New Gouverneur collection launch in China
“Celebrating Extraordinary Lives with Ultra-thin Movements”
November 1, 2012 - Piaget, the Swiss Haute Horlogerie Manufacture and leader in ultra-thin movements, today unveiled its new Gouverneur collection of watches at the Chaoyang Museum of Urban Planning in Beijing. As a tribute to the elite leadership group, the collection indicates a new peak of the House’s exceptional achievements in watchmaking, from design to movements manufacturing. Managing Director of Piaget China, Mr. Thomas Bouillonnec, together with Hong Kong Award–Winning Actor, Sean LAU, well-known filmmaker Doze NIU, and acclaimed dancer and choreographer HUANG Doudou, attended the ceremony to celebrate the new milestone in Piaget’s history of exceptional watch-making achievements.
Over a century of ultra-thin legend
In 1874, Mr. Georges-Edouard Piaget set up the first Piaget workshop in La Côte-aux-Fées, Switzerland, where dedicated Piaget designers began by crafting pocket watches and high-precision clock movements for prestigious brands.
The pure and tranquil scenery of La Côte-aux-Fées inspired Piaget designers to create the thinnest mechanical movements. At the 1957 Basel Watch Fair, the Maison caused a sensation with Calibre 9P, the first ultra-thin, hand-wound mechanical movement only 2 mm thick. Three years later, Piaget introduced Calibre 12P, which – at just 2.3 mm thick – set a new record for the thinnest automatic watch movement in the world.
A glamorous era of ultra-thin movements
The success of Calibre 9P and 12P established Piaget as a distinguished watchmaker. The ultra-thin movements helped to liberate the precious stone setting designs from the space limits. As the movements become thinner, more precious stones can be accommodated on the watches for a splendid look.
In the 1960s, Piaget launched a series of watches with dials of onyx, turquoise, coral, and malachite, combining the Maison’s ultra-thin movements with gem-setting expertise. In 1967, one such watch set with emeralds and diamonds in the bezel and a jade dial was the favourite of Jacqueline Kennedy. With its vivid colours and elegant form, this watch featured a Piaget Calibre 9P and a gold/emerald bezel became a Piaget classic.
That same year, Piaget collaborated with Salvador Dali to produce a series entitled “Dali d’Or.”
These watches were made from coins forged by Dali, featuring his mustachioed profile entwined with that of his wife. Within the watches’ golden cases lay Calibre 9P, its steady, seemingly endless ticking beating like the throbbing of a heart.
A journey lined with world records
For nearly 140 years, Piaget has been dedicated to the development of mechanical movements, winning several world records along the way. From chronograph to tourbillon, Piaget movements all rely on ultra-thin mechanisms and feature innovative watch-making techniques. To wit, Calibre 600P, the world's thinnest hand-wound rectangular-shaped tourbillon, and Calibre 1270P set world records for ultra-thin automatic tourbillon movements. In 2010, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its legendary Calibre 12P, Piaget presented Calibre 1200P and 1208P. In 2011, with Calibre 1200S, Piaget again set world records, this time for thinnest automatic skeleton wristwatch and thinnest automatic skeleton movement. These breakthroughs in manufacturing techniques were not only landmarks in the history of ultra-thin movements, but also established Piaget as the undisputed leader of ultra-thin movements.
The new Gouverneur collection: another breakthrough in watch-making
The new Gouverneur Collection not only inherits Piaget’s constant pursuit of ultra-thin movements, but also being another innovation by its special and elegant outlook. The new Gouverneur Collection is distinguished by the shape of its cases and bezels: all models have a round case and an oval dial opening. Each dial has a circular chapter ring, creating a “round, oval, round” pattern emanating from the dial to the outside of the case, building a powerful sense of visual equilibrium.
The circle, a symbol of perfection, represents Piaget’s dedication to the development of ultra-thin movements, while the oval, a similar yet unique shape, symbolizes Piaget’s innovation.
The state-of-the-art Gouverneur collection, on the other hand, illustrates the legendary and trail-blazing history of the Maison.
