The one millionth watch bearing the Piaget has just emerged from the workshops of the Manufacture. Representing an perfect expression of the two fields of skill brilliantly mastered by Piaget: haute horlogerie in La Côte-aux-Fées and haute joaillerie in Geneva – the Piaget Emperador Full-Set Coussin Perpetual Calendar enshrines the entire Piaget heritage. Only 20 of these watches will be produced in 2010.
From the workshop set up by Georges Edouard Piaget in La Côte-aux-Fées in 1874, to the contemporary international luxury brand, Piaget has successfully developed its dual watchmaking and jewellery-making skills over the past century and a half. Now firmly established in two sites – La Côte-aux-Fées in the Neuchâtel Jura region and Plan-les-Ouates in Canton Geneva – each of which has specialised in one of these areas, the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget now proudly presents its millionth timepiece: the Piaget Emperador Full-Set Coussin Perpetual Calendar. A watch embodying a tribute to the two worlds in which Piaget has chosen to excel.
Piaget has long since belonged to the select circle of fully-integrated watch manufacturers that can legitimately claim to offer their customers the privilege of wearing a watch equipped with a movement entirely designed, developed and produced in-house. This much-envied capacity, these decades of creativity, inventions along with technical and human investments have now endowed Piaget with a wealth of horological assets including an exceptional portfolio of mechanical movements.
Over the decades, the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie Piaget has steadily cultivated its expertise in one of the most sophisticated technical fields: that of ultra-thin movements. From the famous Calibre 9P released in 1957 and representing the thinnest mechanical hand-wound movement in its category released at just 2 mm; to the new slenderness record for a mechanical self-winding movement set by the dainty 2.35 mm Calibre 1208P in 2010, the history of Piaget has been punctuated by milestone creations in this prestigious segment.
However, the specific nature of the brand does not stop there, since what makes Piaget a truly unique watch manufacturer is that, in parallel with this technical excellence, it has also acquired genuine expertise in jewellery-making – not only by creating jewellery and Haute Joaillerie lines, but also by applying this remarkable know-how to the domain of gem-set watches.
In order to celebrate the production of its millionth timepiece, Piaget has thus chosen to highlight this twofold expertise by presenting the Piaget Emperador Full-Set Coussin Perpetual Calendar. An authentic mechanical time-programming instrument, capable of handling calendar irregularities until the year 2100, the perpetual calendar is one of the major horological complications and also one of the most widely appreciated. This watch houses Calibre 856P, a mechanical self-winding movement beating at a cadence of 21,600 vibrations per hour and boasting a 72-hour power reserve.
Loyal to the tradition of the many ultrathin movements created by Piaget, this diminutive 5.6 mm thick calibre houses an impressive array of functions: hours, minutes, small seconds at 4 o’clock, month and leap year at 12 o’clock, retrograde day of the week and date indications at 3 o’clock. In addition to these two retrograde displays, it is distinguished from the majority of ordinary perpetual calendars by the addition of a dual time zone displayed by two hands in a subdial at 9 o’clock, as well as a day/night indicator indexed to the central hour.
This masterpiece of technical complexity designed and developed in-house is also naturally crafted and assembled in the brand Manufacture in La Côte-aux-Fées. Piaget’s historical cradle is entirely dedicated to complications and it is here that the watchmaking heart of the firm continues to beat. Movements are also decorated there in the traditional manner, and Calibre 856P is no exception: its mainplate and bridges are circular-grained and bevelled, their flanks are hand-drawn, and the decoration is enhanced with blued screws and circular Côtes de Genève. The movement is also cased up in La Côte-aux-Fées, while the case is gem-set at the Manufacture in Plan-les-Ouates.
Located in the Canton of Geneva, this more recently built production facility has come to specialise in the areas of design, the crafting of cases and bracelets in precious metals, and of jewellery. It is thus here that the final touch was given to the appearance of the millionth Piaget watch representing the culmination of more than 300 hours of development. Its distinctive cushion shape and the decision to combine full-cut and baguette-cut diamonds totalling 9.9 carats clearly added to the daunting complexity of this project. Witness the extraordinary jewelling of the bezel: the succession of 60 baguette-cut diamonds –one for each minute – seems to literally give life and movement to this case offering a display of virtuoso,gem setting dexterity.
The dial is also a major accomplishment, featuring a surface housing no less than 263 diamonds, 12 hourmarkers and 5 subdials. Over 60 hours of work were lavished on the gem-setting alone of this millionth watch, and Piaget has even gone to the extent of setting 25 diamonds on the oscillating weight winding the movement, thereby lending an additional jeweller’s touch to the horological vision that may be admired through the transparent case-back.
Model: Piaget Emperador Coussin Full-set Perpetual Calendar
18-carat white gold case set with 314 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx 2,5 cts), 60 baguette-cut diamonds (approx 5 cts)
Dial set with 263 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx 1.2 cts), guilloche and satin-brushed counters, applied 18- carat white gold hour-markers, case-back fitted with sapphire crystal revealing the movement
Crown set with 12 baguette-cut diamonds (approx 0.4 ct)
Hour, minute, small seconds (at 4 o’clock), dual time (at 8 o’clock), month/leap year (at 12 o’clock), day (retrograde indicator at 9 o’clock) and date (retrograde indicator at 3 o’clock)
Manufacture Piaget 856P mechanical self-winding perpetual calendar
movement with retrograde day and date display, and dual time zone
Oscillating weight set with 25 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx 0.2 ct)
Movement thickness: 5.60 mm
Casing dimensions: 28.4 mm
Number of jewels: 38
Cadence: 21,600 vph
Approximately 72-hours power reserve
Finishing: circular Côtes de Genève, circular-grained plate, bridges bevelled and drawn with a file, blued screws, oscillating weight engraved with Piaget coat-of-arms
18-carat white gold pin buckle set with 7 baguette-cut diamonds (approx 0.6 ct)
Black alligator leather strap