Piaget shares its passion for the incomparable rose
The flower is perhaps the most widely used motif in the world of jewelry design, but few designers or brands can claim a flower named in their honor. Yves Piaget, scion of the Piaget watch and jewelry company, has been so honored for his lifelong passion for roses, a passion that is reflected in the brand’s Rose jewelry collection.
“The rose is the most universal flower,” he says. “For me, it brings to mind childhood, and my first love for the wild roses called Sweet Briars. I have always been in love with roses, fascinated by the work done by breeders, whose imagination is matched by their absolute discipline. They seek only beauty and performance.” His penchant for roses was strengthened in 1976 when be became a member of the jury for the Concours International de Roses Nouvelles de Genève (Geneva International Competition of New Roses), where he annually awards the winner with a gold rose crafted in the Piaget workshops. In 1982, the winning rose, created by the famous horticulture company, Meilland, was christened the “Yves Piaget Rose.” It was a peony rose with 80 petals, of which Yves Piaget says, “I love the graded shades from pink to mauve, I love its exceptional perfume. It’s a true delight.”
In 2012, Piaget officially honored the brand’s connection to this beautiful flower with the Rose collection, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Yves Piaget rose. This year, 15 new models introduce color into the gold and diamond collection, with pink tourmalines, amethyst and pink opals set in necklaces with pear-shaped diamonds and earrings with mobile stones.
Piaget’s jewelry craftsmen have developed a technique to give volume and life to the rose. The petals are cut from a gold plate and then individually formed by pliage, a method of folding. To enable each diamond to be magnified by light, the jeweler pierces the metal on the back of each petal at the exact spot where the gems are positioned, using the “honeycomb” technique. This method brings additional sparkle to the setting. He then sets the final touch by making a delicate engraving on the perimeter of the petals in order to accentuate their curves. Each piece is mounted from the inside, from the top to the bottom of the flower. Many of the pieces are elaborate, but much of the collection is also quite accessible, with an opening price point of $1,900.
Indy actress Brit Marling recently wore some pieces from the collection on the red carpet and at the premier of her new film “The East” of which she is the co-writer and the star. Marling, who has made a name for herself in the world of independent film, was the first to wear the Rose pendant from the new Piaget Rose collection, in 18k gold with 36 diamonds. Piaget, which has a longstanding commitment to independent film and the arts, has been a principle sponsor of the Film Independent Spirit Awards for many years, and feels that Marling embodies the youthful spirit of the Rose collection.
American singer Melody Gardot serves as an official ambassador for the collection, commemorating it with her recording of “La Vie en Rose.” Gardot performed the song as part of a private concert for 350 guests last June at the first Piaget Rose Day, which took place in the Orangerie of the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris. A guard of honor composed of gardeners guided invitees towards a greenhouse where a gorgeous wall of Piaget roses awaited them. Bar Refaeli, who models the Rose collection in Piaget’s new ad campaign, was among the celebrities in attendance.
Piaget’s involvement in the world of roses does not end there. In tribute to the Empress Josephine, who also devoted her life to roses, Piaget became involved in the renovation project for the historical rose garden of the Château de Malmaison last year to restore the grounds to their former splendor. A keen rose lover, Josephine had succeeded during her lifetime in putting together a collection of 250 varieties. Unfortunately, this botanical treasure was damaged over the years and very little remains of the former rose garden. The Malmaison museum, with Piaget’s support, is set to give it a new lease on life by planting 750 old rose bushes in order to revive the work of Josephine, after whom an admirable rose was named in 1814, the year she died. Next year, Piaget will celebrate the inauguration of the revived rose garden, as well as the bicentenary of Josephine’s death.
Piaget also sponsored the first Monaco International Rose Show last year, organized by the Monaco Garden Club, and teamed up for the first time with the prestigious Concours International de Roses Nouvelles (International Competition for New Roses) held in the Bagatelle Rose Garden in Paris. On the occasion of these events, Piaget created a trophy reflecting the design codes of the Piaget Rose collection, crafted in pink gold and featuring delicately rounded, curved petals, the trophy is set with a diamond pistil.
“In 1982, when the rose peony was christened the Yves Piaget rose, it was an extremely emotional moment for me,” says Yves Piaget, who now shares his legacy through a jewelry collection that rivals the real rose in its beauty.
[gallery type="slideshow" ids="1977,1973,1974,1975,1976,1978"]