In Japan, there is a specific term that honours artisans who singularly and wholeheartedly dedicate their lives to perfecting their craft, not only in the technical aspects but also fully embodying the true meaning of craftsmanship, right up to a spiritual level – the shokunin. Generations of craftsmen at Piaget’s Ateliers de l’Extraordinaire work similarly, with the aim of ‘making creations so beautiful that no one knows how they were able to to do it’. They commit themselves to the mastery of gold-working techniques, breathing soul into precious metals by materialising them into more than a hundred types of gold bracelets, created entirely in-house.
Since 1957, Piaget has mastered an extensive range of goldsmithing techniques. In the hands of master artisans, watch bracelets take the form of supple straps woven from a single thread-like wire, meticulously hand-finished bracelets with textures resembling fabric, wood and fur, among others. The ‘Décor Palace’ finish originating from the 1960s is arguably the most recognisable. This decorative hand-engraving technique, unique to Piaget, gives precious metals an iridescent, textured appearance resembling raw silk. It has since been applied to many exquisite Piaget timepieces and high jewellery creations throughout the years.
At SIHH 2019, Piaget unveiled a brand new finishing on the dial and bracelet of the Extremely Lady watch. Inspired by exotic fauna, this new finishing replicates the texture of scales. Each scale is painstakingly brushed by hand using varying pressure, to reflect light at different angles. In addition, an updated Limelight Gala timepiece in pink gold featuring a malachite dial and a new open-worked style of gem-setting, a Possession watch with a textured Milanese mesh cuff, as well as a Tradition timepiece with a new dial in pink mother of pearl were also unveiled.
Evoking the bold aesthetics that defined the extravagant style of the maison through the Sixties and Seventies, these elegant yet sensual timepieces continue to epitomise the exuberance and glamour personified by the larger-than-life style icons of that golden era.