Piaget delves deep into the history of India and China for its stunning new collection of art watches that reinforce the brand’s leadership in the segment that combines the best of horology with traditional arts and crafts. ‘A Mythical Journey by Piaget’ collection consists of 32 watches, the work on which ranges from micromosaic and embroidery to bullino engraving, and enamelling. Also, there are 16 pieces of jewellery that include emerald and sapphire spheres, facetted sapphires and emeralds, and facetted pink sapphires set in pink gold.
It is a collection whose visual theme is ancient travel through the landscapes, culture and heritage of the Asian region, most prominently China and India. It represents a world of colours, nature, historic architecture, fauna and flora. Asian pagodas, Plum blossom, Ferghana horses and cranes from China along with palaces, elephants and peacocks from India. A stylish logo inspired by old maps and compass makes its presence on all the watches from the collection. Says Marc Menant, the world product manager at Piaget, “We started work on this collection in 2011. The inspiration was the photograph of a Ferghana horse from central Asia which was very closely connected to the history of the Silk Route. The story of the horse was fascinating.”
For the India inspired watches in the collection the visuals range from the an interpretation of the Lake Palace on Lake Pichola in Udaipur rendered using an unusual combination of gold leaf and champlevé enamel on the dial and not surprisingly, the Taj Mahal. The Indian elephant adorns Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif, Piaget Emperador, and Piaget Altiplano using the ‘bullino’ engraving technique developed by Italian engravers, which creates fine lines that can only be made under a microscope. A variation of the cloisonné enamel technique, plique-à-jour enameling, was used to create a stunning peacock with bejeweled green feathers and an indigo blue breast that decorates the Piaget Altiplano Double Jeu.
Fine craftsmanship and creativity are an intrinsic part of Piaget’s history. At its manufacturing facility outside Geneva, about 40 watchmaking and jewellery crafts supplement the movement-manufacturing activity at La Côte-aux-Fées. As with the ‘A Mythical Journey by Piaget’ collection, the designers’ imagination is translated into masterpieces thanks to the company’s in-house expertise in the age-old arts of engraving, guillochage, gem-setting, and marquetry done in precious stones.