After seven years of success running on quartz movements, Piaget’s attractive women’s Limelight Gala watch is upgraded with a mechanical movement. Piaget unveils five new gold Limelight Gala models now equipped with calibre 501P, a slim, in-house automatic movement. A stylish watch that captures Piaget’s heyday of jewellery watches in the 1960s and 1970s, the Limelight Gala comes full circle.
Although Piaget was founded in 1874, the brand made a name for itself with two breakthrough movements: its ultra-thin 2mm manual-winding calibre 9P in 1957 followed by the calibre 12P in 1960, the thinnest automatic movement in the world at that time measuring just 2.3mm. Ultra-thin movements inside the brand’s elegant Altiplano line are very much a house speciality, but so are women’s jewellery watches and its line of high jewellery. Coming on the scene in the flamboyant 1960s and 1970s, women’s watches – often fitted with Piaget’s in-house 7P quartz movement – appeared with vibrant precious and semi-precious stone dials and some of the most beautiful supple gold bracelets in the business. Apart from the brand’s impressive state-of-the-art manufacture just outside Geneva and its historic manufacture in La Côte-aux Fées, Piaget also owns the largest jewellery workshop in Geneva where its high-end jewellery and jewellery watches are made.
Leading ladies of the day, including Sophia Loren, Jackie Kennedy and Mireille Mathieu, were all fans of the brand that managed to capture the zeitgeist of the 1960s and 1970s with its sensual creations often embellished with stone dials in psychedelic colours. The Limelight Gala was inspired by an oval-shaped model of 1973 with the distinctive sweeping gem-set lugs that characterise the collection today.
The Limelight Gala collection is distinguished by a round case swathed by a diamond-set bezel. Unlike most diamond-set bezels, the bezel of the Limelight Gala continues its journey along the profile of the bracelet to create a wonderful flow of light. Set with 62 progressively sized brilliant-cut diamonds, the stones are set with the serti descendu technique. Known in English as a cut-down setting or openwork, the serti descendu technique involves carving gold away from the claws and grooves that grip the stone to allow light to enter the stone from the sides – not just from the top.
Case and Dial
All five novelties in the Limelight Gala collection come in 18k white or rose gold cases with a 32mm diameter and a slender height of just 8.91mm. There is a smaller 26mm size available in the collection but fitted with quartz.
Four of the Limelight Gala Automatic watches feature silvered dials with rose or white gold-coloured applied Roman numerals and baton indices. The brand name substitutes the 3 o’clock marker. There is a fifth Limelight Gala model (Ref. G0A45362) with a stunning snow-set dial. Designed to capture the beauty of freshly fallen snow, the snow-setting technique is demanding and every single diamond, all of which differ in size, have to be arranged and set by hand.
Gold Milanese mesh bracelets
Piaget’s superlative handcrafted gold Milanese mesh bracelets are featured on two of the models (G0A45212, G0A45213). Reminiscent of jewellery bracelets crafted by the brand in the 1950s, Piaget has never lost its unique know-how and each bracelet is crafted just as it was seventy years ago.
Starting life as a gold bar, an artisan works the metal into tiny gold threads that are twisted, weaved and squeezed by hand, one by one. Perfectly integrated into the case, the bracelet is a natural extension of the flowing lines. In addition to the beautiful finishes, the Milanese mesh bracelets are supple and extremely comfortable on the wrist.
Women who appreciate a fine automatic mechanical movement will be pleased to see Piaget’s manufacture calibre 501P on the reverse side of the watch. An evolution of the Piaget 530P, the 501P is just 3.6mm thick. With a frequency of 21,600vph, it offers a power reserve of approximately 43 hours. Decorated with Côtes de Genève finishes, circular graining on the mainplate, bevelled bridges and blued screws on the bridges, you can also see the Piaget coat of arms on the large rotor.
The Piaget Limelight Gala Milanese Automatic makes its debut with five models, all housed in either 18k rose or white gold cases. Two models (G0A45360 and G0A45361) come with black alligator leather straps and a rose or white gold ardillon buckle with a brilliant-cut diamond. Another pair, also housed in rose or white gold cases (G0A45212 and G0A45213) are presented on gold Milanese mesh bracelets with an integrated clasp, also set with a brilliant-cut diamond. And there is the fully paved snow-set dial version (G0A45362) on a black alligator strap with a white gold ardillon buckle set with 15 brilliant-cut diamonds. Prices are as follows: G0A45360 white gold/black alligator strap EUR 38,400; G0A45361 rose gold/black alligator strap EUR 37,200; G0A45212 white gold/gold Milanese bracelet EUR 46,800; G0A45213 rose gold/gold Milanese bracelet EUR 45,000. No price available as yet for the snow-set model.
For more information, please consult piaget.com.