Piaget’s High Jewellery story dates back to the 1960s when the house started making jewellery pieces to complement its watches which by that time had become icons in the industry. The brand already had the skills in-house to produce jewellery pieces so it was a natural progression to move into this sector. Today, jewellery accounts for more than a third of Piaget’s sales and has become a key area of focus over the last two years as the Maison has firmly aligned itself as one of the world’s leading high jewellers. Its designs are understated and elegant and have a perfect way of appealing to customers of all generations.
Piaget’s high jewellery collections showcase the very best of the Maison’s craftsmanship skills and ability to make beautiful creations. Using only the finest materials and stones these creations are the epitome of the brand’s ability to create beautiful designs. Colour has always been at the heart of the brand’s creations, with only the finest gemstones and diamonds being selected.
This year Piaget’s High Jewellery collection marks the second chapter in the Maison’s “Give Us The Night” story. The Solstice collection is inspired by the moment the sun goes down and the moon and stars begin to shine. Capturing joyful moments as crowds begin to celebrate with their loved ones in moments of joy. There is a reference to the origination of cocktail rings in the 1920s, with a selection of statement rings inspired by bright and colourful drinks, as well as watches and jewellery pieces paying homages to the colourful creations enjoyed during an evening of celebration. The pieces celebrate energy, fun and happiness in a perfectly modern way.
Under the guidance of Christophe Bourrie, Piaget’s Global High Jewellery & Exceptional Creations Director, the Maison’s craftsmen worked for months, pushing the limits of their excellence to create unique pieces. The result is a collection that exceeds expectations and opens up the Maison to a more modern client base. Here we find out more about the latest high jewellery collection as well as what to expect from the brand in the jewellery sector moving forward.
Tell us about the past year at Piaget and what you have been working on.
The past year has been quite positive for Piaget High Jewellery. After two challenging years due to the COVID-19 impact, we have managed, in the last months to start travelling and meeting our clients again. It is great to be able to showcase our creations once again through events and to offer our clients the opportunity to experience the Piaget Society. So most of my time has been spent in the markets with our clients for a celebration.
Tell us about the inspiration behind the new high jewellery collections.
After a night under Extraordinary Lights, our last High Jewellery Collection is inspired by the year’s most exceptional night. The night of the solstice. The Solstice collection is a celebration of shared joy, extravaganza and pure beauty. After a first chapter inspired by voluptuous and fluid Haute Couture gowns, the Solstice collection takes this precious combination of fun and craft even further: Solstice’s second instalment is all about laughter and long conversations under the shimmering moon. Outside, night has finally descended. Inside, illuminated by the stars in the sky and the glowing moon up above, the lights shine an infinity of sparks on the joyful crowd.
Is there a particular piece in the collection that has a special story or is of particular significance to you?
The cocktail rings are definitely talking pieces. They represent very well what Piaget is all about: colour, playfulness and shared joy. They also strongly rely on Piaget’s unique expertise in gemmology and gold craftsmanship. To reproduce the volume, colours and textures of each cocktail’s ingredients, the Piaget ateliers and their faithful craftsmen worked for months, pushing the limits of their excellence to create unique pieces. All over the world, gemmologists looked for the perfect stones, ones that could stand in for grenadine (pink sapphires), mint leaves (emeralds), sprinkled sugar (diamonds paved mounting), ice cubes (rough diamonds), or slices of lime (sculpted peridot)
Piaget’s High Jewellery savoir-faire then came into play, to assemble these gems with extreme precision and playfulness. The fruit slices were sculpted by hand by glyptic masters, and ultimate precision was needed for the diamonds and metal slices covering the fruit to fit perfectly.
On the rings, the delicate decorations open to free the centre gem which can then be worn as a solitaire, once again establishing Piaget as a master of creativity and transformability.
There is a lot of colour in the collection, what can you tell us about the choices of stones?
Colour is very important to Piaget. In 1963, Piaget launched its first colour dials in hard stones, a true milestone. Ever since, the brand has used colour in all of its creations and collections, whether it is through gemstones, hardstones, mother of pearl, feathers, precious woods or many other materials. Even if the palette is infinite, the choice of colour has its importance: they are vibrant and straight, a real choice that pushes the audacity and differentiation of the brand
How does Piaget balance craftsmanship and innovation and continue to appeal to existing and new customers?
