Although the movement is the heart of a watch, it’s case and bracelet form the body. While Piaget’s movement’s are made in the tranquility of the Swiss mountains, the rest of their watches are made in the hustle and bustle of Geneva. A very suitable choice because despite the sober, understatement that most of the old watchmaking Maison’s seem to favor, Piaget always had a more extroverted approach. Think the famous Polo, the various jewelry watches and the semi-precious stone dials. This creativity was made possible by the ultra-slim movements made in La Côte-aux-Fées, and the dedicated and passionate craftsmen and -women that work in the Geneva Manufacture of Piaget!
The extroverted side of Piaget breaths throughout the building. Not only because of its unique architecture but also because it houses the specialties that give luxury its meaning. This starts with the design department where the looks of new generations of Piaget’s are created. This goes far beyond making just a sketch of how the watch should look; it also includes highly sophisticated and rather technical drawings, CAD-designs and rubber prototypes. The beauty of the design process is also that all the specialties of Piaget come together before the first, new watch is even made, because they all contribute to the realization of new models by input of their unique expertise.
As a true Manufacture, Piaget produces all the parts themselves. This varies from cases and casebacks, to tiny golden screws that are hardly visible with the naked eye. For this they not only have very skilled technicians but also highly advanced machines that process the gold into the desired part. Piaget is only satisfied with the best of the best, and therefore quality control plays a huge part throughout the entire production process. Every part, no matter how tiny, will be checked and then checked again to make sure that it meets the highest standards.
Sometimes you even encounter professions you had no idea existed. Such a department was the polishing department. It sounds easy enough, polishing a case, but it is not. Especially today’s watches feature cases with several different finishes. These finishes are all applied by hand, and require skill and expertise to get the desired result. One mistake, however tiny it may be, can ruin the overall look of the case and therefore the watch.
Another area in which the margin for error is almost non-existence is that of bracelet making. Piaget is one of the few brands that still make a wide variety of bracelets in precious metals completely by hand. We are not talking here about assembling a bracelet from different parts, but starting completely from scratch with nothing other than some gold wire. This is where high end watch and jewelry making really come together in the symbiosis that Piaget has stood for, for generations.
To ensure that your Piaget will also last for generations, a lot of attention is focused on bringing all the parts together. The movements made so dedicatedly in La Côte-aux-Fées are combined with the cases and bracelets. Here is also the place where the test dials are replaced for the original dial and where the hands will be set on the watches. After the watch is finally complete it is time to check the end result with the same vigor and dedication, as it has been under since the raw materials entered Piaget’s manufacture. When, and only when, the watch has passed these final tests, we can finally say that another Piaget has been born!