The source of inspiration for the new collection was the dizzying landscapes of a place filled with flames and volcanoes, the Amalfi Coast. This Italian paradise is bathed in sunrays, and it encounters all the elements, giving birth to passion – life here truly reflects the hedonistic way of life that the Piaget Society so values. In order for all the pieces to embody all the beauty of nature that “awakens” at sunrise with the “awakening” of the sun and then “sinks into a dream” at sunset, the designers of the house subdivided Sunlight Journey into three parts; Secrets of Dawn, Midday Festival and Nightfall Celebration. In the first the pieces have a white-yellow-blue colour palette, in the second they have juicy blue-green shades and the third features red-yellow-pink tones.
The creation of the new collection has become a real Odyssey in the search for colour and ways to reproduce it in jewellery art. A huge amount of time was spent travelling around with world with the sole purpose of finding extra-ordinary, valuable minerals. So the search for the pear-shaped yellow diamond weighing 11.85 carats that adorns a laconic white gold and diamond necklace took more than 8 months! Its rich hue as well as an impressive size and shape - considered the rarest for such stones - turned the diamond into a real treasure feature of the Sunlight Journey collection. Another necklace, resembling beams of sun shining in all directions at sunset, shines with a yellow cushion-cut diamond weighing 6.63 carats, surrounded by red spinels and yellow and white diamonds. A Colombian emerald weighing just under 13 carats, a Ceylon oval sapphire weighing over 22 carats, and a tanzanite of 16 carats are some of the rare gems decorating the pieces in the new collection.
But not all colours can be unearthed, so to translate the amazing blue and red transitions in some of the jewellery and watches, Piaget once again joined forces with the featherwork master Nelly Saunier. Together, the House had previously made watches and cuff bracelets, employing this unique technique. This time, the creative union invented a series of 10 exclusive products with sapphires and rubies, gaining a special radiance as they are surrounded by quivering feathers. I especially remember the opening rings, which adorn the magnificent marquetry mosaic of the artist’s favourite material.
Next, the jewellers and designers of Piaget, together with the Italian artist Cesare Bella, decided to complete the experiment! For the first time they used a micro-mosaic of gold with a micro-mosaic of Murano glass to embellish the dial of a High Jewellery watch, Altiplano. The gold is used for the depiction of branches, the Murano glass for delicate pink flowers. This means the miniature details give the whole décor an extraordinary depth and sophistication. Another unique watch - which is worth special attention - was created in collaboration with Isabelle Emmerich. It represents the contrast in natural material – of brittle eggshell and of the solid precious gold metal. The pattern on the dial of this timepiece is reminiscent of a view of sunlit waves from a huge height. To bring it to light, Isabelle required a great deal of accuracy and patience, because at first the dial was varnished, and only after waiting two weeks was it possible to apply a pattern, using the finest particles of gold.
The theme of the sea is also depicted on three other dials in the collection, which reveal fascinating seascapes, green plants, coastal landscapes, and the sky and sea surface blending on the horizon. And what’s a sea without a sandy beach? In white gold watch cuffs and a dial of lapis lazuli, the precious metal turns into a golden fabric thanks to the Palace Decor technique – considered a distinctive feature of Piaget style for three generations.
In the Sunlight Journey collection, the masters of the jewellery and watch house Piaget surpassed themselves once again, proving that original techniques of working with precious metals give rise to completely unexpected design solutions, that can surprise even the most sophisticated admirers of jewellery art.