In love with roses
Roses have punctuated Yves Piaget’s life as well as the history of his famous Maison, consistently nurturing its creations. Since the 1960s, this luminous flower has enriched watch and jewellery collections with its diamond-set golden petals. Yves Piaget created the trophy for the Geneva International New Rose Competition in 1979 and presented the winner with a golden rose made by Piaget’s workshops. His passion for these delicate flowers was rewarded in 1982 when the winner of the competition, created by the famous rose breeder Meilland, was christened the “Yves Piaget rose”. The Yves Piaget rose is immediately recognisable thanks to its 80 “rose pink” lacy petals and its incomparably heady fragrance. It is indeed a “Queen of Flowers”. For the love of roses and in tribute to the entrancing rose that has punctuated its history, Piaget has taken on a project to renovate the rose garden at the Château de la Malmaison, a passion shared with Joséphine de Beauharnais. Born Marie Josèphe Rose, Joséphine de Beauharnais acquired the Château de la Malmaison in 1799. It was here that her passion for zoology and botany was expressed. Exotic birds, lamas, gazelles and kangaroos all wandered around the park in semi-liberty. For more than 15 years, Joséphine imported plants and roses from all over the world. More than 200 exotic plants were cultivated in the hothouse that she had built in 1805; and the rose garden at Malmaison includes more than 250 species of old roses. Her collection is a veritable treasure trove for French nursery growers. Unfortunately, this botanical treasure has been damaged over the years and little remains of the old rose garden. With Piaget’s support, the museum at Malmaison is bringing them back to life by planting 750 old roses in order to revive Joséphine’s work.
These entwined destinies have given rise to the Haute Joaillerie Piaget Rose Passion collection. Inspired by the Empress’ enduring love of nature and of roses in particular, the Maison Piaget has created a collection imbued with femininity, modernity and elegance, like this woman and her extraordinary life. It currently comprises 100 creations embodying the finest High Jewellery and Artistic Crafts, including 75 jewellery pieces and 25 watches narrating the passions of the Maison Piaget and Joséphine.
The Piaget Rose High Jewellery and Métiers d’Art collection
Garden rose, elegant rose, exotic rose: the Piaget Rose Passion collection, pervaded by the personality of Joséphine de Beauharnais, shares her character traits and embodies her passions. Through its interpretation of roses, the collection expresses the beauty of this flower, to which Joséphine devoted her life, yearly increasing her amazing rose collection at Malmaison. It vividly reflects the elegance of the Empress who wore magnificent gold-embroidered dresses with floral motifs. Piaget has notably also funded the restoration of a dress and an amazing mantle. Its colourful exuberant and exotic nature is a reminder of the origins of Joséphine, who throughout her life remained homesick for her native Martinique. With Piaget Rose Passion, the jeweller is creating a bold, contemporary and glamorous jewellery collection – all adjectives which perfectly express the spirit of these new Piaget roses.
Piaget has lavished the full force its expertise and jewellery-making skill on this especially large collection, since it comprises 100 pieces embodying a wealth of creativity. It encompasses watches, jewellery and High Jewellery items, connected by the theme of the rose and the spirit of Joséphine instilled in each piece. Entirely manufactured in Piaget’s jewellery workshops, the collection features jewellery items that can be worn in many different ways, such as as combs, tiaras as well as the brand’s cherished cuff-watches and secret watches. For this occasion, it rediscovers the classical techniques of High Jewellery and all the artistic crafts of which the creative sensitivity is successfully associated with jewellery-making precision. The Piaget Rose Passion collection is based on a luminous choice of colourful and precious stones (yellow diamonds, emeralds, pink sapphires)as well as hard stones (chrysocolla, chrysoprase, chalcedony), with a predominance of pink echoing the colour of the flower, and green for a fresh touch. The laurel branches, with their leaves daintily represented by a marquise-cut diamond, are reminiscent of the elegant motifs of which Joséphine was fond and which adorned her exquisitely feminine gowns, furniture, marquetry floors and the painted ceilings at Malmaison,
Born at the end of the 1960s based on claw setting, the serti juponné (literally ‘petticoat’-style) technique, used at a very early stage by Piaget, gives ample volume to each piece of jewellery. This involves great technical complexity since each stone must be carefully calibrated and the setting requires accurate adjustment. The baguette-cut stones appear to undulate like a corolla, reflecting the light and exploring the contrast between diamonds and yellow, orange or pink sapphires, which whirl around the dial. The accurate mesh work and the chatons with their slender claws are crafted one by one by the in-house jewellery artisan and highlight the delicate shape of the precious stones, which supply embrace and adorn dainty necklines and wrists. For the glyptic work, the semi-precious stones are engraved, sculpted and shaped to endow each petal with depth and relief, as well as instilling them with emotional power. For its Artistic Crafts watches, Piaget has joined forces with prestigious artisans who excel in their Art. Nothing could be more exceptional than the passion driving these men and women. The cloisonné enamel is crafted using the exclusive Grand Feu technique that lends unparalleled depth and transparency to the dials of the Altiplano Rose watches. The distinctive feature of grand feu enamels, when compared to conventional enamels, is that their melting point is far higher, situated between 820°C and 850°C. The cloisonné enamelling technique involves forming small cells to create a pattern or design. The first step is to outline the desired decorative pattern using silver or gold wire. Since Piaget’s main concern is to ensure exceptional quality, the brand exclusively uses gold wire to outline the cells in this technique. Once the design has been reproduced, it is fixed with tracaganth gum that disappears during the firing process. The wire thus marks off a certain number of hollows, which correspond to the various colour zones. The enamel is then deposited in each of the hollows and fired. This operation can be repeated several times to increase the intensity of the colour. After the final firing, the surface of the piece is smoothed and glazed with a protective finishing coat of transparent enamel. The six one-of-a-kine Artistic Crafts models represent the same Yves Piaget rose, interpreted with six different colours demonstrating the richness and subtiltiy of the colours that the art of enamelling is capable of creating.
The intensely moving and passionate Piaget Rose Passion collection expresses all the beauty and elegance of Joséphine, the much-loved Empress with whom Piaget shares its passion for the Queen of Flowers.