Why did Piaget choose Jessica Chastain as a new ambassador?
Piaget has been associated with the Spirit Awards in Los Angeles, which reward the big names in independent film making, for eight years. We wanted to increase our involvement and work with an actress with global renown, which only Hollywood can offer. Piaget has already had its own “It Girl” ambassadors linked with launches in the Possession line, but we wanted a much more ambitious profile that could represent the Spirit Awards and the image of Piaget at the same time: one of glamour but with substance.
I met Jessica Chastain at the opening of our Rodeo Drive store in October 2014 and I immediately thought that she met these criteria. She is splendid and brilliant, she exudes joie de vivre and has an impressive breadth of knowledge. As a graduate of the Juilliards School of New York, which is one of the best theatre schools, she took to the stage before moving into cinema, where she is recognised as one of the most elegant and talented actresses. She was nominated at the Golden Globes and the Spirit Awards for A most violent year, she has just starred in Interstellar and she is appearing in five more films this year, in particular in Blonde, where she plays Marilyn Monroe. She can wear our watches, Piaget jewellery and high jewellery and I think she is a fantastic ambassador for the brand.
Given that it is St. Valentine’s week, what jewellery set would you give your wife as a present?
It’s the perfect time to offer roses, so I would probably buy her a nice Altiplano watch with a marvellous enamelled rose dial by Anita Porchet, accompanied by splendid bracelet or necklace from the Rose collection.
And if your wife was looking to buy you a Valentine’s gift?
I would have to temper my zeal, because she has just bought me a very nice Altiplano skeleton model for my 60th birthday! My hopes have been fulfilled.
Do you see any changes in the tradition of gift giving?
Yes, habits change. People used to buy watches as a couple, which they are doing a lot less now. For ten to fifteen years the trend has been for people to buy themselves gifts. As far as watches are concerned, the man buys one for himself and buys one as a gift for his wife. But ladies are increasingly buying jewellery for themselves as well. At least up to €5,000 to 10,000. Then the man takes over when the price is higher. But things are, of course, different from one country to another and depending on age.
Piaget will soon be opening a temple of luxury gifts…
Two, in fact, and not just in Europe. This spring we will open a 230m2 store in Milan and the biggest Piaget store in the world, over more than 500m2, in Paris. It will be at 7 rue de la Paix, right next to the Cartier store. The second floor will be an exhibition space devoted to our expertise in jewellery and watch making, as well as exhibitions related to heritage, but also to bespoke pieces for our most demanding customers.
Piaget has also just published its first book for 20 years. Which aspect of this new work impressed you the most?
Above and beyond the purely aesthetic aspects, which are in themselves excellent, and the work that the authors have put in over a number of years, I found the interviews with Yves Piaget both entertaining and captivating. He describes the brand from the inside, as well as the high society touches that came about under his leadership. I think that the readers of WorldTempus will find the interview with Aurel Bacs especially interesting. In it, he talks about his first encounters with Piaget products. Coming from such a renowned authority in watchmaking, that is a beautiful tribute.