Our clients like to be surprised. With each new collection, we try to come up with new audacious feats, being in terms of innovation or craftsmanship. At Piaget, we push our historical and traditional know-how to adapt it to our contemporary creations. Both our designers and artisans work hand in hand to apply traditional techniques, but to interpret them in a more modern way. The perfect example could be how we adapt the palace engraving (traditionally used on our jewellery watches) on unique necklaces or cuffs. The shine of the engraving plays with the light of the diamonds and coloured gemstones uniquely and originally. Nevertheless, we like to push the boundaries by working on new techniques, such as transformability for example or also by using new materials like titanium. To push our creativity even further, we also like to associate unexcepted Métiers d’Art with our creations. To do so, we work with artisans and artists who are masters in their fields of expertise. These partnerships enable us to present inimitable creations that can be seen as true works of Art.
Is there a particular era in the history of the brand or a style of jewellery that you love?
Piaget’s watches of the 1960s and 1980s conveyed the spirit of an era that saw the future flying the banner of freedom, thereby reflecting the art, architecture, and design of the time. History provides an understanding of the extent to which the originality of these creations must have been a true bolt of lightning within the context of a more conservative Switzerland. I love this tension between audacity and tradition at the same time.
What inspires you or gets you into a creative state of mind?
The creative mindset at Piaget is the result of a long process together with our creative committee led by our Artistic Director Stéphanie Sivrière. Ideas are shared and challenged by all to explore every aspect of the collection’s theme which allows everyone to express their core creativity.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your role today?
Creating a new high jewellery collection takes approximately three to five years, from the design brief to the collection launch. At the same time, the last two years have taught us to look into the future differently, and to be more resilient and agile when it comes to day to day. So there is this challenge of living in a constantly evolving present while projecting into the future.
What is something you would still like to do that you haven’t done yet?
Piaget is constantly listening to its patrons. As a result, we have developed strong expertise in transformable pieces allowing different ways of wearing in one single creation (ex: the centre stone of a necklace to wear as a ring). Pushing the boundaries even further than we do today would be a great feat, also feeding our Infinitely Personal program.
What can you tell us about sustainability at Piaget?
Sustainability is key at Piaget. We have a dedicated department as well as a sustainability committee steered by our CEO Benjamin Comar. We just had our first sustainability week last month as well.
It is in the heart of our company and we have many projects going on, notably on limiting our environmental footprint with the recent implementation of solar panels for our manufacture for example.
When it comes to the sourcing of gemstones and gold:
- 100% of our fine gold, provided by our Group refiner, is RJC Chain of Custody (COC) certified.
- 100% of alloyed gold (e.g. 18 carats) components as well as 100% of diamonds are purchased from RJC COP-certified suppliers.
- Regarding coloured gemstones, in CY2021 99.8% of the rubies, sapphires and emeralds were also bought either from RJC COP certified (91.9%) or ESG-audited (7.9%) suppliers.
What are your thoughts on how women in the Middle east wear jewellery?
Women in the Middle East have always had a special relationship with jewellery and High Jewellery, as they are gifted at each key moment in their life birth, graduation, marriage, giving birth etc.
They also collect pieces in order to pass them down in their families, as a legacy for future generations. They also want to feel special and distinguished, there is a true quest for uniqueness and designs that no one else has. They wear their jewellery with pride and distinction, as a true ceremonial dress.
What can you tell us about what else is in the pipeline for the rest of the year and next year?
We just launched chapter II of our new collection Solstice in Hong Kong with great success. The third chapter of the collection shall be launched soon, so this is our nearest challenge.
At the same time, we are: actively working on the next year’s collection which is already under creation in our Ateliers as well as designing the collection to be launched in 2024. So we definitely have a full calendar!
What is the professional motto you live by?
Nothing works until you try it. “They didn’t know it was impossible so they did it.” Mark Twain.
How would you describe Piaget in one word?