Piaget Gouverneur moon phase tourbillon watch
The Gouverneur moon-phase tourbillon watch is equipped with the new 642P mechanical movement and features a moon-phase indicator. The movement is based on the hand-wound ultra-thin 600P tourbillon (both the world’s thinnest tourbillon movement and the thinnest rectangular flying tourbillon movement). Its pointer-style moon-phase display is so precise -- it requires a one-day correction only once every 122 years and the moon-phase subdial adds yet another circle to the watch’s design, testifying to Piaget’s exceptional union of technique and design.
Piaget Gouverneur chronograph watch
The Gouverneur chronograph watch holds the new Calibre 882P, an ultra-thin mechanical self-wound movement. This classic model features a two-counter design reminiscent of vintage chronographs. In addition to the flyback chronograph functions and a dual time-zone display, the model is equipped with a large balance with screws and a balance-stop device. Its power reserve is fifty hours.
Gouverneur automatic calendar watch
Fitted with a large-size balance with screws as well as a balance-stop mechanism, the Gouverneur automatic calendar watch beats to the rhythm of Calibre 800P. This movement powers the central hour, minute and second hands, as well as the date display. This piece Calendar displays a truly classic and elegant design.
Gouverneur collection launch highlights Piaget’s history of innovation
To celebrate the launch of the Gouverneur Collection, the Chaoyang Museum of Urban Planning in Beijing was decorated with a profusion of round and oval shapes. Shadows and lights in shades of blue created a vast night sky, which was hung with golden circles of varying size. Fifty gently twinkling exhibits narrated the legend of Piaget Ultra-thin, including pieces from the early stages of Piaget’s history, classic editions equipped with ultra-thin movements, as well as the new Gouverneur collection. This splendid array offered a comprehensive overview of the evolution of Piaget’s watch-making history.
During the event, Isaac HOU gave an impressive performance incorporating a large metal hoop whose flowing lines complemented his fluent movements. As the metal circle deftly glided across space, it evoked the same sense of infinite possibility displayed in the Gouverneur watches’ balanced interplay of round and oval shapes.
The new Gouverneur watches demonstrate the Piaget long legacy of excellence, and pay tribute to pioneering leaders in various fields who share Piaget’s motto of “Always do more than what is necessary.” Hong Kong Award–Winning Actor Sean LAU, well-known filmmaker Doze NIU, and acclaimed dancer and choreographer HUANG Doudou, attended the launch event, and through their own stories of innovation and self-transformation, shared the secrets to an extraordinary life.
Sean LAU: Overcome challenges and master a fulfilling life
Since his debut over 20 years ago, Sean LAU has been cast in a long list of iconic roles in Hong Kong films.
Just like the simple, good-natured characters he plays, Sean also experienced numerous setbacks over the course of his life.
He stayed true to his calling, however, and refused to give up his dreams. In 2007, he won the Best Actor award at the Hong Kong Film Awards for his role in the movie My Name is Fame.
Rather than resting satisfied with his success, Sean still looks for challenges and experiments with various roles in a wide range of films, acting out an extraordinary life of his own.
Doze NIU: an artist on camera and behind the scenes
Doze NIU transformed from an actor to a director, and constantly explores different ways of expression in film. As an artist, he is always on the look for new inspirations, and, in his eyes, life is made up of frequent alternations between the round and the oval. From the supporting actor in Growing Up, to the director of the film Monga, Doze not only changed roles, but also achieved extraordinary success.
HUANG Doudou: Transcend Yourself
Well-known dancer HUANG Doudou always strives to achieve the utmost across various dance genres and in the cross-disciplinary area between stage play and dance. He combines diverse dance genres, such as folk and modern dance, presenting masterpieces such as Drunken Drum, and Spirit of the Terra Cotta Warrior. He takes pleasure in choreography, and appreciates the beauty of self-transformation. Through impressive performances all around the world, HUANG Doudou leads an supreme life dedicated to the art of dance.