"I love bringing roses to a woman when she least expects it," said actor Esai Morales. Every rose is unique, nature's effortlessly brilliant combination of colour, fragrance, shape and velvety texture. Who can resist the opportunity of inhaling its heady perfume while admiring the intricately interlocking petals?
Roses have long been an inspiration for Piaget, and the Haute Joaillerie Piaget Rose Passion collection is the perfect expression of the flower, with 100 pieces (a figure that is approximately the same as the number of rose species), comprising 75 jewellery pieces and 25 watches. Just like the natural originals, the jewellery in the Rose Passion collection is extraordinary for its variety, with a huge range of colours and designs, in the form of combs, tiaras, cuff-watches and secret watches. Colours are based on precious and semi-precious stones – yellow diamonds, emeralds, pink sapphires, chrysocolla, chrysoprase and chalcedony – with particular emphasis given to pink and green. The feel of the pieces ranges from classical to bright contemporary.
At SIHH in Geneva, in January 2014, we asked Jean Bernard Forot, Director of Jewellery Marketing at Piaget, to tell us about two pieces that he finds particularly significant.
"I really enjoy this necklace, which features the Piaget signature, the rose, at the centre, with the added interested provided by the emeralds. Here the rose is combined with the laurel, an evergreen plant, and therefore a symbol of longevity. For Napoleon, it symbolized victory. And so in the piece, you have a unique combination of expertise, symbolism, stories, signature design, and superb quality stones. This piece is pure prestige and elegance. You know that it's going to attract attention."
The Rose Passion collection is entirely manufactured in Piaget's jewellery workshops, by craftsmen of remarkable skill and experience. Jean Bernard Forot highlighted another piece, a ring in gold, opal and diamonds. "This is a great work. Every opal petal has been individually sculpted, and each one is different in shape, volume and line. Behind each diamond there is an opening to maximize the colour and fire of the stones. It takes 17 hours' work just to complete the head of the ring."
For Yves Piaget, great-grandson of Georges-Edouard Piaget, founder of the brand, roses were a childhood memory, and developed into a lifelong passion. In 1979 he crafted a full-size rose in 18-carat gold as the trophy for the Geneva International New Rose Competition. In 1982, the competition was won by a rose-pink blossom with 80 petals, created by Meilland. It was christened the Yves Piaget rose.
The brand's commitment to roses has continued with its project to renovate the rose garden at Château de la Malmaison, where Joséphine de Beauharnais cultivated her passion for plants and animals. She imported plants and roses from all over the world from 1799 to 1814, creating a remarkable collection of traditional roses. The museum at Malmaison is working on the rose garden, with support from Piaget, replanting many varieties of old roses and perpetuating Joséphine's vision.
With 140 years' history, Piaget has a huge wealth of heritage with which to develop its new pieces, and Rose Passion strikes the right balance between appealing to women all over the world and remaining exactly right for the time we are living. And we are living in interesting times when it comes to jewellery.
"People are buying jewellery younger and younger. A few decades ago, it was bought by people in their 50s, while today, it is being bought by people much younger, who love wearing it, and not just for special events. Another important development is the growing financial power of women. Their power to buy has opened a new way of buying and selling, and of talking to women."
This is a pivotal development, welcomed by everyone in the industry. Who better than a woman can appreciate the value of these objects and their relationship to current fashion? A brand such as Piaget has to be able to communicate with its clientele in as direct a way as possible. Boutiques are the perfect showcase, and Piaget often organizes boutique events for an in-depth presentation. There are visits to Manufactures, organized for top clients. Above all, there is the legend, that aura of uniqueness and quality that is enjoyed by only a select few brands worldwide.
Other boutique addresses at luxos.com/store-locator
For further information, see rose.piaget.com