Piaget’s new Secrets & Lights collection is a masterpiece of jewellery and watchmaking art which celebrates the history of the Silk Road and the wealth of culture and different cities that adorn the famous route.
The sources of inspiration for the collection, made up of 93 pieces of jewellery and 38 watch designs, are two legendary places in particular: Venice and Samarkand. Their unforgettable architecture and rich artistic heritage have inspired a collection split into two parts: Secrets of Venice and Lights of Samarkand.
Piaget’s spokesperson observed that “both cities inspire us, of course, with their spirit, architecture, and all the other aspects that make them remarkable. However, we very often forget the processes by which such places become so beautiful, which is why we wanted to emphasize both sides of the coin: the exquisite beauty of the finished piece and the mystery of the jewellery-making techniques which so often go unappreciated.”
With this collection, Piaget’s designers have once again stayed true to the traditions and style of the Jewellery House, while at the same time experimenting with new techniques and artistic choices. A good example of this is the cuff-bracelet with emeralds, sapphires and diamonds bordered by a flower of feathers, a piece designed in collaboration with Nelly Saunier, an artist known for working with feathers.
Among the vibrant pieces of Secrets & Lights there are three cocktail rings celebrating Venice. According to Piaget: “each ring is dedicated to a different part of the city. The Castello ring features a diamond fringe which shakes when you move, making it a very playful jewel. It’s a nice twist on a classic piece, which makes it stand out.”
The second of the diamond rings hides a secret. The crown slides to the side to reveal a bewitching night sky created using grand feu and cloisonné enamel techniques. Thanks to the skilled work of the engraver, you can see the constellation Leo on the smooth, shiny surface of the enamel. The third ring, Palazzo, has a pattern formed from crosshatching of spinel and diamond which brings to life the elegance of Venetian art.
Personally, I think the most impressive design from the Venice half of the collection is the Passeggiata necklace, which features several beautiful diamonds and rubies. It is named after the old tradition of the young and the beautiful taking an evening walk, or ‘passeggiata’, along the promenades of Venice.
Piaget’s gemmologists acquired a parcel of almost 50 cts rubies that the gemstone dealer had been collecting for nearly five years. They are perfectly alike in terms of purity and colour to make up the necklace.
The quality of gemstones in Lights of Samarkand is matched only by the unique technical approach and level of execution of the design. It is almost as if each piece of jewellery has its own amazing oriental fairy tale to tell.
Just as their predecessors brought back incredible rare gemstones from Samarkand, Piaget’s gemmologists have travelled all over the world in search of stones to form the captivating centrepiece of their elegant designs. One such example is a Colombian cushion-cut emerald weighing more than 7 carats which formed the centrepiece of a four-petal flower ring.
The diamond and turquoise bracelet features a similar pattern, recreating motifs from charming arabesques. This particular piece is a good example of the designers’ skill when it comes to gold. In their skilful hands this precious metal so beloved by Piaget becomes a jewellery canvas, flowing and smooth, like fabric made from gold.
So say Piaget themselves, and I for one cannot help but agree with them. KP