Ong Chin Huat speaks to Christophe Bourrié, Piaget’s Global Director of High Jewellery about this stunning new high jewellery collection, Wings of Light and finds out how the digital platform is playing an essential role for this storied Swiss Maison during these testing times.
From the feathers and plumage of colourful exotic birds of paradise to cascading waterfalls and shimmering oasis to golden sunsets and the bewitching hour that is twilight. Piaget has tapped the power of nature and the wonders of the wilderness to create a jaw-dropping collection of high jewellery which evokes a utopia complete with magical mystery with romance and rarity, aptly names the Wings of Light Collection.
Just in time for the Christmas season, Piaget has introduced some one-off creations such as the Majestic Plumage Necklace with a rare pear-shaped Paraiba tourmaline, red spinels and blue, yellow and orange sapphires. What makes this piece so special is it can be transformed into three separate jewellery pieces; a beautiful piece that would steal the show at any festive soiree.
The Rainbow Light Set comprises of the stunning rubellite and pink tourmaline earrings with intricate marquetry, leather, wood and mother of pearl. It has a hand-made engraved finish of gold using an age-old technique producing a shimmering which wouldn’t look out of place under the mistletoe.
From the Secret Cenote Set, there is a cuff watch guaranteed to elicit envious glances with its unique black opal from Australia as its dial. Surrounded by 151 baguette-cut sapphires, 71 baguette-cut diamonds and 100 brilliant-cut diamonds, this blue-green stunner has an asymmetrical design unlike any other watch yet remaining true to the Piaget style.
Speaking exclusively to Luxurious Magazine, Christophe Bourrié, Piaget’s High Jewellery & Exceptional Creations Global Director is completely at ease with such breath-taking treasures, having spent over 20 years in the luxury industry.
Luxurious Magazine: Tell us about your role as the Global Director for Piaget High Jewellery & Exceptional Creations.
Christophe Bourrié: It is all about making sure the client’s expectations and dreams are fulfilled. Our patrons are at the very core of our organisation, and they inspire us. It allows Piaget to create crafted pieces of High Jewellery; High Jewellery watches & ultimate complication watches.
My role is to carry on the amazing Brand Heritage since 1874 in continuing to provide emotions and pleasure through unique pieces & rare gemstones. In addition, it is to animate and grow our Piaget society through unrepeatable experiences and rendezvous.
LM: How many collections for high jewellery does Piaget come out with in a year?
Christophe Bourrié: Piaget presents one yearly High Jewellery creative collection per year. It is usually revealed during the Paris Couture week in July. Our creative collections are the epitome of Piaget’s unique craftsmanship and creativity.
LM: Can you explain how the Piaget creative team decided on the latest high jewellery collection Wings of Light?
Christophe Bourrié: This year collection is called Wings of Lights. The collection is a perfect continuity of our journey following the path of the sun, playing a central role for Piaget. After the Piaget Oasis, where one could experience the play of the light and nature in an oasis, Piaget reveals the Piaget Wings of Light Collection which set its scenery in a luxuriant jungle.
LM: What was the main inspiration behind Wings of Light?
Christophe Bourrié: The jungle is discovered and explored through the eyes of a bird, offering the possibility to discover unique sceneries. The theme of the bird also adds a touch of freedom and a sense of liberty that takes on an apt meaning in these current times. The collection is divided into three chapters, enabling any jewellery connoisseur to discover the Piaget Jungle through the Wings of Light.
The first chapter titled ‘Enchanted Flight’ highlights the unique creations inspired by the Piaget Bird as well as and Exotic Flowers. The second chapter named ‘Magnificent Haven’ depicts the lines of Palms & Waterfalls, and the final chapter called ‘Ecstatic Dance’ is this invitation to join the Piaget Society at sunset. Within the collection, themes which are close to Piaget’ heart such as nature, the sun and joyful moment are all represented either directly or symbolically.
For instance, while the sun is represented by the glittering reflections of diamonds and coloured gemstones, joyful moment is reflected by the cheerful colours of the gemstones. And while the exotic birds, verdant jungle and waterfalls are all imaginary, the stylisation of the jewellery pieces is not figurative. Lines are sleeker, and the silhouette is more modern, giving the collection a contemporary touch.
