Joyful elegance

Piaget embraces an up close and personal relationship with a discerning customer base

Assembly of ultra-thin Altiplano Ultimate Concept.

Last June, Benjamin Comar took the helm at Piaget and it has been a great first year for the CEO, highlighted by the brand's double win at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève 2021.

Limelight Gala Precious Rainbow and Altiplano Ultimate Automatic respectively won the Ladies' Watch and Mechanical Exception Watch Prizes that attest to Piaget's prowess in haute horlogerie.

"Ultra-thin watches, jewellery watches with exquisite gemstone settings, elegant but playful design, Piaget is a contrasted and very rich universe," said Comar. "Our watch designs have always been extravagant and yet very sophisticated. We want to continue to 'always do better than necessary', as our motto says."

The maison dates back to 1874, when Georges-Édouard Piaget founded a watchmaking atelier on the family farm in the small village of La Côte-aux-Fées located in the Swiss Jura mountains.

Third-generation Valentin Piaget was obsessed about ultra-thin movements, and the mechanical hand-wound 9P caliber with a thickness of 2mm caused a sensation in 1957 at the Swiss Industries Fair held in Basel.

Piaget CEO Benjamin Comar.

Two years later, the Swiss brand launched its first luxury jewellery collection that was showcased alongside the watches at the first "Salon Piaget" in Geneva.

"We are very lucky to have two exceptional expertise in our maison. Today we master the watch and jewellery making at our manufactures in La Côte-aux-Fées and Plan-les-Ouates," he said. "At our in-house workshops, we will continue to develop a fusion of crafts but always at the service of beauty and design, to create sophisticated, stylish and precious pieces."

The ultra-thin Altiplano, Piaget Polo and high complication watches along with mechanical movements are developed and crafted at the historical home.

Opened in 2001, the ateliers in Plan-les-Ouates specialise in goldsmithing, particularly in handcrafting silk-like mesh bracelets, and Palace Décor engraving; while gemologists and gemsetters work on the fine and high-jewellery creations.

With a playful turning element, the Possession ring launched in 1990 has been adapted into earrings, bracelets and pendants, adorned with precious or ornamental stones. Under the slogan "Turn Life On", the new campaign targets both men and women.

Gemsetting of Limelight Gala high-jewellery watch.

"Men are seduced by the Possession rings and bangles and we also see them wearing our high jewellery pieces. We will continue to evolve in this direction and to propose elegant and genderless pieces to our clients," said Comar. "I never used to think in terms of gender, in our world it does not make sense anymore. For me, it is up to our customers to choose the product that best suits them and we offer them the largest and most appealing choice possible."

Other jewellery collections include Piaget Sunlight, which echoes the brand's "Sunny Side of Life" mantra; and Piaget Rose collection, inspired by an award-winning centifolia with 80 lace petals, named after fourth-generation Yves Piaget.

The floral motif is constantly reinvented in jewellery and watches, calling upon the brand's artistic crafts such as cloisonné or champlevé enamel grained with gold, wood or mother-of-pearl marquetry, or golden thread embroidery.

GPHG 2021 Mechanical Exception Watch, the Altiplano Ultimate Automatic.

The queen of flowers has also been reinterpreted in sumptuous high-jewellery pieces such as cuffs and secret watches, as well as tiaras.

"The one word to focus on when speaking about our creations is indeed 'joyful'. These pieces are the result of teamwork between our artisans and designers, all passionate about their art. They share their joy in their rigorous know-how and bring to life the values of extravagance and celebration so dear to Yves Piaget," said Comar.

With a history of almost 150 years, Piaget keeps up with the times and since 2017, it has been present on the Net-à-Porter and Mr Porter platforms in order to reach out to a new audience.

"The customers' vision of luxury and their buying habits have evolved. New forms of digital interaction are emerging and customers' behaviour is less linear. Only personalised, interactive and immediate experiences can meet the expectations of these new clients," he said.

Award-winning Limelight Gala Precious Rainbow set with green tsavorites and coloured sapphires.

"Internationally, our digital footprint was already well established. Aligned with our pioneering spirit, Piaget embraced digitalisation quite early. We were actually one of the first maisons to launch an e-commerce website and, in 2015, we launched our first e-boutique in China. Since then, our e-commerce has continued to expand."

This year Comar celebrates 30 years in the luxury industry. He previously held executive roles across a number of prestigious brands including Cartier and Chanel. Before joining Piaget he was the CEO of Italian jewellery house Repossi.

"The different roles have enriched my experience with a 360-degree view, from sales to marketing and communication. I have also experienced very different companies, with very different visions," he said. "Repossi and Piaget, for example, are two maisons with two very distinct sizes and strategies. I am pleased to bring my expertise and sensitivity to Piaget, which has a rich heritage and still lives up to its historical value, but we will continue to push our boundaries further."

Signature Palace Décor engraving.

The Yves Piaget rose blooms on the dial of the Altiplano Rose Bouquet watch and necklace.

Possession genderless ring.

The Yves Piaget rose blooms on the dial of the Altiplano Rose Bouquet watch and necklace.

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