The luxury manufacture Piaget
In 1874 Georges Piaget founds the «Ateliers de la Côte-aux-Fées», in which high-precision watch movements are produced for well-known watch manufacturers. In 1911 he hands over the company to his son, Timothée Piaget.
The year 1943 brings a significant change for the company's history: Based on the experience and the success of the company the grandsons of the founder, Gérald and Valentin Piaget, decide to obtain protection for the name Piaget as a trademark. From now on, the creations of the house bear its own signature. This does not just apply to watch movements, but also to complete watches. Due to the increasing demand in 1945 in La Cote-aux-Fées a new, more modern facility is built.
In 1957 the famous ultra-thin manual winding Calibre 9P is presented, which has only 2 mm height. In the same year the first edition of the Emperador is launched, which should become one of the best known models of the brand.
The mastery of the extra-flat watch movement is a specialty of the brand and encourages the watchmakers of the manufacture to the wildest creations. In 1960 a revolutionary self-winding movement follows: the Calibre 12P with only 2.3 mm height. The design breakthrough begins in the early sixties with the creation of extravagant and colorful models. In 1982 Piaget develops the Calibre 20P with manual winding and in 1983 the calibre 25P. In 1986 they finally produce a movement with perpetual calendar.
As part of the quartz revolution in the 1970s Piaget develops in 1976 the at the time slimmest quartz movement 7P. In 1979 appears for the first time the sporty model Polo, which will later become one of the pillars of the model range. In 1980 Yves Piaget takes over the management of the company.
Piaget impresses by a distinctive style, but also by a number of bestsellers. Both the range of products in the watches area as well as in the jewelry area is located in the highest-price regions of the luxury class.
New investments and models
During the last decade Piaget has invested heavily in the development of in-house movement expertise. In 2008 there are altogether 17 own calibres. In addition, the two main production facilities in Plan-les-Ouates at Geneva (opened 2001) and La Côte-aux-Fées at Neuchatel expand. Meanwhile, all mechanical watches of Piaget are driven by in-house manufacture movements. Also the proportion of mechanical movements in women's wristwatches is increased, that is in an area of the luxury industry, which until now have primarily been worked with quartz movements.
An important role in the current men's collection play, alongside the famous Polo series, the model ranges Altiplano and Emperador. Altiplano stands for the ultra-thin manual winding models in round housings and with elegantly simple dial, Emperador for unusual shapes (square or rectangular) and luxurious appearance. In 2008 the brand proudly presents the first perpetual calendar with one of the manufacture developed and manufactured complication movements with dual time-zone for the Emperador Coussin Perpetual Calendar.
Other watch brands include: Black Tie, Dancer, Upstream, Tradition, Limelight, Miss Protocole, and Possession. The model Upstream with the self-winding calibre 504P caused a stir with its folding clasp integrated into the case and the innovative design reminiscent of modern architecture.
A note on the calibre designations: "4" stands for hand-wound, "5" for automatic. 400P is a manual winding movement with date and second, 500P is the corresponding self-winding movement. 410P and 510P have central seconds without date, 420P has date without central seconds, 430P/530P are without date and seconds. The 430P can replace the no longer built 9P, since it is gabarised for it.
In 2006 Piaget presents a new generation of self-winding movements, the calibre series 800P, which is equipped with double barrel and, therefore, has a high power reserve of 72 hours. The acronym 830P stands for the hand-wound and the 800P for the self-winding calibre. The variant 850P offers a dual time-zone and small seconds, while the 880P designates the new chronograph calibre.