As this year’s novelties start to trickle out, Piaget showcases two gorgeous new watches
The 1970s were a time of great artistic and technical achievement for Piaget. The Maison’s new CEO, Benjamin Comar, describes it as the time when the name Piaget became synonymous with the jet-set crowd in the Côte d’Azur through its Piaget Society, a series of glamorous gatherings put on by the brand. He mentions frequent attendees including Andy Warhol, Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Kennedy, and describes the scene as “an extravaganza that seduced Europe.” During that period, it also introduced two timepieces that were destined to become icons: the Piaget Polo in 1979 and the Limelight Gala in 1973.
Since then, Piaget has set records in watchmaking—notably, for its ultra-thin movements—and released opulent high-jewellery collections. Comar notes that the brand can be difficult for some people to understand. “I’m always asked, ‘Are you a jeweller? Are you a watchmaker? Are you for ladies? Are you for men?’” he says. “I think we are a full universe. We are all of that.” Today, the house reveals two new models that show its mastery of mechanical movements and gem-setting, perhaps answering those questions once and for all.
The Piaget Polo is one of the most elegant sports watches on the market, and this new high-jewellery model is a fabulous statement piece. The 42 mm Polo Skeleton (US$228,000) is set with 1,478 diamonds, totalling 10.04 carats, while the case has 2.43 carats of larger diamonds. The gem-setting alone takes 61 hours per watch and it is simply spectacular. Despite being covered in diamonds, the watch is smooth to the touch, with no risk of the diamonds or prongs pulling on delicate fabrics.
The bling nicely contrasts with its equally high-end skeletonised movement. The self-winding 1200S1 is one of the thinnest in the world, clocking in at just 2.4 mm. The 18-karat white-gold watch measures only 7.35 mm in thickness, thanks to the Maison’s ultra-thin movement. The beautiful finishing is on full display, with details including circular and sunburst satin-brushed wheels and sunburst satin-brushed plate and bridges. The watch is finished by a reverse-set diamond in the crown.