The earliest timepieces were special orders for kings and queens, for whom no desire or detail was spared. But today customization reflects the modern-day collision between 21st-century consumer expectations and the capacity of Swiss watchmakers to offer anyone the ability to personalize their watches online.
Piaget began staking a claim in the personalization space six decades ago, when it offered clients at its New York boutique the opportunity to choose the aesthetic details of their timepieces through a program called “Style Selector.” In the 1970s, Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren and Salvador Dali were among the members of “Piaget Society” who took advantage of the offering, and created watches that helped the brand establish a reputation as the “it” watchmaker.
Now, with its “Infinitely Personal” concept, Piaget is returning to its bespoke roots with a contemporary take on the Style Selector. Using an online configurator, clients can customize two of the brand’s most popular models, the Altiplano Ultimate Concept, a 2 mm sliver of a timepiece that holds the title of the world’s thinnest mechanical watch, and the Altiplano Tourbillon.
For the Altiplano Ultimate Concept, clients can choose how they want the movement to look—selecting from multiple options for the color of the bridge, screws, dial, hands and main plate—the tone and material of the strap, and up to three initials or numbers they’d like to engrave on the right side of the dial. The total amount of possible permutations exceeds 195,000.
In the case of the Altiplano Tourbillon, the potential combinations top four million (!), starting with the size of the case (38 mm or 41 mm), and the different types of gold and gem settings. Beyond the rainbow options available for the dial color, Piaget is offering four hand-engraved guilloché enamel grand feu decorations and a mother-of-pearl version in four different hues. Clients can even request a dial in the shade of a specific Pantone color to match a personal photograph.
Then there’s the ring around the tourbillon cage, which can be personalized with a gem-set or plain finish and with or without an engraved message. The caseback is another canvas for personal engravings.
Naturally, the straps of both models come in a wide range of colors, materials and sizes.
The Infinitely Personal Concept pieces are priced upon request as clients are only limited by their own imaginations.