Mar­quetry Mas­ter­pieces

Adorn - - CONTENTS -

For this new edi­tion of the SIHH, Pi­aget rein­ter­prets the hard stone di­als epit­o­mis­ing its style within its Alti­plano line, ul­tra-thin icon and Art & Ex­cel­lence am­bas­sador. Deftly com­bin­ing fine watch­mak­ing mas­tery with the vir­tu­oso skills of stone mar­quetry, the Alti­plano wel­comes a tour­bil­lon and chooses mala­chite and lapis lazuli to adorn its dial.

For this new edi­tion of the SIHH, PI­AGET rein­ter­prets the hard stone di­als epit­o­mis­ing its style within its Alti­plano line, ul­tra-thin icon and Art & Ex­cel­lence am­bas­sador. Deftly com­bin­ing fine watch­mak­ing mas­tery with the vir­tu­oso skills of stone mar­quetry, the Alti­plano wel­comes a tour­bil­lon and chooses mala­chite and lapis lazuli to adorn its dial.

“I love all stones; their hard­ness, their fragility, their re­sis­tance; their ex­tra­or­di­nary re­la­tion­ship with the colour and the idea of last­ing con­ti­nu­ity that wood can­not sat­isfy. Stone tol­er­ates no mis­takes and is more likely to make oth­ers bend than break it­self. The high de­mands it im­poses nat­u­rally in­spire hu­mil­ity.”

The Alti­plano mala­chite mar­quetry tour­bil­lon and Alti­plano High Jew­ellery lapis lazuli tour­bil­lon mod­els of­fer a mas­ter­ful demonstration of the syn­er­gies be­tween the var­i­ous crafts ex­er­cised be­tween the Pi­aget work­shops in La Côte-aux-Fées and Plan-les-Ou­ates.

Hard stones pro­vide an ex­cep­tional pal­ette of colours that de­sign­ers ex­plored in an ex­traor­di­nar­ily fruit­ful man­ner, mak­ing light of any tech­ni­cal con­straints. Pi­aget called upon the finest spe­cial­ists and co­op­er­ated with them in de­vel­op­ing unique ex­per­tise, and as of 1963, more than 30 dif­fer­ent stones were to find their place in its col­lec­tion. Time could now be read in lapis lazuli, turquoise, co­ral, jade, tiger’s eye, mala­chite, opal… with or with­out di­a­monds, since Pi­aget over­turned the ex­ist­ing hi­er­ar­chy of ma­te­ri­als and thereby her­alded one of the greatest trends of con­tem­po­rary jew­ellery.

For these two new cre­ations, the dial has been en­trusted to the expert hands of Hervé Obligi, a multi-tal­ented artist who was of­fi­cially named Maître d’Art (Mas­ter of Arts) in 2015. While wood was his first pas­sion, he was soon drawn to min­er­als, and hard stone mar­quetry, in turn, led him into the world of the dec­o­ra­tive arts. “I love all stones; their hard­ness, their fragility, their re­sis­tance; their ex­tra­or­di­nary re­la­tion­ship with the colour and the idea of last­ing con­ti­nu­ity that wood can­not sat­isfy. Stone tol­er­ates no mis­takes and is more likely to make oth­ers bend than break it­self. The high de­mands it im­poses nat­u­rally in­spire hu­mil­ity,” Hervé says.

Work­ing with these stones, some­times re­ferred to as “fine stones” and which be­came a spe­cial­ity in the city of Florence dur­ing the time of the Medi­cis, Hervé has adopted this amaz­ing art call­ing for ex­treme skills that have all but van­ished. For 30 years, he has been tam­ing lapis lazuli, jade, jasper, cor­nelian and agate. Both ar­ti­san and artist, he nur­tures a pas­sion com­bin­ing all ex­pres­sions of his art, from restor­ing an­tique fur­ni­ture to de­sign. It was the mas­tery of this art that earned his ate­lier the French ti­tle of “En­treprise du Pat­ri­moine Vi­vant” (liv­ing Her­itage Com­pany). In 2015, Pi­aget be­gan a re­mark­able col­lab­o­ra­tion with this ex­cep­tional mar­quetry

spe­cial­ist, who de­voted his ex­per­tise and vir­tu­os­ity to the Alti­plano, the el­e­gant ul­tra-thin icon, in or­der to ex­alt the cap­ti­vat­ing beauty of the Yves Pi­aget Rose on the dial. For the sec­ond time, Pi­aget in­vited the Maître d’Art to ap­ply his cre­ative and con­tem­po­rary vi­sion to the Alti­plano dial.

Tech­ni­cal re­fine­ment

The minia­ture stone mar­quetry tech­nique rep­re­sents a real chal­lenge and calls for great mas­tery. Craft­ing such a dial com­prises four cru­cial stages and re­quires be­tween two and three weeks of work, dur­ing which the slight­est in­ac­cu­rate or clumsy move could ir­re­me­di­a­bly dam­age the ar­ti­san’s work. Ev­ery­thing be­gins with a rough stone from which blocks are cut into ex­tremely fine slices barely 1mm thick, com­pared with 3mm to 4mm for tra­di­tional mar­quetry. Once cut, the stones are pol­ished so as to pre­cisely de­ter­mine the tone and colour of the stone, given that re­duc­ing thick­ness also re­duces the in­ten­sity of the colour. The choice of stones is thus es­sen­tial.

