Following a complex year in 2020, this year has once started in a rather unusual way. Digitalization has become crucial but despite the lack of physical events, brands have adapted to new formats, such as the digital fair that has just ended. Following the digital edition of Watches & Wonders 2021, Chabi Nouri, CEO of Piaget, tells MONOCHROME what to expect from the brand this year and talks about the new watches presented.
Xavier Markl, MONOCHROME – How was Watches & Wonders?
Chabi Nouri, CEO of Piaget – We have just finished the digital version of Watches & Wonders, the platform where we launched and unveiled all our novelties. And now we’re starting with the physical edition in Shanghai, China. We’re very excited for some of our clients and community to discover our products in person and have an immersive Piaget experience in our booth in Shanghai. So, it’s a great continuation.
I believe it has been a very strong Watches & Wonders. We were very excited to unveil some novelties that we’ve been working on for the last years and also to enlighten 2021 a little bit and share our passion for watchmaking.
As we are talking about Shanghai, is China an important market for Piaget? What are the perspectives from that side of the world?
The sanitary crisis has been a catalyst for change. It has pushed us to rethink the way we engage with our clients. And naturally, to rethink the way we work. We have significantly increased our digital presence, in particular with a focus on the way we engage with our community. Even our sales associates have been able to live stream and stay in contact with the clients, which is a very interesting development. China is definitely a place where digital presence is crucial, and we’ve been able to enhance this. As you know, last year we launched our flagship store in Tmall. It has enabled Piaget to reach a much broader audience.
The Shanghai physical edition of Watches & Wonders is another opportunity to engage with clients. We continue to work on our distribution with new stores, maximizing the integration between our online and offline presence.
What are the Piaget highlights for Watches & Wonders?
The overriding theme was really to share the joy of creating the extraordinary, our know-how and the singularity of the Maison. Our novelties encapsulate at least two or three defining Piaget fields of expertise. And that’s why we feel that these are very rooted in our DNA and very authentic as well. They also express really well this joyful “art de vivre.” Piaget Polo is a major highlight. At the beginning of the year, we unveiled the Piaget Polo skeleton in steel, and now we are presenting new versions clad in gold. The Piaget Polo Skeleton now comes in pink gold, in white gold with a diamond-set bezel, and even more exceptional high-jewellery versions whose case, bracelet – for one of the model – and skeleton movement are diamond set, which is a true Piaget specificity.
Limelight Gala is another major highlight for Watches & Wonders. We continue the journey with Limelight Gala with an exceptional trilogy showcasing remarkable craftsmanship and expertise: mastery of goldsmithing, hand-engraving and gem-setting. And of course, there is the Maison’s iconic Altiplano with a new version of the Altiplano Ultimate Concept which pays tribute to our birthplace La Côte-aux-Fées.
There are a few jeweller-watchmakers, but Piaget is a pretty unique example of a watchmaker-jeweller? How does this define Piaget today?
It perfectly defines Piaget. I believe it’s not a matter of product category. Piaget has always created remarkable watches, and jewellery watches for men and women. This defines the specificity of the Maison. We have this amazing skill of combining and merging High Watchmaking expertise with ornamental crafts and jewellery arts and crafts.
When I say High Watchmaking, I mean watchmaking expertise at the service of design. That was our founders’ key motto, to push the boundaries of technicality to liberate creativity. This is how we created the thinnest components, the thinnest movements and the thinnest watches. Technical mastery opens the door to artistic freedom. For instance, if we look at the Altiplano Ultimate Concept, it’s a fabulous piece of design enabled by exceptional technical mastery.
What will be your main focuses for 2021?
Watches & Wonders is the key event to present new products. Besides the event, we’ll now focus on different initiatives to support the launch of Limelight Gala. In particular, we’ll be continuing Piaget’s Extraordinary Women project. We started last year with the idea of gathering extraordinary women in their respective fields of expertise. We’ll unveil a new, second chapter this year, around June.
Piaget Polo will be highlighted throughout the year, with several key moments, including one in September that we are really looking forward to.
And, of course, we talked about the singularity of Piaget and our wide range of expertise. This summer, we’ll present a remarkable High Jewellery collection with a new theme. We’ll unveil exceptional creations: jewels, watches and a combination of both, bringing together the best of two worlds.
On a more personal note, what do you expect from 2021?
First of all, returning to a life where we can live life to the fullest. I think It has been a year of reflection; we have realized how important our liberty and our freedom are and the importance of enjoying every moment, every day. I think we shall live life to the fullest in a very joyful way. Hopefully, the health situation will improve, and we can all get back to a better, more normal life.
For more information, please visit www.piaget.com.