Always Thin

Always Thin

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< In Person >

Piaget International Watch Marketing and Creation Director, Franck Touzeau on the brand’s relentless pursuit with size zero, in a chat with Mitrajit Bhattacharya

We know Piaget as the fine watchmaker who makes the thinnest watch. Is it an obsession or is it pushing boundaries to be the best?
From the beginning, we decided to keep this rule to always do better and to always develop the movements which are interesting in order to give more space to the case, to be original or distinctive. Every time we do the same in the ladies segment when we reveal a lot of concept watches like Magic Hour, Limelight Twice, and Limelight Dancing Night, or this year, a Blooming Rose, that is totally the variety of this creativity, and it’s a distinctive way of developing watches in the watchmaking industry. It took Piaget three years to develop the new calibre. We started two years before Jaeger LeCoultre was on the way to break the record of launching the thinnest mechanical watch last year. It’s not really an obsession, because it was the only one which was missing in our collection.

Generally you come up with a lot more in high jewellery. Any reason why there are less numbers this year?
If we want to compete, we need to find a way to be totally distinctive. When you work on exclusivity, you just need to continue to develop exceptional timepieces. We will continue to capitalise on it because it is a strong pillar for the Piaget brand.

From a brand perspective, where does Piaget stand in fine watchmaking, today?
We are probably one of the unique brands in the market to be able to develop interesting watches, complication watches, gold bracelet watches, high jewellery exceptional pieces, and even more exceptional pieces combining high watchmaking and high jewellery.

Any other watch other than the Ultra Thin you would like to highligh.
When we developed Altiplano for the first time, a watch for ladies, it was the pink gold version. We wanted to develop it in pink gold, and not in white gold as we don’t want to be associated to all crystal watches in the market today.

It doesn’t have any white gold?
It doesn’t have white gold, it doesn’t have diamonds. When we develop white gold, it’s always set with diamonds. An interesting skeleton watch fully dedicated to women in a 34mm space, is fully set with diamonds—Altiplano skeletonised models. Then a new dial for Limelight tonneau models which is much more elegant than the previous one, and the main objective is to revitalise the design of this unlimited model.

Can you foresee any trends in fine watchmaking in the next couple of years?
There is a powerful comeback of the traditional watchmaking, especially in the Ultra Thin segment because following the crash of all the big and bulky watches. Piaget never developed bulky case like a lot of other brands. The phase is over but will come back for sure. All the concept watches which are bulky, for me they are not interesting, because at the end, it is not elegant.

Where does Brand Piaget stand now, as far as elegant sports watches are concerned? What is the status with Piaget Polo 45, which was aimed at a different audience?
We continue to support Polo, especially in South America, and it was always a strong pillar of the Piaget collection. And if you notice, we continue to support the Ellerstina team.

What can we expect from Piaget on sports watches in future?
Piaget is not into sports watches, but sporty watches, and we will continue to work on that segment. We will probably continue to develop the iconic Piaget Polo model like we did into the past during the 70s and the 80s.