Each year since 2012, Piaget has been celebrating the Chinese New Year with its “Art & Excellence” collection, designed to host expressions of artistic crafts. With the launch of its new Altiplano model featuring a cloisonné enamel dial, Piaget is pursuing its longstanding close ties with Asia in paying tribute to the cultures of this continent.
The Altiplano Email Cloisonné Goat belongs to a story of continuity, since this collection staging the signs of the Chinese zodiac began in 2012 with the Year of the Dragon and a magnificent interpretation of the legendary creature about to surge from the dial. It was enriched in 2013 with the undulations of a snake, while a prancing stallion with its mane flying in the wind heralded the Year of the Horse in 2014. This year, Altiplano is paying homage to the Chinese calendar of the skies by celebrating the Year of the Goat, which will begin on February 19th 2015.
Fired by a longstanding passion for artistic crafts, Manufacture Piaget excels in several of them thanks to the expertise of its craft masters and artisans. By associating various ancestral techniques with its creations, Piaget contributes to perpetuating these crafts, in harmony with the traditions of Fine Watchmaking and the creativity of the Manufacture.
Anita Porchet, a world-renowned independent enamel artist, has created on this occasion an exclusive cloisonné enamel dial in grey tones portraying the animal of the year. These soft shades of grey, subtly graded from intense to lighter nuances, annually set the distinctive style signature on an exceptional collection of which the power is expressed as much through the interpretation of the signs as in the countless details and the combinations of black and white.
Enamel, a material stemming from a composition of metal oxides added to glass, serves to achieve an infinite palette of colours and nuances. An ancestral technique already known in ancient times, enamel has always enjoyed close ties with jewellery and goldsmithing. This immutable tradition that has found its way through the centuries was perpetuated and established in 18th century Geneva, where it served to adorn watch cases and dials. Especially sensitive to this exceptional art that exalts colours and endows them lasting radiance, Piaget highlights this prestigious hand-crafted skill in its “Art & Excellence” collection.
The techniques involved in Grand Feu enamelling, which involves firing at temperatures of between 820 and 850°C, guarantee the longevity of models and the exceptional purity of enamel. From composing the pigments, which are crushed and mixed by hand, to delicately applying the colour on gold dials and right the way through to the successive firing in the kiln, each stage calls for acute attention. The last firing operation, which is essential to perfecting the appearance and ensuring the enamel is smoothly spread over the entire surface, contributes to enhancing its final glow.
For the “Art & Excellence” collection, inspired by the Chinese zodiac signs and based on the Altiplano 38 mm, Piaget has chosen the cloisonné enamel technique in order to better isolate the colours and ensure an optimally clear vision of the grey shading. The cloisons (partitions) compartmentalising the enamel underscore and enhance the exquisite delicacy of the motif. The result is achieved is a blend of power asserted by the triumphant posture of the goat, and of peace instilled by the grey colour-melting as well as the soft background landscape.
The Altiplano “Art & Excellence” from the Chinese Zodiac collection, a 38-piece limited edition exclusively dedicated to Piaget Boutiques.
Model: Piaget Altiplano 38 mm in cloisonné enamel
18-carat white gold case set with 78 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.7 ct)
Grand Feu cloisonné enamel dial inspired by the Chinese zodiac and graced with a Goat motif
Manufacture Piaget 430P ultra-thin mechanical manual-winding movement
Functions: hours, minutes, approx. 43-hour power reserve
Case diameter: 38 mm x 6.6 mm
Strap: black alligator leather with white gold pin buckle
Reference: G0A39540 – N° 01 / 38 (pink gold version available under reference G0A39541, also issued in a 38-piece limited edition)