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Piaget & Co. was founded in 1874 by Georges Piaget, a farmer who became a watchmaker in the village of La-Cote-aux-Fees. He decided to assemble watches in order to earn some extra money during the winters.
Not much is said about the company’s first years, only that his sons took over the business and run their father company through the First World War, the Second World War and the Great depression. Before World War II, Piaget watches were sold through other companies which engraved their names on the dials. However, after World War II, Gerald and Valentin Piaget, the founder’s grandsons, took over the company and decided to give the company a turnover and place it in the marketplace following a plan. A new collection of wristwatches was released and caused an awesome sensation. The rest is history.
Foreign markets such as the United States opened up during the 1950s and this led to the establishment of branch offices in New York, Geneva and Germany. It helped that the company introduced a number of innovative movements during this period, such as the ultra-thin nine line “9P” movement. This allowed Piaget to create a popular series of elegant, ultra-thin wristwatches for both men and women. Another commercially successful movement was the “12P”, which was the world’s thinnest automatic watch movement until 1967.In order to have a strict control of quality, the company bought up several case and bracelet manufacturers.A few years late, Piaget’s market started to change its focus. The watches featured an appearance of fine jewellery. Not only could the dials be found in a number of styles, but also the materials used became exotic. There were more jewellers than watchmakers employed by the House.
Nevertheless, though Piaget did not ignore the new quartz technology, it continued manufacturing mechanical wristwatches. Companies such as Rolex and Omega began to dominate the sports watch field, Piaget took a very sensible decision: he decided to specialise in the dress and jewellery watches.
Piaget was recognized as one of the world’s most successful watch companies in the 1970s, thanks to successful model as the polo watches, which has an appealing solid gold bracelet. Piaget successfully brought the counterfeiters in Hong Kong and Italy to court, putting an end to the problem.Nowadays, Piaget is extremely well known for its ladies watches and solid gold dress watches.
Though complicated watches continue to be produced in limited quantities, most Piaget watches are jewellery-oriented. To wit, Piaget buys several thousand carats of the best quality gemstones, together with five tons of gold. It should also be mentioned that every component in a Piaget watch, besides the movement, is made of solid gold, even the dials.
The rose has been a constant motif in Piaget’s jewelry, because company founder, Yves Piaget, loved roses and they were his lifelong passion