08 January 2018

1970s Piaget watches at Artcurial

This exceptional sale entitled “Time is Feminine” features fifteen vintage women’s watches signed Piaget.

Marie Sanna-Legrand, watchmaking director, spent many months crisscrossing the planet to gather together the 80 women’s watches for this auction, the first of its kind. Because watchmaking has always been a men’s world, the models that have left their mark in history have been designed for men: from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso to Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak and Cartier’s Tank. Women collectors and those who like complications are rare. The highlight of this sale put together by Marie Sanna-Legrand is the collection of fifteen Piaget women’s watches, all vintage and amongst the most sought after.

 

At the origin of the style, the 9P

Since the mid-nineteenth century, the Piaget family of watchmakers has provided movements or movement components for other brands. Their first watches date back to the 1940s. “In 1956, Piaget invented the famous 9P, an extra-flat 0.7-mm thick, wide movement, which was decisive in asserting its style because it gave more room for creative freedom,” explains Beatrice Vuille-Willmetz, director of heritage. From that point on, Piaget was no longer obliged to create around the dial, as the dial itself became an element of ornamentation.

 

The stylistic revolution of the 1970s

These watches illustrate the revolution the Swiss watchmaker sparked. They are sculptural, creative and fun in keeping with the positive vibes of the time, and they are recognizable at first glance. Spot the color! The dials can be found in different types of stone like jade, lapis lazuli, malachite, tiger-eye and opal. Some are also integrated into cuffs and large, gold, chiseled bracelets where precious metals imitate organic materials like tree bark or frost. At the time jet-set Americans loved it: Elizabeth Taylor and Andy Warhol collected them and Jackie Kennedy chose a model with an oval, green jade dial; two versions of it are included in this auction sale.

 

What models will Piaget try to snap up at the auction? Several are worthy of appearing in its archives that today include some 900 watches, including the one worn by Jackie Kennedy. Yet Piaget remains discreet on the subject…

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