• The Celestial Blue Necklace comes in 18karat white gold with one ovalcut cabochon star blue sapphire from Ceylon, blue sapphires and diamonds and a touch of feather marquetry. Photo courtesy of Piaget
  • Nelly Saunier prepares the feather mock-up. Photo courtesy of Piaget
  • A gouache painting served as a reference for the initial feather mock-up. Photo courtesy of Piaget
  • Schiuma D’Oro Watch is an 18K pink gold Altiplano watch set with 78 brilliantcut diamonds and with a white alligator bracelet and 18K pink gold ardillon buckle. Photo courtesy of Piaget
  • Cutting up and applying the eggshell fragments to the Schiuma D’Oro watch. Photo courtesy of Piaget
  • The Sand Waves 18K pink gold cuff watch. Photo courtesy of Piaget
  • A craftsman sets the surround of the Sand Waves watch once the opal is adjusted. Photo courtesy of Piaget
  • The Paper Flower 18K white gold Altiplano watch. Photo courtesy of Piaget
  • An infinitely small, tricolour tesserae is cut out ready to be placed on the dial of the paper flower watch. Photo courtesy of Piaget
  • The tesserae are individually applied on the dial. Photo courtesy of Piaget

Here comes the sun

fashion July 13, 2017 01:00

By Special to The Nation

3,077 Viewed

Piaget launches its limitededition suninspired high jewellery and watches collection



Recognised the world over for its talent and passion for craftsmanship as well as for exceptional gems, Maison Piaget brings finely crafted precious metals, surprising materials, and rediscovered art to its new fine jewellery collection. Titled Sunlight Journey, it comprises three parts – dawn, midday and evening. 

 

The Celestial Blue Necklace comes in 18karat white gold with one ovalcut cabochon star blue sapphire from Ceylon, blue sapphires and diamonds and a touch of feather marquetry. Photos courtesy of Piaget

 

There is a touch of transcendence about the work of feather artist Nelly Saunier, making her a natural choice to cooperate on the Celestial Blue Necklace. The skilled artisan, who assembles feathers with such precision, selecting them like precious stones for their shapes and shades, infuses Piaget creations with an incredibly dainty and graceful elegance. Even the sapphires reveal a special glow in contact with this fine feathery array. Rings and sautoir necklaces display exceptional panache in revealing their sunny motifs enhanced by feather marquetry. 

A craftsman sets the surround of the Sand Waves watch once the opal is adjusted. Photos courtesy of Piaget

The Schiuma D’Oro watch combines the most fragile and natural of materials, eggshell, with precious metals in a mosaic work on gold leaf. For this piece, Piaget called on Isabelle Emmerique’s talent to create a depiction of foaming waves viewed from the sky as they billow across a sun-dappled sea. 

It’s a work that called for extreme patience and meticulous care. The dial motif was first highlighted by lacquer using a traditional European technique. This process, which at the time made it possible to gain emancipation from the Chinese and Japanese artisans who were the guardians of this expertise, is an established Maison Piaget favourite for its creations.

Two weeks were required for the lacquer to dry perfectly before being coated with gold leaf. The foam motif was then crafted by means of a mosaic pattern featuring hundreds of eggshell fragments, skilfully cut in a remarkable miniaturisation effort so as to represent the movements of the water. This particular work involves a specific challenge in that the fragments are not encrusted, but instead delicately applied onto the gold leaf using a gilding technique that creates an interesting volume effect.

The Paper Flower 18K white gold Altiplano watch.Photo courtesy of Piaget

The Sunlight Journey collection offered Piaget an opportunity to demonstrate the versatility of its expertise in the art of adorning gold. The signature Piaget “Palace Decor” involves manually engraving the precious metal so as to come up with irregular striations creating a raw silk-type effect. 

The branches of bougainvilleas adorn the dial of the Altiplano Haute Joaillerie Paper Flower watch, set with baguette-cut diamonds, suggesting coolness and shade. 

This is the first Piaget creation to use the gold micro-mosaic technique for the branch motif, combined with traditional glass micro-mosaic for the flowers. In collaboration with the artisan Cesare Bella, Piaget has achieved a feat of miniaturisation that infuses the motifs with vibrant colours and visual depth. 

The flowers and leaves are made from tesserae comprising various shades that must first be drawn out before meticulous cutting. Each fragment obtained preserves the wealth of colours to achieve an inimitably subtle effect. Another major challenge was assembling and arranging the tesserae on the dial in such a way as to comply with the stringent tolerances imposed by ultra-thin watches.