Piaget Tradition Line: Half a century of supreme elegance

Almost a century and a half ago, Georges Edouard Piaget started a small company in the Swiss alps that would eventually become known as the Piaget manufacture. Not absolutely the longest watch company tradition out there, but nevertheless a very respectable one. It took nearly 80 years for the manufacture to start producing  watches under its own name however. Today, Piaget is one of the most famous jewelry and watchmakers in the world and a pioneer in technical mastery and luxurious design.

With a history like that you are bound to have many important anniversaries to celebrate, but this year’s 50th anniversary of Piaget’s renowned Tradition line is a noteworthy one by any measure. A collection that is a vital part of the brands history  and whose main characteristics as the name suggests are the classic good looks and elegance. The ultra-thin profile of this collection’s timepieces has time after time proven its value and in fact become the main trademark of Piaget. The secret behind it is, of course, simple to understand and difficult to copy – advanced technical mastery, starting from design to mechanical details.

Piaget emphasizes their attention to detail by pointing out that even such seemingly less important pieces  of the overall watch such as a bracelet have been meticulously executed.  Tradition bracelet demonstrates this with everything from the welding of each of 108 gold links to the careful, individual assembly. There are three key points in this production: the expertise of the craftsmen, the assembly process and, in the end, the finishes.

The case of these watches deserves at least the same amount of attention paid to the bracelet. They are all classically round and available in 2 sizes,  26 mm and 34 mm. Futhermore they can be had in pink or white gold versions. They are glamorous, fit for red carpet events, gleaming in their timeless style. And how couldn’t they – they’re loaded with diamonds!

For you diamond fans out there here are some specifications to satisfy the curiosity:

–  26mm case sports 42 diamonds in the “brilliant” cut  which works out to about 0.6 carat.
– Its big brother, 34mm case includes 10 more diamonds of the same cut quality and tallying up to about  0.8 carats.

Two basic dials are available based on the model, a silver tone one and a diamond covered gold one. This further breaks down by the size of the case and depending on the size can have up to nearly 500 diamonds set on the larger case’s dial (little less then 300 diamonds for the smaller of the two).

With these tidbits of information we conclude the part for bling-lovers and move on to what horology fans would surely like to hear more about or more precisely what Piaget equipped this collection “under the hood” with. Let’s travel back to 1957 when Piaget claimed its historical legitimacy in the field of ultra-thin watchmaking. That year, the manufacture introduced the now famous ultra-thin hand-wound Caliber 9P, which was only 2 mm thick. Only three years later, Piaget launched the Caliber 12P, the world’s thinnest self-winding movement which measured just 2.3 mm thick. To this day Piaget has used the ultra-thin movements as a trademark of sorts which is evident by the fact that over half of all the movements they make are of the ultra-thin design. Among them, the mechanical hand-wound 430P movement has been chosen to animate the  Tradition models.

Dr. Seuss once famously said: “They say I’m old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!” Well, the Piaget’s progress in watchmaking is definitely noticeable through time, but it must be said that it is praise-worthy that after all this time they still respect and celebrate Tradition.

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