About Piaget Watches
Since its inception in 1874, the Piaget company has strictly followed founder Georges-Édouard Piaget’s motto: Always do better than necessary. From decorating the world’s A-list celebrities and developing watch lines with revered artists like Dalí and Warhol, Piaget has come a long way from its humble beginnings.
From the Piaget family farm in La Côte-aux-Fées, Switzerland (the heart of artisan watchmaking), Georges-Édouard dedicated himself to creating the finest watch parts possible. Always searching for a way to outdo his company’s latest creation, within a few decades, the brand would be supplying the most distinguished companies with his timepiece components and high-precision movements.
By the turn of the 20th century, the majority of Piaget employees were direct family members. Under the direction of Georges-Édouard’s son, Timothée, the company blossomed as a luxury timepiece producer, especially wristwatches that have become their hallmark. During World War II, after Timothée’s sons (Gérald and Valentin) took the helm, the company finally became a registered trademark.
In 1945, the brothers opened a new, more modern plant in La Côte-aux-Fées to keep up with demand. While competitors reveled in the availability of post-war metals, Piaget went developed its 2-mm, ultra-thin, hand-wound 9P movement. Within three years, the thinnest automatic micro-rotor movement (the 12P) was born and accepted into the Guinness Book of World Records.
Piaget Fuses Jewelrymaking with Watchmaking
With the development of these incredibly thin watch movements, Piaget quickly expanded its line to include ring, brooch, and cufflink watches. It was only a matter of time before their foray into the jewelry world.
By 1959, a Piaget showroom was opened in Geneva, Switzerland. This was where engineers and artisans joined forces to create modern jewelry designs and find technological solutions for their timepieces. Under Valentin Piaget’s watchful eye, the company also established gold-working and jewel-cutting salons in Geneva to keep every part of the process in-house.
Throughout the 1960s, Piaget continued to make waves with their precious stone-inlaid pendant watches and gold-embossed cuff timepieces from the “21st Century Collection”. It wasn’t long before aristocrats and international celebrities (like Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Bouvier Kennedy) were wooed by these luxurious Space Age designs. Even surrealist Salvador Dalí signed on to create extravagant watches and cufflinks.
Synonymous with Celebrity
Since taking the reins as the fourth-generation owner, Yves G. Piaget has brought a new sense of refinement and elegance. In 1979, the Piaget Polo was released to celebrate the “sport of royals.” Considered a watch and bracelet hybrid, it has gained a reputation as a status symbol among the upper echelons of society.
Today, Piaget ateliers work with some of the world’s most stylish clients (like Rihanna and Jessica Chastain) to create custom designs. From the most intricate gem settings to the cleanest of lines, Piaget components like the Ultra-thin Skeleton Tourbillon are highly sought-after for their remarkable craftsmanship and opulent detailing.
And though the company was purchased by the luxury Richemont group in 1988, they’ve never lost sight of its original purpose: Developing the world’s most precise and extravagant timepieces.