Courtesy: Piaget

In 2012, at the onset of the Lunar New Year festivity, Piaget embraced the Year of the Dragon with an extraordinary assortment of timepieces.

By Jessica Pena

Step back in time to 2012 as Piaget celebrates the Lunar New Year with an exquisite collection for the Year of the Dragon!

Key Takeaways
  • Explore Piaget’s extraordinary timepieces inspired by the Year of the Dragon.
  • Discover the craftsmanship and symbolism behind each watch in the collection.
  • Learn how Piaget honors tradition while embracing innovation in watchmaking.

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As the cyclical journey of twelve years recommences at Piaget, the essence of audacious innovation, extraordinary elegance, and unforeseen allure resurfaces once more for an exclusive Lunar New Year assortment dedicated to the captivating forces of the Dragon and Phoenix.

The Dragon, symbolizing dominance, vigor, and affluence, is one of the Chinese zodiac’s most revered and symbolic figures. It’s no surprise that for Piaget’s commemorative Lunar New Year collection in 2012, the Maison crafted 24 distinct pieces, incorporating four intricately detailed high watchmaking complications, eight Metiers d’Art timepieces, and two clandestine High Jewellery watches. These were succeeded annually by meticulously crafted timepieces, predominantly adorned in muted hues, paying homage to the zodiac sign of each year.

Courtesy: Piaget

Piaget now inaugurates the inception of another twelve-year cycle with a magnificent new collection, once again honoring the symbolism of the Dragon and Phoenix – representing the intertwined Chinese embodiments of masculinity and femininity, grit and authority, optimism and rejuvenation, epitomizing the pinnacle of harmony and equilibrium. Featuring ten bold designs of exceptional timepieces and High Jewellery creations – accompanied by a pair of lavish and exclusively crafted High Jewellery cuff watches – each creation brims with sentiment and vitality, joyously embodying the essence of the Maison while exalting inimitable Metiers d’Art and horological craftsmanship.

Exceptional Artistry

Since 2006, the virtuoso enamelist Anita Porchet has collaborated with Piaget, imparting her unparalleled expertise to the Maison in crafting miniature enamel accents – alongside her unwavering patience and ardor. Porchet has been the creative force behind Piaget’s annual Lunar New Year timepieces, and now, two 38mm Altiplano Zodiac references adopt a particularly contemporary and effervescent demeanor. Limited to a mere 38 units each, the dials portray either a graceful azure Dragon or a fusion of crimson, rose, and tangerine tones for the Phoenix soaring amidst the clouds, with the celestial backdrop fashioned from a delicate blend of sculpted white and ash grey mother of pearl. Porchet’s skillful cloisonné enameling and her distinctive interplay of illumination, shade, and translucency imbue vitality into the scene. Gold engraving further enriches the Dragon’s scales and the Phoenix’s plumage, imparting depth and dimensionality. Intricate in their artistry and refinement, the watches’ expert execution evokes a sense of marvel and admiration, offering a universal allure that transcends these traditional motifs as Chinese symbols. A vibrant and vivid new ensemble that establishes a new standard of style.

Courtesy: Piaget

Continuing the theme are four new High Jewellery timepieces. A 41mm Altiplano High Jewellery Dragon watch showcases Porchet’s delicate paillonné enamelwork, harmonizing with a gold-engraved Dragon depicted in exquisite detail. Adorned with crimson lacquered eyes and clutching a mystical black opal fireball in its talons, the entire design emanates from a resplendent sunburst engraving. Adorned with diamonds on the lugs and bezel, the watch is driven by Piaget’s historic 830P Manufacture ultra-thin, manually wound mechanical movement and is limited to eight numbered editions.

The Dragon motif meanders onto a new Piaget Emperador watch, featuring a flying tourbillon within a breathtaking architecture. This gold-engraved Dragon exudes a particularly captivating and audacious allure, sensuously winding its way around the case and onto the watch’s sides and the dial. Snow-set sapphires and diamonds, meticulously arranged in a graduated fashion, evoking a sparkling, star-studded azure firmament. The 46.5mm timepiece epitomizes Piaget as a striking fusion of haute horology and inspired jewelry – a remarkable work of unanticipated beauty.

Two Phoenix High Jewellery watches offer a feminine and exquisite interpretation. A splendid array of marquise and brilliant-cut diamonds adorns a 32mm timepiece in an asymmetrical motif, while gold engraving details embellish the dial, energizing the design. This is complemented by a gold bracelet featuring the Decor Palace finish, one of Piaget’s most revered gold engraving techniques. A second model is presented in a ruby and white gold blend, with each variant limited to eight pieces.

Objects of Admiration

For the first time, the capsule collection encompasses high jewelry creations: a distinctive Dragon brooch and ring and two Phoenix ear cuffs. A 4.02-carat cushion-cut Mozambique ruby serves as the centerpiece of the bold signet ring, accompanied by spessartite and spinels arranged in a graduated fashion, accentuated by baguette-cut diamonds and gold engraving. Another exceptional gem is a dazzling and vibrant Dragon brooch encircling three remarkable stones – yellow sapphire, spessartite, and spinel, all in cushion cuts – while an array of round-cut rubies, spessartites, and spinels invigorate the piece. It took over 8 months for the Maison to discover the perfect pair of central stones with matching hues.

Earcuffs have become a signature of Piaget – embodying the Maison’s asymmetry, flamboyance, and elevated expression characteristics. Echoing the design language of the two Phoenix jewelry watches, the ear cuffs are offered in either a blend of diamond and rose gold or ruby and white gold, with marquise, pear, and brilliant-cut diamonds dancing amidst exquisite gold engraving. These jewels exude dynamism, accentuated volumes, and sheer radiance.

Two made-to-order High Jewellery cuff watches deliver a final touch of excitement. An audacious Dragon cuff – adorned with onyx fringe and embellished with a blend of baguette, marquise, and brilliant-cut diamonds – features the creature embracing a watch dial and a magnificent black opal cabochon. Meanwhile, an engraved gold Phoenix cuff, adorned with an exquisite rubellite cabochon, is decorated with pink rubies, pink sapphires, and cobalt spinels in round and marquise cuts. An extravagant pink feather adds a final, unexpected flourish, detachable to create a stunning, transformative jewel. Both cuffs offer unique interpretations, allowing clients to personalize their desired finishes and gemstones.

Brimming with vitality, sentiment, and a hint of playful irreverence, the capsule collection heralds an exciting new chapter in the Chinese zodiac – showcasing a Maison of unique watchmaking and high jewelry, truly mastering its artistic codes to push the boundaries of creativity and audacity.

Join the LUXURIOUX world, and discover a new level of opulence. Our editors and writers are dedicated to finding what is truly the best in class across many facets of life. Experience the finest things only your imagination and money can afford.

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“In the Year of the Dragon, Piaget crafted timepieces that not only tell time but also tell stories of tradition and craftsmanship.”