Working with some of the most talented craftsmen and women in the field of high jewellery, we have created some stunning Metier D’art creations such as the Majestic Plumage necklace adorned with natural feather marquetry by artist Nelly Saunier. Further, the way this collection was designed allows the owner to wear one piece in a multitude of ways, making this collection as versatile as it is beautiful.
LM: How important is jewellery to Piaget’s overall business?
Christophe Bourrié: Piaget’s High Jewellery is very important to Piaget, as it allows Piaget to express its full creativity, savoir-faire and expertise. The Atelier de L’ Extraordinaire is, in a certain way, our research and development laboratory which allows us to explore Piaget’s boundless creativity.
The latest example is the Altiplano Ultimate Concept watch which is the thinnest mechanical watch in the world, only two-millimetre-thick (the size of 2 credit cards put one on top of the other.) This watch has just won the “Aiguille d’Or” award in Geneva which is the highest recognition given to any Swiss watchmaker.
LM: How has Piaget managed to counter the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of marketing its jewellery and sales to its customers?
Christophe Bourrié: Piaget relied on the digital platform, which has helped us greatly during these troubled time. Thanks to our great relationship and trust with our patrons, Piaget has been able to recreate online the different milestones of sales ceremony, such as presentation of our new creative collections, virtual visits of our boutiques, real-time participation to events and cocktails, one-on-one meeting with sales associates, Piaget management and even our CEO.
Interestingly enough, this has helped Piaget to build an even stronger relationship with our beloved patrons.
LM: For the latest high jewellery collection Wings of Light, could you explain if the gemmologist and designers create a piece by obtaining a gemstone first then designing a piece around it or do they design a piece of jewellery first then go looking for the gemstone to fit it in.
Christophe Bourrié: At Piaget, we like to call High Jewellery the art of sublimating exceptional centre stones. Hence for any High Jewellery creation, it all starts with an exceptional gemstone, and the designer draws around it. Indeed, Piaget works only with the finest gemstones, so it takes time, expertise and a bit of luck to collect some of nature’s greatest wonders! However, our designers and gemmologists work, hand in hand to choose and find the gemstones together.
LM: How and where do you source your gemstones from?
Christophe Bourrié: At Piaget, we source our gemstones from the finest producers worldwide. For example, we source our emeralds from Columbia and Zambia, our sapphires from Sri Lanka and Madagascar. More importantly, we make sure to only work with natural stones, select the best crystals possible and choose bright and open colours to express the joyful side of our brand.
As for our diamonds, we are meticulous to ensure that all the diamonds we buy from our suppliers’ respect the Responsible Jewellery Council Code of Practices and are certified and adhere to the KPCS (Kimberley Process Certification System agreement) which impose extensive requirements on its member to authenticate shipments of rough diamonds as conflict-free and legitimately traded. Further, 100per cent of our diamonds is tested internally by our own gemmologists.
Our coloured stones are also responsibly sourced, and as an active member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, we contributed to the integration of coloured gemstones to the scope of the multi-stakeholder initiative, enacted in the 2019 Code of Practices Review.
LM: Are most of the pieces in Wings of Light just a one-off which Piaget will not repeat or duplicate in the future?
Christophe Bourrié: Almost every creation is unique in our Creative Collection Wings of Light. Already the centre stone makes it a one-of-a-kind creation, almost unrepeatable.
LM: Who is the typical Piaget high jewellery customer?
Christophe Bourrié: We have a very diversified and international clientele. One of the peculiarities of Piaget’s High Jewellery is that a watch is often also seen as a piece of jewellery. Hence, we have the chance of having a unique clientele attracted both by our high-end watches and our jewellery.
For example, one of the masterpieces of the Wings of Light collection is an incredible cuff watch featuring a pair of Fancy Vivid Yellow (FVY) cushion-cut yellow diamonds – which can be worn as a timepiece or a striking piece of jewellery.
For further information on Piaget’s Wings of Light High Jewellery Collection, please visit www.piaget.com.
Read more jewellery articles in our dedicated section here.