Dubbed the Altiplano Origin China Special Limited Edition, the 40 mm piece is limited to just 21 units. The watch is set in an 18-karat white gold case with a green lacquered dial, topped by pink gold-colored indexes and hands. One of the pieces, numbered 00, will be auctioned by Phillips in Hong Kong on November 28. It’s expected to sell for more than the estimate of HK$250,000, about US$32,000 at current exchange.
The special-edition watch was designed as a wearable tribute to the legendary Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, also known as the “roof of the world.” The massive elevated region—which covers parts of China, India, Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Tajikistan and Kygrystan—is the world’s highest and largest plateau. Its 970,000 square miles make it five times larger than France.
To capture the plateau’s scale in the Altiplano collection’s minimalist silhouette, the dial is lacquered in three layers of the hue. Each of those layers has a subtle gradient tint around the edges, designed to mirror the shades of green seen across the plateau’s landscape. Its pink-gold hands and indexes, alternatively, are meant to be a reminder of the great mountains that border the region, including Mount Everest and K2.
The watch’s other key features include a star in the second counter, at 4 o’clock, that’s meant to mirror the North Star visible from the plateau at night. The watch also has an engraved sapphire-crystal caseback that reads “Piaget” and “Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo” to mark to mark the collab. Each example’s limited-edition number is also visible from the caseback, making them true collector’s items.
Equipped with Piaget’s incredibly thin 1205P calibre, the new timepiece runs at a frequency of 21,600 vph and has a 44-hour power reserve. The movement, which includes an off-centered oscillating weight in pink gold, can also be seen through the openwork caseback. A green alligator strap with an 18-karat white-gold ardillion buckle ties the piece together.
The Altiplano Origin China Special Limited Edition will be showcased in person across Asia in Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. And on November 28, Phillips will offer model number 00 in an auction at the JW Marriott Hotel in Hong Kong. The other 20 pieces will only be available to the mainland Chinese market.
“As a watchmaker with a long and profound history, Piaget has created many celebrated timepieces that are favored by watch lovers and collectors around the world,” says Piaget CEO Benjamin Comar. “Together with Phillips, we tap into the heritage of our respective fields and create this iconic watch. We believe it will become a classic with enduring charm.”