Each dial requires over 65 hours of handwork by Maier, and that’s after all the planning that goes into figuring out the exact workflow in advance. No mistakes can be made, as once a hole is made in the dial, it cannot be filled in and ink will take when it is applied. A single square millimeter contains between 120 and 200 individual dots. We had the opportunity to sit down with Maier at SIHH and when asked what tool he finds most valuable for his craft, he replied “a great microscope” without thinking twice. No surprises there.

The watch wears extremely well on the wrist, exactly as you would expect from a 38mm Altiplano. And while the dial is definitely on the ornate side, the retrained color palate keeps it from being too loud or obtrusive. The rose gold version has slight brown tones in the dial, while the white gold version remains monochromatic throughout. Typically, a watch like this might be something we’d want to appreciate from a distance rather than on our own wrists, but the Altiplano Scrimshaw strikes a nice balance between artistry and wearability.

Due to limited quantities of mammoth ivory and the amount of time Maier must dedicate to each piece, the Altiplano Scrimshaw will be made in limited quantities. There will be approximately 40 pieces each, in white gold and pink gold. These quantities are not yet final though and could change before the limited edition is made official.

The Altiplano Scrimshaw is priced at approximately 50,000 CHF and you can visit Piaget for more.