With an academic background in economics, earning her master’s degree from the University of Fribourg, together with experience with various multinational businesses, Chabi Nouri combined Piaget in 2014 at the head of sales and marketing for Switzerland and Austria. Three years before, at 2017, she took over the reins of this watch and jewellery maison. Between steering the business through a global health crisis and representing Piaget direction during the business’s earliest all-digital horology salon, Chabi Nouri discovered a couple of minutes to chat with us about the videoconferencing application du jour, Zoom, and answer a few of our questions.
The Altiplano Ultimate Concept was launched lately, in a complex context. Will the procedure of digital communication that we are currently using (due to the global health condition ) influence the manner that Piaget watches continues to reach people in the future? How can communication from the luxury sector evolve as a result of what we’re going through today?
I do not think we could say that the maison Piaget didn’t adapt quickly to change, or into different techniques of consumer outreach. By way of example, we’re the first brand in our category to begin e-commerce activities in 2012, and also to get a presence on interpersonal networking platforms such as WeChat and Weibo. Presenting our novelties almost is not a simple task, but we must take action, and the digital platform of Watches & Wonders Geneva has had good success. Working within a young business that has developed up adopting digital technology means that we adopt these changes. These days, we adapt ourselves to the manner which our clients live — which is also the way we live, which creates this evolution much more simple. We recently launched our first flagship boutique on Tmall, and this also shows our willingness to accommodate.
Piaget announced the Altiplano Ultimate Concept in 2018, and as its name implies, it was presented as a concept view. In 2020, this concept was transformed into a genuine production timepiece. What was the greatest challenge faced on the path from concept to reality?
This watch was already fully operational when we presented it as a theory view, so it was not really a concept-only timepiece; it was a functioning bit. What we needed to do in the past two years was above all to enable the Altiplano Ultimate Concept to pass all of the tests of daily wear. We worked equally on aspects such as ergonomy, something that required two years of additional development and research; we had to channel a good deal of work into making the creation and assembly procedure more reliable, as construction something that comprises 170 components which are thinner than a hair is not exactly straightforward. The most critical changes that we made to the watch are imperceptible to the bare eye, essentially concerning the elements related to the ergonomy of the case, improving the robustness of these inside parts… we worked also on the crown so it would be easier to manipulate. We have a patent on the crown, which telescopes and should be pulled clear of the situation when in use. We supply the owner of the watch using a tool that enables him or her to end the watch ten times faster than by hand.
We were inspired by the exact same thing that has prompted this company for over 145 years — the desire to push the limits of horology, to innovate. Such innovation has ever been in the service of design. We always wanted, most importantly, to work on design and, consequently, to achieve this design, we had to work on the thinness of our movements. At the conclusion of the day, all the innovations and all the records that we have broken within the specialty of extra-thin movements were the fruit borne of liberating the imagination of the brand. Piaget is outstanding; it began as a manufacturer of movements and motion elements, but it very quickly incorporated other regions of savoir-faire. It’s correct that we have worked as much on extra-thin movements as we’ve got on automatically audacious moves or gem-set movements. We quickly incorporated jewellery savoir-faire, which we paired with watchmaking savoir-faire; this reflects the special and distinctive profile of Piaget. This combination of expertises enabled the brand to be a reference in precious timepieces, which obviously depends upon movements that are extremely thin, really audacious — very Piaget.
It is clearly in the major position of Piaget offerings. Within the Altiplano lineup, we’ve got a very wide selection of products, which really represents the different abilities of the company. Additionally, it lets us show the innovative side of Piaget, invention that then becomes part of our legacy. We’re therefore trying to continue building the future tradition of Piaget. In designing the Altiplano Ultimate Concept, that will be a technical and aesthetic effort that has enabled us to push back the limits, we learned a great deal that we’ve got and will apply to other watches.