Piaget celebrates its 150th anniversary with high jewellery collection Essence of Extraleganza

By Amos Chin 12 June, 2024

Piaget celebrates its 150th anniversary with Essence of Extraleganza, an uncompromisingly lavish high jewellery and watch collection

In the opulent world of high jewellery and watchmaking, few names evoke as much reverence and desirability as Piaget. Celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, the Maison unveils the Essence of Extraleganza, an assortment of extravagant bejewelled timepieces that is not just a testament to its rich heritage but a dazzling showcase of its innovation and masterful craftsmanship.

The story of Piaget is a journey through time, both literally and figuratively. Established in 1874 in La Côte-aux-Fées, Piaget first made its mark in the horological realm as a manufacturer of ultra-slim movements. The company subsequently delved into jewellery making in the 1960s, crafting ring watches, brooch watches and cufflink watches, as well as timepieces with dials made of precious stone. A fine example of both pillars coming together is the iconic “21st Century Collection”, a range of avant-garde jewellery watches that combined precious metals with vibrant ornamental stones.

Shaped by “artisans who work like artists” who “always do better than necessary”, this array of jewellery watches makes an impression with its avant-garde signature. Photo by Piaget

This creative legacy continues to inspire the Maison’s designs today. As Piaget artistic director Stéphanie Sivrière reflects, the creation of the 150th-anniversary collection was about more than reproducing heritage pieces.

“It was about taking inspiration from them,” she explains. The result is a stunning array of 96 pieces that celebrate Piaget’s art of living—cheerful yet sophisticated, extravagant yet elegant.

The Essence of Extraleganza collection is divided into three realms, each showcasing Piaget’s unparalleled creativity and expertise.

“Essence of Extraleganza” makes gold the subject and gemstones a true style element. Photo by Piaget

Extravaganza (a wordplay on extravaganza and elegance), highlights Piaget’s avant-garde spirit and mastery of fluidity and brilliance. The Swinging Sautoir, a signature necklace since 1969, is reimagined with turquoise, malachite, and yellow sapphire. Adorned with a 6.11-carat aquamarine and a 29.24-carat Sri Lankan yellow sapphire, this piece boasts versatility as a cornerstone–offering three ways to wear it.

The collection also sees a fiery set in carnelian, spessartite garnets, yellow sapphires, and diamonds. A highlight is a necklace with a striking orange gradation in trapezoid-cut carnelian, crowned by a 21.23-carat spessartite garnet.

Another standout that manifests Piaget’s taste for carefully wrought asymmetry is a necklace crafted in rose gold Milanese mesh, edged with diamonds and crowned with an articulated bracelet in textured gold latticework. Engraved with the iconic Palace Decor technique that was conceived by Piaget in the early 1960s, this luxurious creation sports a mesmerising 4.42-carat pink sapphire from Madagascar, complemented by a striking 6.40-carat spessartite garnet.

Supported by the exceptional craftsmanship demonstrated at the Piaget High Jewellery workshops in Geneva, these 96 pieces are an invitation to celebrate that art of living. Photo by Piaget

Within Piaget Society, the brand’s penchant for boldness shines through. Richly coloured pieces form a metaphor for the whirlwind life of those who wear them. A hand-coiled rose gold necklace with turquoise cabochons and snow-set diamond surfaces is a nod to Piaget’s heritage, while a transformable cuff bracelet with gold and diamond fringes conceals a turquoise watch dial. The set also includes a necklace with turquoise beads, marquise-cut green tourmalines, and a pear-cut Sri Lankan yellow sapphire. Accompanying it is an ebony ring–set with a 26.55-carat green tourmaline–dotted with diamonds and lagoon tourmalines.

Under the combined influence of the Maison’s virtuosity in craftsmanship and the historical Piaget taste for the couture theme, the collection sets apart the wearer as a free spirit seeking distinction. Photo by Piaget

Finally, the When Mastery Ignites Artistry selection showcases Piaget’s virtuosity in construction and craftsmanship, especially with creations that express fluidity through intricate goldsmithing. A cuff features rose and violet sapphires of nearly 56 carats, demonstrating Piaget’s unparalleled skill in crafting precious metal. The gold ropes, the common thread of this high jewellery collection, appear to float in mid-air, following the organic shape of each gemstone. An exceptional watch, adorned with 26.11 carats of Colombian baguette-cut emeralds, underscores Piaget’s perfectionism in every detail.

A one-of-a-kind collection, the Essence of Extraleganza creations are emblematic of Piaget’s dual savoir-faire in watchmaking and jewellery. The pieces not only epitomise the Maison’s relentless pursuit of perfection, they demonstrate a spirit of audacity and invention that will propel Piaget to the next 150 years and beyond.