Founded in 1874 in the Swiss village of La Côte-aux-Fées, Piaget’s modern history is defined by one key date – 1957 – and two key milestones. The first was the birth of the ultra-thin 9P hand wound mechanical movement, a 2mm thick calibre that revolutionised watchmaking. This cutting-edge, ultra-thin signature set the course for Piaget to become a byword for the most sleek and unexpected, yet also innovative, watches of its time. The second was to exclusively encase the 9P in the world’s most precious metals, gold or platinum – the finest materials for which to celebrate and pay homage to Piaget’s exceptional watchmaking know-how.
Aura High Jewellery watch is powered by Piaget’s 430P Manufacture ultra-thin hand-wound mechanical movement, the watch glows with an exceptional brightness, as ultra-thin claws deliver an invisible-like setting where maximum light permeates the creation. A radiant sunburst setting on the dial further illuminates the design. Requiring more than 260 hours of gem-setting work, the watch comes in two different sizes and two unique colour gradations. All images courtesy of Piaget.
Since 1957, high watchmaking and high jewellery have always danced in tandem at Piaget, and this unique savoir-faire reached a new zenith in 1989 with the Aura high jewellery watch. Fully set with individually calibrated baguette-cut diamonds, the watch radiated a distinct charisma and energy, with the Aura name encapsulating both its luminous design and the spirit of those who dared wearing it. The watch also had a fully integrated case and bracelet, which Piaget had been developing since the 1960s, but which marked a new milestone in gem-setting know-how with the bracelet’s full, seamless articulation.
Piaget now revisits the Aura by combining diamonds with sapphires. Once more, the baguette-cut stones are perfectly calibrated to fit the watch’s form and integrated case and bracelet, as the blue sapphires are beautifully colour gradated – a design process that required more than eight months to source and select exactly the right stones. Powered by Piaget’s 430P Manufacture ultra-thin hand-wound mechanical movement, the watch glows with an exceptional brightness, as ultra-thin claws deliver an invisible-like setting where maximum light permeates the creation. A radiant sunburst setting on the dial further illuminates the design. Requiring more than 260 hours of gem-setting work, the watch comes in two different sizes and two unique colour gradations.
Piaget Polo Perpetual Calendar Obsidian
Ornamental stones are a Piaget signature, celebrated for their vivid, intense hues and natural sense of mystery and strength. The dial of the new Piaget Polo Perpetual Calendar Obsidian emanates this very emotion and intrigue: its silver obsidian dial has an inherent iridescence thanks to inclusions that formed when drops of mineral-rich sulfide liquid became trapped in the rock as it solidified. Left in the hands of Mother Nature, such inclusions are very rare, and no two stones are alike.
Piaget has paired this exceptional obsidian with a perpetual calendar, one of watchmaking’s most historic and emblematic complications, which adds a bold and technical, androgynous feel to the sensual design. Piaget’s love of coloured stones also shines through in a bezel of deep blue sapphires, set in dark claws to further enhance the dial’s magic and individuality.
Piaget’s Palace Decor was first developed in the 1960s, inspired by the guilloché technique found in watchmaking. This engraving art begins on a bracelet of gold links, which an artisan skilfully incises with the sharp tip of an echoppe, manually sculpting a multitude of stylised grooves and outlines, each one individual in depth and thickness. The final result is perfect in its imperfection, distinctive and one-of-a-kind.
For Watches and Wonders, the Palace Decor makes its way onto a new cuff watch with a striking, robin-egg blue turquoise stone dial. But the Palace Decor is only one of 100 different kinds of engraving techniques that Piaget has mastered over time, and which can be set on different types of bracelets. This artistry is highlighted in two additional cuff watches, both set with opals and which nod to Piaget’s love of nature: one etched with an evocative bark and vein finish, the other taking on an ephemeral and magnificent frost-like theme. All the new cuff watches make the ornamental stone dials look asymmetrical, another Piaget signature, peeking out from the manchettes’ abstract, spontaneous design – and further accentuating each stone’s elusive beauty and mystique.
In 2023, Piaget pays homage to this trailblazing collection and its goldsmithing expertise with two hand-crafted sautoirs fashioned from twisted gold chains, and three exquisitely hand-textured gold cuff watches (above). Twisted gold starts with a single strand of wire that’s wrapped around a mandrel to create a coil, then meticulously hand-twisted one by one and shaped into harmonious, homogenous links, before final assembly. The entire process takes no less than 130 hours, with each chain utterly unique. One vivacious, tassel-style sautoir is set with a 25.38ct oval cabochon Zambian emerald to match an oval-shaped dial, a signature Piaget shape from the 1960s. The other encircles twisted gold around the dial, which further comes to life from Palace Decor – the epitome of Piaget’s gold craftsmanship.