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Stealing the Limelight
The new Limelight Gala was inspired by an iconic model created in 1973 when the brand’s famous Piaget Society was in full swing. Celebrities, artists, clients, and friends of the Maison would get together for the most fabulous parties, gathering stars such as Salvador Dali, Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Andy Warhol, Cary Grant and Sami Davis Jr.
As vibrant today as it was in the 1970s, the Piaget Society continues to unite a creative, curious, and intelligent set of people who share a certain art de vivre.
A Feminine Icon
Piaget’s Limelight Gala was inspired by the elegant spirit of the 1960s, with its sensual curves, cambered case and asymmetrical lugs that extend from each side of the case onto the bracelet. The modern interpretation of the Limelight Gala reproduces the same design with a perfectly integrated case and lugs that are combined with a swirl of exquisite gemstones, ornate dials, and sumptuous gold bracelets.
Almost 60 years on and the Piaget Limelight Gala is more than a wristwatch, it is a feminine icon that has become a symbol of elegance and harmony.
Dazzling new editions for 2020
This year, Piaget is presenting a host of new Limelight Gala timepieces in celebration of these iconic creations that dates back to more than half a century. Each piece follows Piaget’s four pillars of excellence: The Art of Movement, The Art of Gold, The Art of Colour and The Art of Light.
The Art of Gold
Shimmering in the light, this new Piaget Limelight Gala Precious Sapphire Gradient (Ref. G0A45163) celebrates the signature design of the Limelight Gala collection with a hand-engraved gold bracelet and dial that are highlighted by 20 large diamonds (approx. 1.46 cts) and 22 blue sapphires (approx. 4.01 cts) set in a subtle gradient of blue.
Piaget is one of the few remaining Maisons that has the savoir-faire to make hand-made gold bracelets. This rare traditional craft started in the 1960s and became hugely popular thanks to Piaget’s bold creations. Mainly inspired by nature, Piaget has used over one hundred different life-like motifs to craft its hand-made gold bracelets, such as leather design, ocean waves, frost, flowers, foliage, bark, snake scales and many more.
The work of a chainsmith is similar to that of a Haute-Couture dressmaker. The artisan will start with hundreds of gold links, which will be tightly assembled. The next step is the soldering of the countless miniature links that will result in a bracelet of remarkable suppleness.
The white gold bracelet featured on this new timepiece has been created in this fashion, then hand-engraved in the Palace Décor style, one of Piaget’s most iconic motifs, which requires eight hours of work. Only a few artisans, who work in Piaget’s “Workshop of Extraordinary Creations”, have the expertise to hand-engrave this pattern.
The dial is also made of white gold and is engraved using the same Palace Décor technique. It takes two hours to complete the engraving on the dial and it is always carried out by the same engraver who decorates the bracelet to ensure a uniform design. To let the Décor shine through, the dial is covered in translucent blue enamel. It is oven-fired multiple times at a temperature over 800°C, giving this technique the name of “Grand Feu” Enamel.
Finding the perfect colour gemstones for this timepiece was also one of the most challenging operations. It involved sampling large quantities of gemstones to ensure the perfect colour match, a task made even more complex given the large progressive size of the stones and the high gem quality standards of the Maison. To magnify the brilliance of the stones, Piaget’s gem-setters have expertly set the gemstones by hand, using the Serti Descendu technique.
This timepiece is so unique that it is a numbered edition. There is also a similar version (Ref. G0A45363) with a mother-of-pearl dial and a dark-blue alligator strap, limited to 88 pieces.
The Art of Light
Recognised for its daring vision and incredible savoir-faire, Piaget is one of the world’s most prestigious watchmakers/jewellers. For over 140 years, the Maison’s artisans have been creating high-jewellery masterpieces by combining precious metals with flawless gemstones and innovative design.
A new rose gold version, (Ref. G0A45161) also using the Serti Descendu technique to set the 57 diamonds (approx. 4.80 cts), is available with a burgundy-coloured strap and a delicate mother-of-pearl dial of exceptional quality. It is extremely white in colour, with beautiful reflections, which attests of its high quality. Three new Haute-Joaillerie Limelight Gala timepieces join the collection this year with stunning oval dials paved with snow-set diamonds, and a captivating setting of marquise-cut gemstones on the bezel, lugs and bracelet.
The marquise cut is an important part of Piaget’s history. As legend has it, France’s King Louis XV asked to cut a diamond in honour of the smile of his beloved Marquise de Pompadour. The resulting diamond let the light shine in from the very centre of the gemstone, giving it a unique radiance. This unique cut became a signature for the Maison.
The three new High Jewellery timepieces come in a 28 by 23mm case. One model adorned with a fully-paved bracelet set with 364 brilliant- and marquise-cut diamonds (approx. 12.42 cts, Ref. G0A45170), a second one set with both diamonds and blue sapphires (Ref. G0A45171), and the third one set with 237 diamonds and fitted with an elegant blue satin strap (Ref. G0A45168).
The Art of Colour
Three new aventurine glass models join the Limelight Gala collection, showcasing the brand’s love for the celestial sky above our heads. Each dial is crafted from aventurine glass, a magical material that takes its name from the Italian word avventura, meaning “adventure”. Aventurine dates back to the 17th century with some of the first records coming from Murano, Venice, a town famous for its glass making. The process consists of adding copper oxide to glass to give it a mesmerising twinkle that mirrors the starry night sky.
There are two Limelight Gala Aventurine Glass Dial: a 32mm case (Ref. G0A45162) adorned with 63 diamonds (approx. 1.76 ct) and a smaller 26mm case version (Ref. G0A45152) with 61 diamonds (approx. 0.92 ct), both limited to 300 pieces each.
Another model, the Limelight Gala Precious Aventurine Glass Dial (Ref. G0A45180), is set with 57 diamonds (approx. 4.80 cts) using the Serti Descendu technique and limited to 200 pieces.
Piaget Limelight Gala High Jewellery Black Opal
This stunning one-of-a-kind high-jewellery creation (Ref. G0A45007) features a dial fitted with a rare and precious black opal. Black opals are fascinating as they reflect a myriad of bright colours when they catch the light, such as yellow, green, blue, orange and red. The colours depend on the structure of the stone, and also the angle and brightness of the light, frequently changing before our eyes.
Black opals are only found in Australia and Ethiopia, making them particularly rare. Australian black opals were first found in the 19th century, where Ethiopian stones were only discovered around 15 years ago. In the present case from Australia, Piaget kept this rare and extraordinary opal for five years and waited for the perfect creation to host it.
The Limelight Gala High Jewellery Black Opal highlights its black opal with the addition of 86 brilliant-cut blue sapphires (approx. 5.51 cts) and a colourful array of marquise-cut coloured gemstones that start with 58 sapphires (approx. 6.23 cts), first yellow followed with orange and 14 pink rubies (approx. 1.41 cts) in a progressive gradient of colours to create a jewel that celebrates the best of the Earth’s treasures.