This year, Pi­aget has opted for mala­chite and lapis lazuli, two em­blem­atic hard stones that it has been us­ing in its cre­ations

since the 1960s. As the artist ex­plains: “One of the hard­est chal­lenges is to make the colour of the stone truly vi­brant by cre­at­ing graphic ef­fects on such a small sur­face.” The con­tour of each el­e­ment is pre­cisely traced on the stone us­ing a pointed brass tool. The plate is cut into ex­tremely thin strips us­ing a tiny bow saw com­posed of a hazel tree branch and an abra­sive-coated steel wire. Once cut out, the el­e­ments are ad­justed and as­sem­bled with neigh­bour­ing com­po­nents. The fac­ing thus com­posed is af­fixed to a smooth red or white gold sur­face be­fore heat glu­ing the joints by fill­ing the empty space be­tween the bevelled edges with pine resin.

The smooth pol­ished stone works a unique magic, as fas­ci­nat­ing com­bi­na­tions of shapes and colours give rise to an ob­jet d’art is­sued in an edi­tion of eight truly one-of-a-kind mod­els. The in­clu­sions, nu­ances and in­ter­ac­tion with light in­deed en­sure that no two are alike.

For the first time in the history of the iconic Alti­plano col­lec­tion, one of these mod­els wel­comed a tour­bil­lon, one of the finest horo­log­i­cal com­pli­ca­tions. El­e­gance and aes­thet­ics have al­ways guided the tech­ni­cal choices made by the Man­u­fac­ture de Haute Horlogerie Pi­aget. Developed to en­sure a per­fect fit with the Alti­plano 41mm case, the ul­tra-thin me­chan­i­cal hand-wound tour­bil­lon Cal­i­bre 670P, mea­sur­ing just 4.6mm thick, fea­tures a patented ar­bor wind­ing system with setting wheel. It is also equipped with a new bar­rel en­sur­ing a larger power re­serve that now spans a com­fort­able 48 hours.

Alti­plano mala­chite mar­quetry tour­bil­lon

Framed by a pink gold case, the splen­did mala­chite swirls in mag­nif­i­cent shades of green: emer­ald, pine, dark and light, criss-crossed by an ac­cu­rate and metic­u­lous set of dark lay­ers, ar­ranged in such a way as to give the mes­meris­ing dial a very “Sunny Side of Life” look. On the move­ment side, the fine watch­mak­ing fin­ish­ing fea­tures cir­cu­lar Côtes de Genève, man­ual cir­cu­lar grain­ing on the main­plate and bridges, as well as hand-drawn and bevelled bridges and car­riage.

Alti­plano High Jew­ellery lapis lazuli mar­quetry tour­bil­lon

With its lus­trous shades of blue rang­ing from ul­tra­ma­rine to azure speck­led with white and gold, lapis lazuli de­ploys its in­com­pa­ra­ble in­ten­sity on a dial graced with a whirling pat­tern high­lighted by the work of the mas­ter-gem set­ters. While ul­tra-thin­ness is a hall­mark of the Pi­aget iden­tity, the equally de­mand­ing art of gem setting is equally em­blem­atic. White gold lights up with the sparkle of di­a­monds. Baguette- and brilliant-cut gems to­talling 5.07 carats thus adorn the bezel, case band, lugs, crown, clasp and case back.

With these two Alti­plano stone mar­quetry tour­bil­lon mod­els, Pi­aget pur­sues its en­deav­ours un­der­taken in re­cent years with re­gard to pre­serv­ing ex­cep­tional crafts and skills. Res­o­lutely cul­ti­vat­ing its dif­fer­ences and its ex­clu­sive na­ture, the Swiss Man­u­fac­ture once again dis­plays its abil­ity to dis­tin­guish it­self in ever more ex­tra­or­di­nary realms of ac­com­plish­ment.

LEFT: GLUED MAR­QUETRY DIAL BE­FORE POL­ISH­ING THE MALA­CHITE. RIGHT: MAR­QUETRY DIAL, GLUED IN ITS SUP­PORT BE­FORE THE POL­ISH­ING PROCESS.

③Each piece is per­fectly ad­justed us­ing a di­a­mond tool.

⑤The pieces are po­si­tioned in the gold mount dur­ing the assem­bly process.

④For­mat­ting parts with the use of a di­a­mond disc.

⑥Po­si­tion­ing mod­ules on a ref­er­enc­ing layer while ad­just­ing.

⑦Ren­der of the mar­quetry be­fore glu­ing on the dial.

Pi­aget Alti­plano mala­chite mar­quetry tour­bil­lon

Pi­aget High Jew­ellery Alti­plano lapis lazuli mar­quetry tour­bil­lon

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.