Chinese New Year
A very Piaget celebration for the Chinese New Year
Maison Piaget introduces two limited edition watches to celebrate Chinese New Year
Magnificent dragon, mischievous monkey or sinuous snake, transforming the signs of the Chinese zodiac into vibrant works of art has become Piaget’s very own celebration of the Chinese New Year. Every year since 2012, the Maison has staged that year’s zodiac sign on the dial of one of its ultra-thin Altiplano watches, masterfully handcrafted in the great Grand Feu cloisonné enamelling tradition. In 2017 the rooster joins the limited edition collection, creatively interpreted within the confines of the watch’s extremely thin case.
The rooster reigns supreme on the Altiplano Chinese zodiac
Fusing the finest watchmaking with its passion for the decorative arts, world-renowned master enameller Anita Porchet has unleashed her imagination to bring to life the Rooster of the Chinese zodiac. A sign symbolizing confidence, punctuality, loyalty and honesty, the rooster is known for its pride of appearance therefore requiring a staging that was true to its distinguished personality. Turning once again to the cloisonné enamelling technique, she is able to reimagine the rooster in the signature style of the collection defined by its infinite shades of grey. By partitioning the enamel pigments using cloisons before they are fired multiple times at over 800°C in the kiln, she is able to better isolate the shades of grey from light to more intense in order to express the subtlest of detailing.
Master of this art of perfection, Anita Porchet breathes life into the exuberant rooster with creative virtuosity, achieving textures so elaborate and detailing so intricate that its luscious plumage seems to glisten as the magnificent creature poses majestically on the dial of the watch. Contrasting with the many tones of grey, white and black, the comb on its head and the wattle beneath its chin stands out in a vibrant red, evoking the way in which the rooster shows the world the shimmering facets of its personality. The radiance of the handcrafted enamel with its ethereal glow is enhanced by the natural beauty of 78 brilliant-cut diamonds set on the watch’s white gold case. Limited to just 38 pieces, this collector’s edition is a fitting homage to great skill of the métiers d’art with their ancestral techniques so passionately nurtured by Piaget.
Bespoke artistry in black and gold: The 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac on the Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif
In keeping with this tradition of paying tribute to the culture of the Asian continent and to mark the 10th anniversary of the famous Tourbillon Relatif movement, Piaget has created a one-of-a-kind piece inspired by the Chinese zodiac. For this exclusive and unique masterpiece in white gold and black enamel, a master engraver and enameller have come together to stage the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac on the dial of a Piaget Polo watch combining champlevé Grand Feu enamelling with delicate hand engravings of each of the animals. From its dial to the back and the sides of the case, this model can be entirely personalized to the wishes of its owner thanks to the creative marriage of two exceptional Art & Excellence techniques.
During a process that requires absolute precision, the engraver traces the design on the dial and creates the cells that will be filled with black enamel. The champlevé technique consists in eliminating the excess material to reveal the desired design rather than simply etching the design into the metal. At this stage, the enameller fills the cavities with black pigments before putting the piece into the fire numerous times at over 800°C before the enamel can be evened out and finally varnished to give it its ethereal radiance. The final stage of engraving is the most delicate as the engraver patiently adds the minute details to the artwork to achieve the highest level of refinement. The master engraver must proceed with the utmost care as the slightest mistake could cause irreversible damage to the precious enamel. Achieving the level of detail in miniature for each of the zodiac signs requires extraordinary skill.
The theme of the Chinese zodiac is carried through on the profile of the watch’s case decorated with the 12 Chinese characters associated with each of the signs of the zodiac engraved in champlevé with black enamelling. On the case-back, the Chinese symbol for longevity is engraved and then delicately enamelled. Inside this artistic ode to the legend of the Chinese zodiac beats the 608P Tourbillon Relatif movement, itself a technical tour-de-force and a revolutionary concept in high watchmaking with the ultra-thin carriage of the tourbillon making a double revolution: one on itself every minute, and one rotation around the dial every hour. The hours are indicated by the central disc, while the seconds are indicated by the carriage of the tourbillon suspended above the dial on the minute hand. In celebration of the movement’s 10th anniversary, the minute hand has been redesigned as a cut-out arrow so as to allow a better view of the decorations on the dial.
Two uniquely distinctive watches available exclusively at Piaget Boutiques, two special ways to celebrate the year ahead. By giving free reign to the artistry of the most skilled artisans, Piaget evokes all the symbolism and the richness of Asian culture.