«The power of a luxury brand is expressed when all the elements are in phase, from the product to the communication tools. The product must not exist only by itself, it must also exist in a reality, impose itself in a market» says Franck Touzeau. He cultivates this broad vision of creation. Prestige met him in Geneva, he presents Piaget novelties for this year.
«Perpetuating the spirit of Piaget, in a contemporary way»
When did you join Piaget? I started working in leather goods at Louis Vuitton and Loewe after an MBA from the Institut Supérieur of luxury marketing. I then worked in the watchmaking at Vacheron Constantin than at Piaget in France. I also attended courses at the Institute of Training in watchmaking in Neuchâtel and courses at the National Institute of Gemology in Paris, then three years in a subsidiary where I worked in operational marketing, taking care of procurement, working on media plans, launch plans, received the press and made transactions with distributors of the brand. In 2001, I became head of product, marketing and development of watches at Piaget International and in 2005 I was appointed head of marketing watches. I like to resource myself and take energy from nature or in various artistic expressions. I studied music and piano and received a teaching degree in trombone.
You no longer present at the SIHH High Jewelry Piaget watches. Why? There has been a drastic willingness to exhibit high-end watches in a salon. The launch of our jewelry collections will be made at different periods in time, and our collections will not be connected to a salon of Haute Horlogerie.
What is the strategy of Piaget? We create timeless, elegant pieces that you will enjoy wearing at the time of purchase and in twenty or thirty years. Piaget watches remain stylish through the years. We do not create watches that follow the trends of the moment. We sell exclusive pieces. The advantage of Piaget is to have distinctive watches that cannot be seen on everyone’s wrist. This is a watch that reveals a real know-how, whether in the movement, in the case or even the gold bracelet. Everything is done in-house and it is the sign of a real manufacture.
How to recognize a Piaget watch? Piaget style is distinguished by its original and distinctive forms, and a recognizable quality of finish at first glance. The alternating double and single index on an Altiplano, is a real brand signature. The oval watch is a real signature. The oval exists since the 60s.
Do you manufacture new products at more affordable prices? The idea is to position Piaget on all product segments except the steel. Piaget produces only gold watches. We present this year watches at more affordable prices that reflect the identity and the DNA of the House. We still have the same finishing qualities, the same distinctive know-how, these little broken corners on cases alternating polished surfaces, we also have brushed surfaces, that can reflect light harmoniously, a level of quality and finish that we continue to perpetuate at Piaget. The beauty of these finishes is in the distinctive models we have, compared to the competition. This year, we capitalize on a fine watch movement, Skeleton Movement that displays an oscillating weight on the dial side with a tourbillon cage, which is the thinnest automatic tourbillon skeleton in the world. It is of 8,85mm thick. This movement was developed two years ago, and the version set with diamonds was presented in 2014. This year we reveal the most masculine and most accessible version in terms of price, of 195000CHF.
What is your most important novelty? The big novelty presented this year, the Chronograph Flyback with manual winding, the thinnest in the world with the distinction of having a double record, a movement of 4,65mm and 8,24mm thick case. Two years of development were needed to materialize this double feat.
What are the new acquisitions of Piaget? Piaget was honored to be able to buy through an auction organized by the Kennedy family, the Piaget watch that was worn by Jackie Kennedy in yellow gold with oval dial in jade set with diamonds and emeralds, with a delicately engraved bracelet. After the launch in Paris of a limited series of three watches with stone dials of jade, lapis lazuli and turquoise, this «traditional oval» is reissued this year at the SIHH in rose gold and white gold with a diamond set bezel with the bracelet worked in a «palace» decor that gives the band an almost iridescent effect. The bracelet is of an incredible comfort, you have the impression of a double skin. Placed under the light, it makes the gold shine and gives the illusion that gold is melted. It is a mechanical strap with 300 links placed together and welded to each other, before being engraved by hand. A Piaget engraver works each link during a week.
What about the watch Andy Warhol? During an auction, Piaget acquired the 70’s pocket watch of Andy Warhol. A reissue of this watch in Black Tie vintage inspired line in a contemporary spirit. It’s a solid gold case, with a profile a little satin finished like a portable alternating polished and brushed surfaces to give even more visually embossed product. Interviewed in Geneva by MARCELLE NADIM