WW15: Secrets & Lights – A Mythical Journey by Piaget

WW15: Secrets & Lights – A Mythical Journey by Piaget

Entitled “Secrets & Lights – A Mythical Journey by Piaget”, the new Piaget Haute Joaillerie and Haute Horlogerie collection celebrates the mysterious and captivating light effects born of an invisible time: namely the countless hours devoted to each creation and echoing the long history of the Silk Route.

The new collection inspired by two legendary cities, Venice and Samarkand, shines with unprecedented radiance and creative vibrancy. Chosen for its cultural wealth and its fascinating art of living, each place provides a remarkable field of expression for the workshops of the Manufacture as well as the exceptional artisans associated with these creations showcasing the artistic crafts.

The magic of the Orient begins in Samarkand, “queen of the Earth”. Nestled on the plain of Zarafshan, whose Persian name means “supplier of gold”, the historical city inspires the enchanting “Lights of Samarkand” creation. It reveals the vibrant colours of the Registan and the infinite expanses of the desert with its star-studded skies. In their honour, the rarest gems and the purest gems express the essence of Haute Joaillerie through splendid central stones. Exalted by the most unexpected Artistic Crafts, such as eggshell-inlaid lacquer, bulino engraving or micro-mosaic, these horological creations capture the majesty of the architecture and the desert animals. 

La Serenissima is a priceless cultural gem perched on water that inspires a collection imbued with a mysterious magic: “Secrets of Venice”. Magnified by virtuoso exponents of feather art, enamelling, micro-mosaic and engraving, these timepieces evoke the architectural splendours of the Clock Tower, restored by Piaget in 1999, the Bridge of Sighs, St. Mary’s Basilica and the city’s emblematic lion. Whether bringing to life the magnificence of Venetian festivities or reflecting subtle plays on light, these Haute Joaillerie creations become authentic works of art. 

This extraordinary collection comprising 93 jewellery creations and 38 watchmaking creations provides a transcendent expression of the creative freedom cherished by the Maison. Through it, unmistakable signature means of wearing such marvels are magnificently anchored in their era.

Pervaded by the passion of the Artisans of the Manufacture and enhanced by the finest Artistic Crafts, “Secrets & Lights – A Mythical Journey by Piaget” scales fresh heights of creativity. 

The lights of Samarkand

A city of infinites where the immensity of the desert meets the precision of ancestral crafts, Samarkand has inspired the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget to create a fascinating collection. Associated with the excellence of the most famous artisans, the watchmakers of the Maison display their fully integrated dual expertise combining the development of remarkably finely finished watch movements with the perfectly mastered production of special-shaped or ‘form’ cases that are an inherent part of the Piaget style. Emblematic animals, vibrant colours and oriental symbols thus give rise to exclusive timepieces designed to delight all fans of pure beauty.

The falcon, king of the desert, brings its magnetic strength to the wrist, dominating time with its piercing gaze. Designed in eggshell-inlaid lacquer, the raptor’s plumage has a breathtaking depth and realism, born of the hand of Maître d’Art (Master of Art), Isabelle Emmerique. Drawing on her childhood in Africa and Iran, the artist, winner of the most prestigious distinctions, has reviewed her tools along with the light and even her position in her studio so as to “remain in front of the dial in dialogue with the bird for hours before he takes flight.” (G0A40610).

A one-of-a-kind model (G0A40607) whose dial depicts the falcon flying over the Registan, features miniature painting on enamel, the world’s most prestigious enamelling technique. On a gold plaque, previously covered in white enamel, exceptional independent artist, Anita Porchet, has laid her enamel colours layer by layer, creating an exquisite portrayal of the majestic bird in subtly graded brick-toned colours. In this creation, her art, which requires total mastery of the colour intensity in every firing, perfectly matches the excellence of Piaget’s master-watchmakers.  The timepiece is indeed powered by the world’s thinnest mechanical shaped tourbillon, with its flying carriage visible at 12 o’clock, like some cosmic star. 

On another model (G0A40605), the dome of the Ulugh Beg Observatory features a starry sky that is magnificently captured using the technique of cloisonné enamel. Outlined with more than a metre of gold wire by independent enameller, Anita Porchet, the constellations lead us into a cosmos of unbelievable precision, evoking the tables in the Ulugh Beg Catalogue of the Stars. The Manufacture wished to pay tribute to the work of the many scientists that have come to study the Observatory’s astrolabe and gigantic sextant dating from 1429. These instruments served to identify more than 1,108 stars, an enduring benchmark in the field of astronomy.

Through this partnership between the Piaget Ateliers and creative artisans, these new creations transcend the field of Haute Horlogerie. For example, an Emperador Coussin planisphere model (G0A40560), also produced by Anita Porchet, creates a dialogue between the work involved in colouring the enamel and one of the oldest decorating techniques, line engraving. Time, sky and earth have rarely been described with such poetry. Created by other enameller friends of the brand on a Protocole XXL (G0A40608), a caravan emerges from the depths of hand-engraved dunes, along with a sky evoking the sun at its highest point. Just as captivating are the details offered by the double rotation Polo Tourbillon Relatif (G0A40603). Its enamelled dial reveals a deep night blue and is inspired by the richness of Samarkand mosaics, while its line-engraved sides show a caravan procession on one side and on the other, the Registan in all its splendour. 

