With a legacy of excellence in design and performance that stretches back over a century, Piaget has ascended from humble origins to become one of the most sought-after and respected luxury watch brands in the world. Behind the glamor and allure of Piaget luxury watches is a remarkable history, defined by a dedication to precision, beauty, and the highest principles of Swiss watchmaking. For seasoned fine watch collectors and history enthusiasts alike, it’s well worth taking a closer look at the history of Piaget, from past to present.
From Obscurity to Acclaim
The history of Piaget began in the small, remote village of Côte-aux-Fées, nestled in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland. At the young age of 19, Georges-Édouard Piaget established a little workshop on his family farm, where he started to design and create watch components and precision moments. From the very beginning, he was steeped in the unmatched tradition of Swiss watchmaking, a caliber of quality for which Piaget luxury watches would later come to be known worldwide.
Remarkably, Georges-Édouard Piaget’s motto was “Always do better than necessary.” This principle guided the direction of the watch-house in the coming decades, and in the 1920s, Piaget moved from supplying fine precision movements and internal watch components to some of the leading Swiss watchmakers to creating fine luxury timepieces of its own. Under the leadership of Georges-Édouard Piaget’s son, Timothée Piaget, Piaget luxury watches – both wrist watches and pocket watches – began to gain a reputation throughout Europe for both elegance and accuracy.
The history of Piaget extended further with the third generation – headed by Gérald and Valentin Piaget – and in 1945, they built a state-of-the-art manufacturing center at the brand’s historic home of Côte-aux-Fées. Nearly a hundred years after his grandfather’s directive to exceed what is necessary, Valentin Piaget articulated his own mission: to “do what has never been done before.” In the coming years, this guiding ideal would come to reshape the image and operation of the brand, and Piaget luxury watches would gain international acclaim not only for their quality but also for their distinctive artistry.
A History of Innovation and Prestige
Combining the latest innovations in technology with a forward-looking aesthetic, the history of Piaget made an indelible mark on the watchmaking industry beginning in the late 1950s. At the Basel Fair in Switzerland in 1957, Piaget unveiled the mechanical hand-wound 9P caliber, an ultra-thin style that made an enormous impression on those in attendance. Just three years later, Piaget leveraged a cutting-edge micro-rotor technology to create the 12P, the thinnest automatic movement in the world.
As the brand moved into fine metalworking and gem-setting, establishing its ateliers in the prestigious locale of Geneva, Switzerland, Piaget luxury watches continued to evolve. In the 1960s, the “21st Century Collection” came to be defined by design-driven aesthetics and glamorous allure. In 1963, Piaget famously developed watch dials made of ornamental stone, the first of their kind in the world.
While the history of Piaget may have begun with luxury timepieces for men, the latter half of the 20th century saw an increasing appeal among women. Piaget luxury watches were worn by many iconic female figures, such as Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, and Jacqueline Kennedy. This level of visibility and prestige encouraged Piaget to push further into the realm of cutting-edge design and to embrace its image as a unique artistic brand. In 1967, Piaget initiated a special project with artist Salvador Dali, which would lead to years of collaboration with exceptional artists.
A Continuing Legacy of Unparalleled Excellence in Design
Through the 1970s and 1980s, the history of Piaget continued to the fourth generation with Yves G. Piaget. She oversaw the release of the Piaget Polo watch in 1979, a wristwatch associated with the prestige and power of the European sporting tradition. Piaget luxury watches for both men and women continued to garner esteem, both as heirloom-quality timepieces and as status symbols. Perhaps most notably, Piaget watches developed a reputation for reflecting the current era through design, all while staying true to the original bedrock legacy of fine Swiss watchmaking.
Over the past few decades, Piaget has broadened its scope and appeal through a collection of exquisite luxury jewelry. In 1990, the brand expanded to include a signature jewelry line called Possession. Much like the tradition of Piaget luxury watches, Piaget jewelry has gained renown for its combination of expert craftsmanship and stunning execution. The collection is defined by bold yet delicate aesthetics, including diamond accents, solid gold craftsmanship, and luxurious detailing. Piaget rings, necklaces, and bracelets have become a favorite among collectors who enjoy understated elegance and superior jewelry design.
In a 21st Century continuation of the history of Piaget, the brand established a new atelier in Geneva called Plan-les-Ouates in 2001. Notably, Piaget continues to maintain a presence at its historic home of Côte-aux-Fées, and seems never to have lost touch with its roots. Nearly 150 years after its inception, Piaget continues to dazzle the world with chic and exquisitely designed Piaget luxury watches across a range of styles. Through every era of the brand, Piaget has encapsulated an unyielding dedication to innovation, elegance, and artistry.
Discover the Past and Present of Piaget at Watch Warehouse
To learn more about the fascinating history of history of Piaget, we invite you to explore our collection of Piaget luxury watches at IGJ Watches, or to reach out to our friendly, knowledgeable staff. We’re as passionate about luxury timekeeping as you are, and believe in celebrating in the proud legacy of Piaget, along with a number of other luxury watch brands. For questions about our current collection, or for resources to help guide you in your search for the perfect timepiece, we invite you to reach us at (213) 622-8200, or connect with us anytime via email at email@example.com.