Flash News: Piaget Altiplano 38mm Goat

By Thierry Ané on December 8, 2014

As you may already know, February 19th, 2015 will mark the start of the Year of the Goat in the Chinese calendar and, like many Swiss luxury brands Piaget takes this opportunity to reassert their ties with Asia by paying tribute to the Chinese New Year with the new Altiplano Goat.

Part of the “Art & Excellence” collection, this 38 mm model in white gold and diamond-set bezel showcases the brand’s mastery in decorative techniques as well as their Fine Watchmaking tradition thanks to the 430P manually-wound calibre that animates this time-only model.

Altiplano for the Year of the Horse

This annual celebration has become some kind of tradition for Piaget since 2012 and the very first model dedicated to the Chinese zodiac: the Altiplano Dragon. After this chimeric creature, the renowned Maison introduced the Altiplano Snake and the Altiplano Horse to pay tribute to the following two signs in the 12-year cycle of animals.

For a sense of unity and probably with collectors in mind, the Manufacture opted once again for the cloisonné enamel technique to adorn the dial of their latest creation. This complex ornamental art where gold wires are used to form the design before being filled with different colours of enamel powders fired at temperatures between 820° and 850° Celsius is particularly adapted for this monochromatic piece: it allows to better isolate the colours and ensure an optimally clear vision of the grey shading.

Altiplano for the Year of the Snake

Just like with the previous three models, the motif is exquisite with an astonishing richness of details. The watch wonderfully highlights Piaget’s long lasting tradition with the “Métiers d’Art” and the brand’s flawless sense of style with a thematic that could easily create models of questionable taste. If I am being completely honest, though, when I first saw the watch, I was a little taken aback by the design itself as it seems more like a ram than a goat to me!

So is it the Year of the Goat, the Year of the Ram or less specific Year of the Sheep? A few animal facts first: sheep (Ovis aries) are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Males are called rams, females are ewes and young animals are lambs. Another member of the Bovidae family is the goat (Capra aegagrus hircus). The name is also used for females while males are referred to as billy goats and young goats are called kids. Still following? If not, the only thing you have to keep in mind is that the one with the long curly horns is more the ram than the billy goat, hence the question.

Altiplano for the Year of the Dragon

After some quick research, it appears that there is no consensus whatsoever on the matter. The Chicago Tribune asked three Asian groups in Chicago and "the Vietnamese community calls it the Year of the Goat; a Taiwanese and one Chinese group says it is the Year of the Sheep, while another Chinese organization names it the Year of the Goat. Most Koreans interviewed call it the Year of the Ram". There is thus no mistake with Piaget's interpretation even though it remains a little odd to me compared to, say, the design selected by Vacheron Constantin for the The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac - Year of the Goat.

In any case, the watch showcases outstanding craftsmanship are represents a refined homage to the Asian culture that will undoubtedly trigger some buying spree in China. All the more so that the watch is limited to just 38 pieces and is exclusively dedicated to Piaget boutiques.

For more information please visit the Piaget web site.

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: