Piaget's Sunlight Journey Collection Captures The Glow Of The Amalfi Coast
From the gentle rays of winter sun to the fierce, golden hue of midsummer days, sunlight brings with it a fizz of excitement all year round. And it is that delicious sun-warmed feeling that Piaget so wanted to capture with its latest collection.
Drawing inspiration from one of the most sun-drenched places on earth, Italy’s picturesque Amalfi Coast, Sunlight Journey comprises three parts—Secrets of Dawn, Midday Festival and Nightfall Celebration.
This is Piaget’s fourth sun-inspired collection, following the popular Mediterranean Garden, Secrets and Lights, and Sunny Side of Life, and it is notable for its emphasis on blue sapphires and yellow diamonds, which are reminiscent of the deep blue of the Mediterranean against the sun-kissed land of Italy.
Mother-of-pearl represents the lazy white clouds drifting across the sky, while the black opals are symbolic of the waves crashing against the shore.
And because each time of day produces a very distinctive light and atmosphere, the jewellery and watches pay homage to this slow, beautiful transformation we know and love.
Staying true to Piaget’s emphasis on extraordinary stones, this collection began with the team scouring the globe for blue sapphires and yellow diamonds of exceptional carat weight. A beautiful example of the latter, an 11.85-carat stone, is enthroned in one of the most impressive pieces of the collection, a diamond necklace in white gold.
It took more than eight months of research before the right stone was found. Its shape, magnificently saturated colour and sheer size are wonderfully reminiscent of the sun itself.
The collection also captures the deep blue Mediterranean and the azure skies with the aid of feather artist Nelly Saunier. The winner of numerous prizes for her unique aesthetic, she created a series of feathered creations in the form of “secret” rings, earrings and necklaces.
Using her ability to create a feather-like movement in the metals she works with, she selected her precious stones for their shapes and shades, giving brilliant sapphires a sunlit glow in their feathery setting.
Elsewhere, lacquer artist Isabelle Emmerique also played with contrasts. Her speciality is one of the most intricate in the world of jewellery, combining the most fragile of materials—eggshell—with the most precious of metals, gold.
The result is an extraordinary eggshell mosaic work on gold leaf, which she used in one of her watches to depict foaming waves breaking over a sun-dappled sea. A technique mastered by Japanese and Chinese artists, it has become one of Piaget’s most notable aesthetics.
Emmerique’s motif was first highlighted by lacquer using the traditional European technique. Two weeks were required for the lacquer to dry perfectly before it could be coated with gold leaf, followed by a mosaic pattern featuring hundreds of eggshell fragments.
Another renowned female designer working on this collection is Anita Porchet, who was awarded the 2015 Prix Gaïa for Artisanal Creation. Using the cloisonné enamel technique of forming small cells and creating motifs using gold wire, she has created a series of watches in which the face depicts the rocky outcrops of the Amalfi Coast.
If you like your watches on the jewellery end of the scale, look no further than the cuff watch in white gold and lapis lazuli. Its wonderfully realistic depiction of sunlight shimmering on the sea in the early hours of a summer morning was created by the manual engraving of precious metal to create a raw-silk effect.
The greatest challenge of all is to recreate the colour, light and motion of the ever-changing sea itself. Artists, sculptors and photographers have all worked to capture it, and now so have watchmakers.
Using an impressive array of materials ranging from white mother-of-pearl to Tahitian mother-of-pearl, sycamore, parchment, speckled maple, hornbeam, beech and tulipwood, Piaget has transformed the face of this exquisite watch into the shallows of the Italian coastline.
This collection is ideal for any city-dwelling sunshine lover since our busy lives mean we can’t spend months on end wallowing in sun-lit seas. But with a slice of sunshine on our arms, wrists or necks, the Amalfi Coast is never more than a glance away.
Discover more at piaget.com