The 2nd Most Important Vintage Piaget

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Yes, without doubt the most important vintage Piaget is the Black Tie Beta21 ref15102 that was owned by Andy Warhol (right side, 1973) -- a watch that is very characteristic in its appearance; might be a central and brand-defining icon for the years ahead; was horological relevant and brought and still resembles the glamour of the Yves Piaget-forged Piaget-Society in just one artefact, no doubt.

But that said, the 2nd most important vintage Piaget seems to be the direct precedessor of this Warhol-Piaget: The original VCA-sold Black Tie, ref15101 (left side, 1971). Why?

  • it is the father of the Warhol-Watch: the genetic source-code of the modern Black Tie;
  • it shares the exact same hands & dial, that was used on the Warhol-Watch -- although it has some oxidation: dark sunburst with the Piaget-signature 3D-indexes;
  • it was sold in New York 1971 and so two years before the Warhol-timepiece, that was sold 1973 in New York, also;
  • it is doublesigned by Van Cleef & Arpels -- the most important partner for Piaget in late '60s and '70s and the address-book for the later Piaget-Society;
  • it is not only the 1st Swiss quartz-watch but also Piagets direct technological precedessor of the quartz-caliber Piaget 7P -- one of the three technological pillars that had been the foundation of the brands upward move until reaching the top in the '80s: cal9P, cal12P and the cal7P;
  • even more, it is not possible to note without a smile, that -- given the strict limitation and the low quantities produced of the original Black Tie (ref15101): we assume <80 pieces -- Andy Warhol simply did not get the original but had to be statisfied with the unlimited successor ref15102; smile, yes but dont laugh out loud: because this is by the way an overlooked fact and reason for the so called Beta22-variants: Piaget (ref14102, ref15102), Patek (ref3597, 3603), Omega, Rolex and IWC all used the not CEH- but Omega-produced and slightly modified movements for their 2nd production-batch of quartz-watches;

All that is interesting and makes this specific ref15101 indeed a very relevant Piaget -- in some aspects superior than the Warhol-watch. But it misses one aspect: While the successor was owned by one of the most glamorous persons of the Piaget-Society, the originals owner is unknown -- so far.

Ad 1) The spots on the ref15101 are indeed oxidation and there is some indication that even the Warhol-Watch would not look like it currently does, without some refurbishment in the past. Needless to point out this would be possible to do with the originals dial as well; but also needless to point out that we will not do it;