The Piaget Altiplano Rose: It Wouldn’t Be As Sweet By Any Other Name
As the 25th addition of the SIHH opens its doors in just over a week, I wanted to cast a brief look back at a watch that captured my imagination at the 2014 edition of the fair.
Piaget added to its line of Altiplano rose-themed timepieces at the 2014 SIHH in spectacular fashion. Inspired by enameler Anita Porchet’s Altiplano roses of 2012, independent embroidery artist Sylvie Deschamps stitched a unique silk rose to form the dial of a 38 mm white gold timepiece set with 78 brilliant-cut diamonds in the shape of the Yves Piaget Rose.
Though it first appeared in the fabrics of imperial China, embroidery painting is a technique that really gained popularity in eighteenth-century Italy and France, countries where high fashion makes a home.
The realistic rendering of the motifs enabled artisans to embellish clothing and objects in a very special, and today very rare, way. The needle acts as a very precise paintbrush in this instance, and like a painting, the strokes can hardly be distinguished from one another at a distance, forming a unified whole.
Deschamps sketches the outline of the rose on the silk canvas before she sets to work with the needle. Then she interprets it using six different colors of silk thread ranging from off-white to dark pink. As she works, she must not touch the silk or the thread as the oils from her skin would discolor it.
Deschamps needs 40 hours to create just one dial; she places thousands of stitches, the longest of which is two millimeters in length, to form the rose.
This Piaget Altiplano timepiece is a limited edition of just three pieces. It is powered by Piaget’s ultra-thin, hand-wound Caliber 430P.
For more information please visit http://int.piaget.com/watches/altiplano.
Case: 38 x 6.4 mm, white gold, set with 78 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel
Movement: Caliber 430P, manually wound, ultra-thin, approx. 43 hours power reserve
Dial: hand-embroidered using silk thread
Functions: hours, minutes
Limitation: three pieces