At the arrival of every new Chinese Year, Piaget dial becomes a magnificent stage set for a virtuoso performance of the most elaborate decorative arts. To celebrate the Chinese New Year, the playful and self-assured monkey, the ninth sign of the Chinese zodiac, takes centre stage on the dial of the Altiplano Cloisonné Enamel watch. Every year since 2012, Piaget has marked the arrival of the Chinese New Year with its “Art & Excellence” collection staging that year’s zodiac sign, hand-crafted in the great Grand Feu cloisonnéenamelling tradition.
Charming yet mischievous, the monkey is portrayed in the signature style of the collection defined by a vivid combination of black and white, as well as the countless details that give the motif life-like qualities. Adding fire and brilliance to a spectacular celebration of the Chinese New Year, the purity and vibrancy of the enamel work is enhanced by Piaget’s gem-setting expertise with the 18-carat white gold case set with 78 brilliant-cut diamonds. The intricate dial conceals a Piaget 430P hand-wound mechanical manufacture movement. The Altiplano “Art & Excellence” from the Chinese Zodiac collection is limited to just 38 pieces available exclusively in Piaget Boutiques
Pairing the traditions of fine watchmaking with its unrelenting passion for artistry, Piaget pushes the boundaries of creativity, unleashing the talent of its craft masters and artisans, and challenging them to apply their ancestral techniques to the creation of distinctive pieces. World-renowned master enameller Anita Porchet has lent her skills to bring each Chinese zodiac sign to life in her own exceptional interpretation, turning the ultra-thin Altiplano watch into a refined work of art. One of the few artisans to master every single enamelling technique, Anita Porchet uses cloisonné for the “Art & Excellence” collection to better isolate the colours and ensure an optimally clear vision of the grey shading. By partitioning the enamel using cloisons, the refinement of the artwork is enhanced, giving the seated monkey its delicate glistening coat of fur as it proudly holds a peach, symbol of immortality, up against a soft sky-like background.
Enamelling -an art of perfection.
First, the artisan forms the motif with hollow partitions created with strips of gold, then crushes and mixes the pigments by hand before delicately applying the colours inside the partitions with a fine brush. The artistic virtuosity of the piece comes from the artist’s ability to achieve the subtlest shades of grey, graded from the more intense to the lighter, with a succession of flawless applications. In accordance with the tradition of grand feu enamels, the successive firing of the piece in the kiln at over 800°C gives the enamel its ethereal glow, and guarantees the longevity of the masterpiece.
The New Year which is termed as “Year of the monkey” begins on February 8th, 2016. Chopard and Vacheron Constantin are also dedicating
new exclusive series to the Chinese zodiac.