Like many a watchmaker in Switzerland, the house of Piaget has roots in a family business, beginning with founder Georges Edouard Piaget, who set up shop in 1874 in La Côte-aux-Fées, a small village in the Jura mountains that’s some 120km from Geneva. His sons, Gerald and Valentin Piaget, set out to continue the legacy of Georges Piaget, the former becoming CEO and the latter the famed inventor of the ultra-thin 9P and 12P movements that continue to inspire the house today. Now a brand owned by Richemont - and one of the few houses with a woman CEO, Chabi Nouri (who succeeded Philippe Leopold-Metzger in 2017) - Piaget watches and jewelry are world-renowned and the house has a truly global, luxury view, boasting boutiques from Paris’s Place Vendome to Shanghai’s Plaza 66.
In 2016, Piaget launched the steel Polo S watches at a glittering event in Brooklyn that was attended by the brand’s Game Changer ambassadors. Silver screen stars included Ryan Reynolds (of superhero, save the day films like X Men) and Chinese actor and singer Hu Ge, alongside the novelist Joel Dicker. The Polo S is among the more affordable Piaget watches, with a starting price of £9,500.
The year 2017 marked the 60th anniversary of the invention of Piaget’s ultra-thin 9P movement. The special anniversary Piaget Altiplano watches continue the house’s luxury watchmaking tradition, but with a dose of bright, millennial cool. Colourful watches include a vibrant pink ladies Altiplano 34mm with a white gold case, pink dial, 72 diamonds and matching pink alligator leather strap (starting price, £16,700). Also for ladies – and indeed the confident man – is a 38mm model in contrasting pink gold. Set on a white alligator leather strap, the dial notably has parts of the movement on view. And if white leather is your thing, the pair of hard stone Altiplano 34mm anniversary editions, in either a turquoise or white opal dial, are not to be missed. Representing technical innovation is the Tourbillon High Jewelry watch, which has a sapphire case back displaying the 670P mechanical hand-wound tourbillon in splendid view, and fitted with a black leather strap (and which silver screen star and brand ambassador Ryan Reynolds, of save the day films like X Men, has worn). Mechanical die-hards may also like the open view skeleton models (starting price of around £52,000, more for diamond set versions), such as a eye-catching automatic pink gold and diamond piece, where all the inner workings are on view and set on a brown alligator leather strap.
Silver screen connection
As a bold, daring house, it’s no surprise that stars of the silver screen have long flocked to Piaget. Alain Delon famously wore a 1963 white gold, automatic 12P, while for ladies, style icon Jackie Kennedy donned an oval, jade dial watch with a diamond ringed bezel set on a hammered gold bracelet. In 2014, Piaget set out to continue the former First Lady’s legacy, and launched a special collection of jewelry watches in hammered gold with diamond bezels (starting price, £51,500). Today, new film ambassadors – Jessica Chastain, Ryan Reynolds, Gong Li among them – continue Piaget’s silver screen tradition.
With a strong ladies clientele, luxury jewelry undoubtedly is another pillar of Piaget. Twice a year Piaget unveils its latest high jewelry collection at Paris Couture week, with the last two seasons paying homage to the Sunny Side of Life with lively, vibrant collections featuring divine coloured gemstones. But one needn’t save for years to own Piaget jewelry; its lovely, everyday Possession line of gold jewelry has prices starting at just over £1,000.