Countless archeological evidence tells us that our love for roses is incredibly old. There is proof of their existence five millennia ago in Asia. This flower became an object of adoration in various cultures – Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, medieval European etc. – as an image of nobility, love and perfect yet ephemeral love. Romanticists and symbolists serenaded it, it infiltrated so deeply into our consciousness that we immediately associate its presence and fragrance with gifts, declarations of love and anniversaries. A vast cultural history has been woven around the rose so rich that it seems impossible to describe. And yet there were daredevils who tried and quite a few of them apparently as the history of the rose is a never-ending story.
The quest for the champion rose
Ubiquitous as it is in both our lives and our imagination, one may say that the symbol of the rose has become common. Like a great song that you’ve listened to so many times that you simply cannot hear it any longer. Like the sunset clouds whose magic you no longer feel. Like a smile you see very often, forgetting how precious its brilliance is. No, the rose hasn’t become common, it is our perception that betrays us even in the presence of beauty. Here’s a challenge for the artist: not to look for another symbol of beauty, of romance, of bravery, but instead to rediscover the freshness of the things that we seem to know so well that we choose to forget.
For Yves Piaget there is no connection between a rose and triviality. His passion for roses is heartfelt: he selected them, he turned them into an obsession and he cultivated them in the world of Piaget collections. At the beginning of the 80s, a variety created by Meilland-Richardier – a French company that will soon celebrate 175 years of tradition in the selection of roses – received a prize in Switzerland and was even named after Yves Piaget. It is the famous 80-petal variety that looks like a rose and a peony at the same time, and is one of the most appreciated varieties by both florists and the general public.
This year marked the 40th anniversary of the award received by the Yves Piaget Rose – an anniversary celebrated in Monaco by the tenth edition of the Concours International de la Rose. The extravagant event organized by the President of Piaget and the Amis de la Roseraie Princesse Grace Association gathers together the elite of florists and rewards the most beautiful variety of rose with a white gold floral brooch decorated with diamonds.
Petals made of gold, mother-of-pearl and gemstones
The House of Piaget marks this anniversary as they know best: with a special collection, made up of a limited number of pieces which reinterpret in an original manner the most recognizable symbol of the brand in a reinvigorating color palette, showing a clear preference for cocktail combinations. On a single white gold ring there are more than 150 white brilliant-cut diamonds, chromatically punctuated by three aquamarines, four purple amethysts, and two Paraiba tourmalines; the visual effect of the ensemble is impressive. In a different version of the same ring the inventory of colorful gemstones changes to tourmalines in various shades and yellow sapphires. In addition, the rose gold model brings spessartine to the fore – a real rarity in jewelry collections.
The cheerful color palette is preserved in the entire collection, only becoming more subtle in the Altiplano Tourbillon Rose jewel watch. With a very refined aesthetic, it relies on a simple yet powerful contrast between the white of the mother-of-pearl dial, the gold case and the strap, on the one hand, and the pink of the sapphires that mark the off-center hour-and-minute dial and the crown, on the other hand. The diamonds on the dial and bezel and the rose contours engraved in mother-of-pearl complete the precious design of this watch manufactured in a limited edition of 28 pieces.
Nothing is predictable or random with this collection. Piaget is one of the few global brands that manage to experiment while staying true to their own tradition, doing so with masterful ease thus a proof of genuine creativity.
*This article was published on issue 16 of Lifetime Magazine.