Piaget – The essence of Extraleganza Gala

Piaget’s jewellery is a work of art with which Valentin Piaget has created the House of High Jewellery. It has a who’s who of the world of art, sport and cinema, that he has named the Piaget Society, including artists such as Salvadore Dali and Andy Warhol, to name but a few.
Piaget is renowned for its surprising creativity, a legacy that began in 1874 when Georges-Edouard Piaget designed watches in La Côte-aux-Fées, Switzerland. In 1950, Piaget introduced the ultra-thin watch, gaining renown for its cuff watches and the transformable swinging sautoirs from the 1969 21st Century Collection, which could be converted from a necklace into various pieces of jewelry.
At the intersection of Elegance and Extravagance lies Extraleganza, a vibrant, creative, and expressive world where Piaget’s exceptional fine jewelry and watches are crafted.
This week, we attended the Maison’s 150th-anniversary presentation, “ESSENCE OF EXTRALEGANZA,” at the Palais Brongniart in Paris, where I had the pleasure of speaking with Stephanie Sivriere, the Directrice de Creation Joaillerie & Horlogerie of Piaget.

The models of the Piaget evening were beautifully dressed by Lanvin and Gianvito Rossi.

IRMA: In the 1960s and 70s, watches went from being just a timepiece to becoming a fashion statement, especially for women. How has Piaget carried this design philosophy into contemporary “haute joaillerie”?
STEPHANIE SIVRIERE: At that time, there were many watch brands and Piaget wanted to stand out, so they put a strong emphasis on creating high jewellery.
Very often they integrated secret watches, which had a surprising effect. This transformation from utility to style still resonates today and can be found in almost every piece in the modern contemporary high jewellery collection.

IRMA: Piaget is celebrated for its unique fabric-structured metal integrated with gemstones. Could you describe the process of creating these intricate pieces?
STEPHANIE SIVRIERE: Initially, the inspiration came from fabric folds that Valentin, Georges-Edouard Piaget’s son, saw at the haute couture shows in Paris. He would go to these shows in the 60s and 70s to be inspired, but also to look at the fashion and then design a piece of high jewellery to go with it.
Today, the textured metal from various vintage jewellery watches is incorporated into the contemporary Palace Décor collection, which also has this texture on jewellery, not just watches. Each piece is handcrafted, so the texture is naturally uneven. This technique is applied by hand by a jeweller in the workshop under a microscope, so that the smallest detail is in the right place.

Rosamund Pike in Piaget High Jewelry for a Gala dinner at Hotel de Maison in Paris

IRMA: Piaget’s Haute Joaillerie often features iconic cuff watches and sautoirs. Do you expect these styles to become popular again in everyday jewellery, especially the “cuff watch”?
STEPHANIE SIVRIERE: A cuff gives you more space to create. You can be even more playful to achieve a dimension than on a tiny watch, which was very popular in the 1970s and will come back today, there are always different trends and today there are many ways to wear a watch, there is no longer just one fashionable way.

IRMA: For Piaget’s 150th anniversary, 96 pieces were created for the ‘ESSENCE OF EXTRALEGANZA’ collection. Why did you choose this number?
STEPHANIE SIVRIERE: There is no specific purpose in this number. We simply wanted to keep a well-edited and limited number of pieces that would best represent our heritage and our new Haute Joaillerie, showing the influence of time, techniques and movement in each piece.

Ella Richards in Piaget High Jewelry for a Gala dinner at Hotel de Maison in Paris


IRMA: Piaget has developed a system that allows a pendant watch to be transformed into a wristwatch by attaching it to a bracelet. How valuable is this versatility for your customers?
STEPHANIE SIVRIERE: It is a perfect blend of style and technology. Something our haute joaillerie customers are looking for. The transformable pieces can be worn differently for each occasion, the possibility of having several separate pieces that can be passed on to other family members and mixed and matched with other pieces, it allows the wearer to be creative.

Ella Richards in Piaget High Jewelry for a Gala dinner at Hotel de Maison in Paris

IRMA: Piaget is known for its innovative and unexpected designs. What future developments can we expect, especially with the incorporation of AI-driven design techniques?STEPHANIE SIVRIERE: We do not use AI to design and present our pieces, but of course we have computer-animated renderings that allow us to change designs quickly without having to prepare a new mould each time.
I work with our design team, there are three of us for the jewellery and three for the horology.
I always start with a hand drawing and pass it on to the jewellers who then add their ideas, in the end we develop a piece that works together, the thread is always our rich heritage of techniques, stones and manufacture.

A model in Piaget High Jewelry for a Gala dinner at Hotel de Maison in Paris


Jasmin Khezri


Stephanie Sivriere, Directrice de creation joaillerie et horlogerie with Jasmin Khezri from IRMASWORLD