As seems to be the case every year, the December holidays are upon us. And, while deep down, we all KNOW that our family, friends, and good health are what really matter, it simply wouldn’t be human of us not to have a wish list of at least a couple of shamelessly decadent material things that we would really love to have, “just because”.
In my case, that could be lots of things actually, as I have far too many longstanding expensive hobbies for my own good. Since this is a watch blog after all, I suppose I’ll stick to the topic which keeps me fed and warm. Which brings us to the wishful wanton want – a dedicated dress watch.
I don’t have a dedicated dress watch, and I know what you are thinking..”a DEDICATED dress watch?! Couldn’t any reasonably decent looking watch be used for that? What the hell is a DEDICATED dress watch? Is this guy nuts??” For those who have umpteen watches and counting, you of course know EXACTLY what I am talking about. My Chopard L.U.C. Twist is an absolutely gorgeous watch which is rather on the dressy side, but its just a tad too big and a smidge too thick to be in the DEDICATED dress watch category – that kind of timepiece should be ultra-slim, under 40mm in diameter, and while I’m at it, manually wound, if possible.
Which one do I want? Two strong contenders have got my attention in the last half year – the Girard-Perregaux 1966 watch, and the Piaget Altiplano watch. Both are beautiful rose gold timepieces, that are ultra-slim, measure less than 40mm and boast the manufacture movements that my watch obsessed soul craves in contradiction to all reason and common sense supplied by my wife, who tries her level best to keep me on the straight and narrow. A few month ago, the Girard-Perregaux seemed to be “it”, but having handled a freshly unwrapped Piaget Altiplano the other day (along with the new Emperador Coussin – a really stunning watch!), I must say, that the balance has narrowly shifted. The oh-so-slim case, the gently domed dial and crystal… truly tasty stuff. Yes, the Girard-Perregaux has those also, and all are done very well, too…. but the Piaget’s movement is MANUALLY wound, while the GP relies on a very slender selfwinding movement. Very nice indeed, but not manual. Plus, the Girard-Perregaux has a sweeping second hand and a date display – great stuff, but not necessary on the dedicated dress watch, which really needs only the hour and the minute hand. Levity aside, the Piaget Altiplano is very impressive, and I encourage anyone who lusts after a bona fide dress watch to have a long, appreciative look at it. White gold or rose gold you ask? Doesn’t matter-go with whichever turns you on. Turn the crown, examine the details of the wafer-thin case and the baton dial, then slip it on. It is exquisite, period. I will also go out on a limb and say that Piaget sometimes seems to not get the recognition it should among its competition, such as Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, or Vacheron Constantin, and that should not be the case. Yes, these brands are truly great, but so is Piaget, and seeing, handling, and winding one will be all the proof you need that this Manufacture deserves full inclusion amongst the well-known giants.
Now, I just need to talk myself out of it, and to be honest, I think I can; after all, a dedicated dress watch is something I have occasion to wear just about never. But next year? Well, you just never know!