After several years exploring the sun’s path and the play of its light on nature, Piaget’s designers have now been inspired by nighttime lights, capturing it in all its nuances. The Extraordinary Lights collection is divided into three chapters: Festive Lights that reference lanterns drifting skywards, Magical Lights when the night is illuminated by the technicolor spectacle of the aurora borealis sending streaks of color into the heavens, and Infinite Lights when we contemplate starlit skies as night draws to a close. Christophe Bourrié, High Jewelry and Exceptional Creations Global Director, comments, “The theme is an important element when creating a high jewelry collection – it tells a story and makes us dream. However, in order to preserve our DNA and who we are, it is crucial that the collection responds to our stylistic codes and signatures. It is the way we make our creations recognizable for all. Piaget’s five main stylistic codes are: asymmetry, stylization (as we are neither literal nor figurative), fluidity, the marquise cut and playfulness.”
The masterpiece of the collection, the Extraordinary Lights necklace that may be worn in nine different ways – a new record for a high jewelry creation – draws inspiration from the golden hour that magically appears shortly after sunrise. It depicts the duality of the moment when night is about to vanish and the sun rises on the horizon, balancing the cooler blue tones of the sapphires on the night side, and the yellow, orange and red hues of the diamonds, spinels and spessartites on the day side. A stunning 8.88-carat cushion-cut fancy vivid yellow diamond is combined with a 5.34-carat pear-shaped Sri Lankan blue sapphire and a 3.61-carat pear-shaped Tanzanian red spinel in a piece that required 450 work hours. Set alight by 12 vivid red Mozambique and Thai rubies that radiate outwards in a starburst recalling the sight of thousands of lanterns illuminating the night sky, the Blazing Night necklace is the result of 400 craftsmanship hours, while the Magical Aurora necklace, whose setting necessitated the skills of a master jeweler with over 15 years of experience, showcases a 16.84-carat Colombian emerald and honors nature’s light show.
Sporting an off-centered hours-minutes counter and the flying tourbillon of the in-house ultra-thin 670P movement, the mosaic-like dial of the eight-piece limited-edition Celestial Dance Altiplano timepiece echoes the night sky. In blue straw, leather, parchment, elytron and hornbeam wood – unusual materials for jewelry – the dial in multi-material micro-marquetry is a specialty of independent French marquetry artisan Rose Saneuil, who painstakingly cuts each element before encrusting them on the surface one piece at a time under a microscope. A Piaget icon, the cuff watch appears as the asymmetrical, articulated Voluptuous Borealis decorated in diamonds and baguette-cut Zambian emeralds in three shades of green, mimicking the aurora borealis and paying tribute to Piaget’s creativity in the 1960s and ’70s when it led the way in avant-garde jewelry and horological design.
The Blissful Lights necklace shines with a rare 10.12-carat yellow diamond graded “fancy intense” that’s detachable and can be transformed into a ring, which took craftsmen more than a year of conception and design development work, then a further 280 hours to manufacture. Mirroring colors flashing across the night sky, the Gloaming Illuminations necklace comes in a cascade of 27 emerald-cut pink, purple and blue sapphires that required over two years to assemble to match them in size, shade and quality. “The world has changed in the last few months,” admits Bourrié. “It has been more difficult to hold events and to show our creations to our customers physically, but we adapted and looked for other ways to present our creations. We presented remotely or organized one-to-one presentations in a more intimate way. More than ever, people need to dream, to pamper and to take care of themselves. High jewelry is one of the answers to this new need of positivity.”