Piaget Timepiece Exhibition 2013
Ultra-thin movements – when technology becomes art
In March in the first arcade of the GUM shopping centre, sophisticated connoisseurs of micro-movements will have a chance to see historical and modern Piaget watches tracing the astounding history of this Swiss Manufacture’s development.
Piaget’s Haute Horlogerie Manufacture made history with its production of ultra-thin movements. Constantly striving for perfection and always designing new calibres, for over half a century Piaget has demonstrated incredible innovative brilliance. Unique extra-thin watches have become its distinguishing feature and raised it onto the pedestal of Haute Horlogerie.
Beginning in the mid-1950s, Piaget aspired to create thinner movements with designs that forged its future. Piaget still displays mastery in the manufacturing of ultra-thin watches. In the past 12 years, the Manufacture has designed over 30 calibres, which are a testament to its on-going dedication to maximum thinness that lends each watch an exquisite quality, be it a dual time zone, chronograph, perpetual calendar or tourbillon model.
Piaget is rightly considered a master in watchmaking and the manufacturing of ultra-thin movements. We are delighted to present a few historic models from the collection, which constitutes the brand’s legacy.
The exhibit samples date back to the 1960s and 1970s and represent a family of ultra-thin watches equipped with the legendary 9P and 12P Piaget movements that made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. The watches from this series have been manufactured since the late 1950s and met with fabulous success. They combine truly Piaget features: an ultra-thin manual or self-winding movement and a dial adorned with gemstones. Owners of these watches include such legendary personalities as Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Kennedy.
For the first time, semi-precious stones appeared on the dials of Piaget luxury watches in the 1960s. In the 1970s, they became part of the permanent collections. The gold work on a number of models displays Piaget’s unique mastery in its manufacturing of gold bracelets.
Models of cuff watches from that period inspired the creation of the Couture Precieuse collection which was exhibited at the Bienniale des Antiquaires in Paris.
One of the exhibits is a coin watch produced by the Piaget Manufacture from the late 1940s until the early 1990s. That model attests to the technical mastery in the making of ultra-thin movements: a small watch case set in a gold coin. These creations combine experience, bold designs and unique virtuosity.
The ability to create ultra-thin watch calibres, thereby making it possible to produce the most daring of watchcase designs, is the true mark of an Haute Horlogerie watchmaker’s calling. While remaining faithful to Piaget’s extremely rich history, the exhibition charts an entertaining course through time, a force that holds no sway over the models being exhibited.