Piaget Exceptional Pieces
Twin watch and jewelry-making expertise
The daily equation facing Piaget is a daunting one indeed: pursue the challenge of achieving excellence; perpetuate the tradition of mechanical watchmaking; exalt the beauty of its jewellery creations; and remain open to high-precision technologies. All of which must be done in a spirit of aesthetic beauty. Five models testify to this unique expertise and are truly worthy to be referred to as Grandes Complications.
Since 1874, Piaget has been interpreted time through excellence. In almost 140 years, the brand has introduced some legendary creations and has been a pioneer in a number of fields.
Its High Jewelry watches are crafted in the finest watchmaking traditions and radiate authentic aesthetic creativity. Five of them provide a particularly dazzling demonstration of this reality.
When it comes to Grandes Complications, one must first cast a glance at company history.
From the workshop of Georges-Edouard Piaget, created in La Côte-aux-Fées in 1874, to the international-scale luxury brand it has now become, Piaget has succeeded within almost a century and half in developing an exceptional two-fold watchmaking and jewellery expertise.
Located in two sites – La Côte-aux-Fées in the Neuchâtel Jura region and in Plan-les-Ouates near Geneva – both of which have made a speciality of one of these skills, Piaget presents exclusive models that transcend the constraints of time.
This technical virtuosity is brilliantly highlighted in the Emperador Perpetual Calendar watch which houses the 856P Manufacture Piaget ultra-thin movement, combining a perpetual calendar and a dual time-zone with retrograde date and day displays, with classic displays of the months and leap-years. The indications appear on a particularly elegant black mother-of-pearl dial.
The case (including the profiles), the hourmarkers, the rim of the sapphire crystal case-back, the buckle and even the oscillating weight that may be admired through the transparent case-back, are all lavishly set with baguette- and brilliant-cut diamonds. The admirably elegant case and sides are enhanced by ideally calibrated baguette-cut diamonds beautifully moulding the cushion shape of the case. Over 100 hours of gem-setting were required to craft this numbered model studded with brilliant- and baguette-cut diamonds.
Piaget Emperador Cushion watch
Perpetual calendar watch, automatic, white gold, diamonds
A second illustration is provided by the Piaget Emperador Tourbillon watch epitomising the brand’s genetic heritage: unique competence in the field of ultra-thin movements, combined with a determination to develop consistently innovative and creative complicated calibres.
Calibre 1270P is Piaget’s first ultra-thin automatic tourbillon movement, measuring a mere 5.55 mm thick.
Fully revealed through a sapphire crystal dial, this feat is also highlighted by exceptionally sophisticated gemsetting.
Baguette and brilliant-cut diamonds adorn the case and its sides, including the exhibition case-back revealing the tourbillon carriage and the powerreserve display, as well as the folding clasps and the rings surrounding the oscillating weight and the Tourbillon.
Over 140 hours of gemsetting were required to craft this numbered model.
The grandeur of the infinitely small
The Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget’s other field of undeniable historical legitimacy lies in its mastery of ultra-thin watchmaking.
Since 1957 and the launch of the Piaget 9P movement measuring just 2 mm thick, its expertise in the field of ultra-thin movements has given rise to a number of complex calibres and to one of the brand’s most iconic lines, Altiplano.
Following in its wake, other models have risen to the challenge of extreme slenderness, including the Dancer skeleton watch that provides an opportunity to explore a number of skills including gemsetting a skeleton movement.
It is indeed the world’s thinnest gemset mechanical watch.
It features the exquisite grace of a white gold Haute Horlogerie and Haute Joaillerie interpretation.
Its slim case lends itself perfectly to the expertise of extremely precise gemsetting. Only the dextrous hands of the jewellery and gemsetters, only the most experienced eye, can guarantee the meticulous care devoted to such a work of art. This unique creation is the culmination of 700 hours of development and 325 hours of gemsetting.
Brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds sparkle on this model beating to the rhythm of gemset Calibre 838D. It is a spectacular show of transparency that meets the gaze.
The movement appears to be floating weightless in mid-air, looking much like a luxurious openworked embroidery that makes an elegant match for the suppleness and comfort of a chic and elegant bracelet.
Echoing this slender model is an exceptional Altiplano watch.
The world’s thinnest automatic watch (at 6.44 mm thick), it sets a majestic stage for the beauty of the world’s thinnest automatic movement, 2.35 mm thick Calibre 1200P. This miniature marvel and its unique gemsetting may be admired through a sapphire crystal fitted in the exhibition caseback and notably revealing the platinum oscillating weight engraved with the Piaget crest.
On a par with the technical prowess within, this creation reflecting the elegant design codes of the Altiplano collection is clothed in fiery splendour. On the dial, slim black baton-type hour-markers make a striking contrast with the hour-markers sparkling in the light of baguette-cut diamonds, while the case, lugs and even the folding clasp shine with baguette or brilliant-cut diamonds. In all, 260 hours of development and over 30 hours of gemsetting have been lavished on crafting this dazzling model.
A superlative treasure
Pushing back the technical boundaries of what is deemed humanly possible in order to tailor shapes and sizes to the tastes of contemporary fashions, Piaget tirelessly pursues its quest to achieve ever-greater jewellery-making excellence.
Exuding exceptional stylistic purity, the Haute Joaillerie classique watch brilliantly reveals carefully shaped and calibrated diamonds.
From dial to case to bracelet, harmony reigns supreme: not a single trace of gold interrupts the seamlessly integrated design. The baguette-cut diamonds are claw-set to provide ample space for the gems.
The Parisian mesh bracelet ensures an impeccably comfortable and supple feel on the wrist. The presence of open-back stones set along the profile of the case and bracelet endow the model with an ultimate touch of refinement.
Its dial is also distinguished by a sunburst setting of baguette-cut diamonds calibrated to form triangles fanning out around the hour-wheel. It took no less than 150 hours to set the diamonds. The full measure of Piaget’s creative and jewelrymaking passion has been expressed in an astonishingly light and airy manner on this exceptional piece, thanks to the slenderness of the 40P ultra-thin mechanical hand-wound movement driving the hour and minute functions.
Each in its own way, the five exceptional watches tell the epic story of one of the greatest manufacturers in watchmaking history, Piaget.
By uniting their classic features with modern technologies, they are writing a stellar new chapter in a new era of the legend. Their authentic difference lies in offering an original and singular means of merging the pragmatic functions and the aesthetic dimensions of the timepiece while adapting equally well to both masculine and feminine wrists. The tradition, audacity, aestheticism and innovation they convey the distinct sense that the future will bring forth more fruit from such flights of creative imagination.