Emblematic of the excellence of the Piaget Ateliers, goldsmithing exalts the jewellery watches that have been part of La-Côte-aux-Fées identity codes since the 1950s. Accentuated by the pink gold of the dial, a guilloché model reveals an exclusive motif whose shimmering reflections create a splendid graphic mosaic (G0A40613). The Palace décor adorns a secret watch (G0A40616). Fitted directly to the case so as to form a single entity, the bracelet, transformed into an iridescent ribbon, extends into a mother-of-pearl and engraved gold star marquetry picking up the iconic décor. Passed on within the Manufacture for the past three generations, this technique that has become a distinctive Piaget aesthetic signature transforms the precious metal into gold fabric. 

The colours and energy of Samarkand so magnificently captured in this new collection bear the stamp of the extraordinary creativity cultivated by the Maison Piaget. 

Secrets of Venice

Honouring the company motto: “Always do better than necessary”, the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget brings a whole new dimension to its close ties with Venice. A pioneer in contemporary patronage with the restoration of the Clock Tower, the Manufacture has designed a new collection in tune with the city, a work of art in its own right worthy of those that it embodies. Enhanced by exclusive partnerships with creative artisans and the most renowned Maîtres d’Art (Masters of Art), Piaget’s watchmaking expertise is deployed in timepieces embodying the most daring and spectacular decorative techniques. 

As fascinating as a masked figure at a Venetian ball, the Altiplano’s pure lines are topped by a feather marquetry motif composing a hypnotic wheel of time (G0A40595). Individually cut out into tiny scales by feather artist Emilie Moutard-Martin, each feather is enriched with silver leaf before being placed on the dial one by one to create the motif. Playing with the silky, satiny or velvety appearance of each one, the artist creates a captivating visual poem.

Entirely in line with the creative daring characterising the Maison, the Protocole XXL model (G0A40570) is decorated from dial to bezel using the micro-mosaic technique, once again illustrating the creative sparkle cherished by Piaget. To achieve this effect, Italian micro-mosaic specialist artist, Cesare Bella, creates a masterpiece of precision by juxtaposing nearly five thousand miniscule glass tesserae, which combine to reveal a remarkable view of the Santa Maria Della Salute basilica overlooking the mouth of the Grand Canal. 

Directly inspired by the dial of the Clock Tower, restored thanks to the patronage provided by Piaget, a magnificent zodiacal arc adorns the 40 mm Altiplano (G0A40599). Combining the techniques of paillonné (spangled) enamel and relief engraving, the timepiece is graced with 12 appliques that are engraved and then applied to the dial amid a hail of sparkling stars. The latter are crafted from gold or silver paillons (spangles) and then are inserted between two layers of grand feu enamel to illuminate the centre of the dial. 

Adorning both sides of a Double Jeu model, relief engraving captures the mystery of night enveloping the lagoon (G0A40564). This strikingly realistic tri-dimensional décor reveals a gondola heading for Santa Maria Della Salute giving rise to visions of a vibrant rendezvous between two beings in a hurry. 

The magic of Venetian nights is synonymous with mystery, just like the magnificent flinqué dial of the Altiplano. Hand-crafted and adorned with a traditional sunburst motif, the dial is coated with deep blue translucent enamel creating a sky lit up with silver stars. The latter are adorned with grand feu enamel and delicately punctuate the 12 hours on the dial (G0A40586). In another interpretation of Venetian nights, the Piaget Gouverneur Tourbillon marries the watchmaking expertise of the Manufacture and the intensity of enamel with its sky composed of stars in orbit around a tourbillon and a moon phase (G0A40621).

Paying tribute to the lion, the symbol of Venice, the Manufacture partners with Austrian master-engraver Richard Maier, an expert in the bulino engraving technnique (G0A40589). Applying this method of line engraving on gold performed with a chisel, the depth and intensity of the design conceptualised by the Piaget Ateliers is revealed in ink. It takes 75 hours for the artist to engrave hundreds of dots and lines per square millimetre, before further heightening the aesthetic power of the décor by playing on the textures and contrasts created by applying inks on the engraving. The shape, and coat and finally the eyes of the lion burst forth, treating devotees of exclusivity to the piercing gaze and powerful roar of the feline. 

Inspired by the design of the Bridge of Sighs, the cuff watches emblematic of the extravagance adopted by Piaget in the 1960s and 1970s are more desirable than ever. Evoking the magnificence of Venetian evenings, from the red carpet of the Venice International Film Festival to the magic of an exclusive event in a magnificent historical palazzo, this model highlights the striking contrast between its onyx dial and the white gold and diamond bracelet encircling the wrist with its dainty lacework (G0A40578). Punctuated by marquise-cut sapphires according to the emblematic claw-setting technique favoured by Piaget for more than half a century, another model features the gentle opulence of a High Jewellery dial adorning the iconic Altiplano model (G0A40580).

This new collection imbued with captivating creativity, virtuosity and beauty celebrates the union of Haute Horlogerie and the artistic crafts. Through this alliance, the rare and remarkable watchmaking expertise acquired since 1874 and entirely integrated within the Manufacture Piaget is magnified by exceptional artisans.