If a wristwatch is still a reliable marker of success, standing and savoir-faire – and by all means scoff away at the idea but, for better or worse, it frequently is – then I’ve an idea that the true sign of having made it is downsizing. On the way up, a big(ish) watch – from brands like Panerai, Breitling, even Audemars Piguet – may well be the thing needed to make an impact as you muscle your way through the management layers. But when you’re up there looking down, the discernment to go slim, elegant and subtle requires a different kind of confidence. It’s also much easier on the old shirt cuffs.
Now it’s done it with the chronograph. Chronos – stopwatch watches – have more moving parts and therefore tend to be chunkier, QED. Fiddlesticks, says Piaget, whose new Altiplano Chronograph is, at 8.24mm, considerably thinner than most dress watches. Not only that, it has a second time zone, and it’s a flyback (a more complex form of chronograph, which can be instantly reset with one push of the button – pointless now, but fun). It’s also devilishly handsome in crisp, dresswatch style.