The legend of one of the greatest watchmaking and jewellery institutions is revealed through prestigious gem-set creations, expressing a wealth of exceptional expertise.
At a time when the past is more than ever the inspiration for fashion, there is something especially delightful – like returning to your roots – about rediscovering unique pieces that have successfully interpreted the spirit of their age. Piaget, which initially built its reputation for excellence in watchmaking, subsequently paid tribute to femininity by creating hedonistic, precious jewellery featuring innovative designs. It was to illustrate this rich history that the House has created an exhibition dedicated to the magic of jewellery. It will be inaugurated at the end of April in the Piaget Time Gallery Geneva above the Piaget boutique, before moving on to captivate Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Boldness and creativity
Gem-set jewellery, watches and accessories play hide and seek with different eras… Borrowed from Piaget’s historical collection, these pieces all represent authentic creative marvels. Characterised by their daring style combining innovative designs and concepts with the sparkle of diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds, these models reveal the full measure of Piaget’s fanciful touch. They demonstrate its ability to capture the zeitgeist. They evoke a stellar period in its history and its profuse creativity, as epitomised by a pair of spectacles studded with diamonds and emeralds, a pair of dice set with rubies and brilliant-cut diamonds, or the recent Limelight Twice and Limelight Dancing Light watches that put into perspective all the expertise of the artisans exercising their crafts within the Manufacturing. These fascinating creations serve as a guiding thread running through the exhibition. They constitute an authentic treasure trove comprising infinitely varied and shimmering pieces.
Elegance and glamour
While slenderness has always been a favourite theme of the House style and establishing the brand in the field of ultra-thin watchmaking, from 1957 onwards, we witness the creation of the 9P calibre that was a mere 2 mm thick, as well as the advent of jewellery models that marked a real turning point. Yves Piaget, as an expert in precious stones, was determined to highlight the brand’s considerable range of skills in the realm of jewellery watches. Adorning the wrists of elegant women, diamonds echo the watchmakers’ work. From the exquisitely delicate 1960s models to a stunning High Jewellery interpretation in the 1990s, ladies’ models convey a daring and chic form of elegance. Men’s watches are also embellished with the most beautiful stones in order to treat them to their own expression of jewellery-making nobility. Hard stone dials such as onyx, turquoise or opal represent the triumph of colour.
High Jewellery – Fine Watchmaking
Excellence is the very wellspring of Piaget’s history. It guided its founder and those who succeeded him in creating ever more reliable and accurate timepieces. It has also charted the brand’s course in the realm of High Jewellery. Original and unprecedented encounters between watchmaking and jewellery have given rise to stunning works bearing the Piaget signature – creations combining expertise and boldness to enshrine unique virtuosity. The Manufacturing can fulfil the most extravagant desires. Better still, the quintessence of its twin vocation as watchmaker and jeweller is expressed through exceptional works of art. Created in the noblest watchmaking and jewellery tradition, they symbolise Piaget’s values: namely, expertise and a spirit of technical and aesthetic perfection. One particularly striking example of this is the exception craftsmanship embodied in pocket-watch that features a mother-of-pearl dial and a bezel set with diamonds and sapphires or another model featuring an exceptional invisible setting composed of rubies.
It is difficult to talk about gem-setting without mentioning the artisans who perform it. Jewellery stems from a longstanding tradition and has paved the way for a precious art cultivated by Piaget. Since 1961, the brand has acquired specialised workshops in order to fully control the entire production process. For the brand’s centenary, in 1974, the brand opened the Prodor workshops, specifically created to regroup the production of watch cases and bracelet, gem-setting and the creation of jewellery sets. Like a sculptor with his raw material, gem-setters use tools that have been passed down through the centuries in order to create their works. They precisely calculate where to place the gems, as well as the number to be set in the model they have been given to work on. They make cuts, release the grain and fix the gem into the metal in order to reveal the natural sparkle of stones and emphasise their perfection. Day after day, this traditional technique is applied to the adornment of rare and sometimes unique models.
The most beautiful works express the moment and yet remain intrinsically timeless. This is the real message of the “Jewellery Magic” exhibition. True to its aim of being historically retrospective, it is designed to be experienced like a walk through time that has no hold over the models displayed. And the magic lives on…