounces).


I referenced over that it was inevitably that I could find this adoration from the outset sight’s blemishes or, as I ought to have said, imperfection – the disappointing completing on the tourbillon itself. The highest point of the confine gives off an impression of being sandblasted, while its external edge, particularly the one that closes in the point over the “P” shows up hand-sloped, yet the rest is disappointing. The P even has a slight defect to its left side, while the internal edges of the carriage and the screw-makes a beeline for be not exceptionally refined all things considered. When talking six figures in a generally low component tally watch, and particularly when a bigger component is shown noticeably, it ought to be totally heavenly, as I would like to think. Titanium isn’t precisely new and despite the fact that it is honestly hard to work with, I think there’s some opportunity to get better here. I know we’re dwelling on petty distinctions, however we aren’t discussing a passage level watch – not as far as valuing, nor presentation.

The rest of the development is flawless, despite the fact that it indeed isn’t a lot to think of home about. Panerai has been getting more imaginative of late with delivering its large plates all the more outwardly intriguing with some self-assertive patterns to a great extent. So while I see such extra-meager developments can’t bear to have huge scaffolds crossing across the caseback, a couple of more “negative spaces” with more sloped edges would help make the caseback see really fascinating. Amazingly, the inward spokes of the enormous unnecessary extra person wheel under the tourbillon, just as any remaining edges and subsets on the back have hand-inclined and cleaned edges, which is as it ought to be.

The white gold variant with its blue lapis lazuli dial packs what gives off an impression of being a metric ton of jewels with bigger, roll cut stones set into the bezel and splendid cut diamonds set into the side and upper section of the drags just as into two columns around the case-band. On a side note, we have absolutely been seeing an uptick in “iced out” watches at this SIHH, yet the nature of stones and their setting have shifted incredibly, to say the least. Here it is nearly like the diamond setters at Piaget liable for making this specific watch realized it was to go with a dial of such quality, and they truly made a special effort to accomplish something excellent. Simply staggering stuff, the sort that won’t make you love precious stone set watches on the off chance that you don’t as of now, however will dazzle you in the event that you do.


This specific blue model had a bunch of lapis lazuli pieces that were a smidgen more energizing to me than the stone generally ends up being. With those couple of bigger, more focused yellow territories by the tourbillon and the fluctuating profundities of blue wherever else this specific dial took after a guide to me, with little islands and the flows of the seas on show. Therefore I truly appreciated this very piece however it likewise made me understand how when commissioning one of these from Piaget, you’ll presumably need to have the option to look over the dials accessible – the tones and examples can differ and what might be a miss according to one can end up being a hit according to another.

Now, taking a gander at these pictures I understand that these watches show up significantly more ladylike in pictures than they did live, particularly when there is an attention on the lashes and clasps and not on the actual watch from a more frontal view. By the by, at 41mm wide and not super meager, these watches have plentiful volume and presence to deliver them adequately manly when exhausted in nature. I can’t help thinking about what they’d look like on a dim or an earthy colored lash. They’d most likely show up less “seasonal” and subsequently that amount more masculine.

Utterly immersed with all the vintage garbage as of late, this watch is however reviving as it could be easily ageless. This watch, given its size and stylish equilibrium will stay pertinent and wearable any longer – in fact vastly – than those dull diversions. I hail Piaget for innovatively matching one of their developments and cases with the commissioning of a specialist expert. The outcome is such a cooperative energy that takes more imagination and knowledge than all commemoration and reverence and celebration arrivals of SIHH 2018 combined.

It is vain however to compare this watch to whatever else. You either like it and get it, or you don’t and it’s all great in any case. There are just 8 of each being made and I’m sure there are 16 individuals out there who will purchase and, ideally, wear them. Valuing for the Piaget Altiplano Flying Tourbillon with the malachite marquetry dial and the lapis lazuli marquetry dial with the jewel set case is into the six-figure range. piaget.com