Out-of-this-world experience with Piaget Altiplano Meteorite Dial
Published on 11 March 2021
This week, we have invited Kennedy’s content partner Andy Green (@andygreenlive) to spend a week with the ultra-refined Piaget Altiplano Automatic 40mm with Meteorite Dial on his Wrist.
Here is what Andy has to share with us.
The first thing you notice when you reach for this particular Piaget Altiplano Automatic 40mm is, of course, the out-of-this-world meteorite dial which is bursting with texture. And secondly, before you place it on your wrist, you will notice the slenderness and lightweight construction, which feels a little counterintuitive given the case has been crafted from 18-karat rose gold. You feel instantly special, the moment the elegant strap drapes around the wrist, as you secure the matching rose gold ardillon buckle.
Setting this ultra-thin timepiece apart from the iconic Piaget Altiplano collection is, without a doubt, the celestial dial. An uncommon material, Piaget’s use of meteorite adds to the complexity of this legendary timepiece. In natural light, the meteorite dial comes up a slate grey, with a stone-like finish. This watch is a limited edition of just 300 units, and each piece is unique.
The dial of this watch is in effect an exceptionally thin slice of meteorite, which has been treated to bring out the incredible natural patterns. The distinctive geometric structure of the material is known as a Widmanstätten pattern. Meteorite is an uncommon dial material due to its delicate nature, requiring a great deal of technical mastery, something Piaget have in spades. This pattern is impossible to recreate on earth, as it is the result of the metals in the meteorite slowly cooling in space over thousands of years.
Complementing the dial, sleek baton markers and hands, providing a nice match to the rose gold case. They’re elegant and understated, and ensure all focus remains on the extra-terrestrial dial. At 3 o’clock you’ll also find a useful date window for extra functionality.
At just 31.84 grams, it’s no surprise that on the wrist, the weight of this Piaget Altiplano barely registers; despite being crafted from precious metal. However, the warm glow from the 18-karat rose gold case does all the talking, especially in the afternoon sun. A smooth polished bezel, ensures exciting light play, without drawing attention from the striking dial.
The case itself is 40mm in diameter and wears on the smaller size thanks to the short lugs. And at just 6.36mm thick, the term ‘ultra-thin’ has been appropriately used. These proportions truly are noteworthy, and in my opinion, are ideal for a dress watch – as you can easily and discreetly slip it under a shirt cuff.
Powering this gorgeous watch is an equally stunning (and technically impressive) self-winding mechanical movement – the manufacture 1203P calibre. Iconic for being incredibly thin, the 1203P movement is a mere 3mm thick. Yes, you read correctly. This is achieved through numerous space-saving decisions, like the use of a compact and efficient micro-rotor to ensure as thin a profile as possible. This truly beautiful calibre is very much on display, visible through a clear sapphire crystal caseback.
Offering 44 hours of power reserve, the movement finishing is truly noteworthy. With circular Côtes de Genève finishing, a circular-grained main plate, bevelled bridges with blued screws and wheels with a sunburst motif. The cherry on top is the oscillating weight in 22k gold is engraved with the Piaget coat of arms. Each morning as I reached for the Piaget Altiplano, I found myself pausing to admire the movement, a treat to gaze upon, before being captivated by the dial.
The supple grey alligator leather is a perfect companion to the slate grey dial, echoing the texture of the meteorite while the rose gold ardillon buckle matches the case. On the wrist, I found the strap to be soft and comfortable, a well-placed choice given the slender proportions all-round.
It’s clean, simple and elegant, with a unique twist. If you’re after a special timepiece that uses the finest in ultra-thin movement technology, with ethereal looks – then this ultra-thin Piaget Altiplano might just be for you.
Limited to just 300 pieces, the Piaget Altiplano Automatic 40mm with meteorite dial is $43,300 AUD.