Yves Piaget Rose: From Luxury Watches to Exquisite Roses

by DerdriuMarriner

The luxuriousness perfection of Piaget jewellery watches is exemplified in Yves Piaget rose, namesake rose of the current, well-known representative of the Piaget dynasty.

The name Piaget connotes luxuriously perfect jewellery watches while cultivated roses are often viewed as luxuriously perfect flowers.

This connection is exemplified by the Yves Piaget rose, a stunning rose that was specifically bred and named to honor the current, well-known representative of the watchmaking dynasty.

Rosa 'Yves Piaget'® in sensory rose garden:

sensory rose garden for visually impaired (Duftrosengarten für Sehbehinderte), Rapperswil, "City of Roses" (Rosenstadt), northeastern-central Switzerland
Rosa 'Yves Piaget'®
Rosa 'Yves Piaget'®

What do an expensive watch and a sumptuous rose have in common?

 

Piaget is a name that connotes luxury, perfection, refinement. Roses are considered among the most luxurious of flowers, beguiling with their distinctive aromas and elegant floral displays. Sophisticated jewellery watches and spectacular roses are linked via the name of Piaget, the Swiss watchmaking dynasty.

 

La Côte aux Fées ("Fairy Slope"): Swiss hometown of Piaget watchmaking dynasty

view of La Côte aux Fées, from northeast
view of La Côte aux Fées, from northeast

Yves Piaget

 

Yves Georges Piaget was born in 1942 at La Côte-aux-Fées (“Fairy [Fées] Slope” in French; “Sheep [Fayes] Slope” in old Neuchâtel dialect], a municipality in the French-speaking canton of Neuchâtel (French: Canton de Neuchâtel; German: Kanton Neuenburg) in western Switzerland. Within the canton, La Côte-aux-Fées is located in the Val-de-Travers District, which is renowned for its clock industry. Only 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) from the French border, La Côte-aux-Fées nestles on a high plateau at an elevation of 3,412 feet (1,040 meters).

In 1874 at the age of nineteen, Yves' great-grandfather, Georges Édouard Piaget (1855-1931), founded the family business as manufacture d'horlogerie (literally "watchmaking manufacturer"), the “watchmakers’ watchmaker,” with their handmade ébauches (watch movement components). Georges' motto was Faire toujours mieux que nécessaire ("Always do better than necessary"), and so he kept perfecting and inventing thinner components to improve watch movement accuracy.

In 1943 the third of Georges’ seven sons, Timothée (1885-1975), along with his own sons, Gérald (1917 – 1997), Valentin (1922 – ), expanded the family business, beyond crafting highest quality watch movements for watchmakers in Geneva and Paris, to include making and selling their own trademarked jewellery watches. With the exception of the steel Upstream (2001) and titanium Polo FortyFive (2009), Piaget watch cases are constructed only of gold or platinum.

Yves, Gérald’s son, received a degree in watchmaking engineering from the University of Neuchâtel (which is unique in offering this horological [Greek: ὥρα, hōrā, "time, season, year" +     -λογία, -logía, "study"] program) and a diploma in gemology and gemstone mineralogy from the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) in Los Angeles.

In 1966, at the age of 25, Yves began working in the family business.

With Gérald’s retirement in 1982, Yves succeeded his father as President of the family business in 1982.

In 1988 Piaget International merged with Swiss luxury brand specialists, Vendôme Luxury Group (now known as Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A.). Yves remained for years as President of Piaget International, travelling worldwide as an ambassador for the Piaget brand. In the twenty-first century, now as Chairman of the House of Piaget, this "keeper of the flame," as he refers to himself, conscientiously and energetically continues his extensive ambassadorial peregrinations.

In 2010 Yves Piaget added author to his resplendent horological resume. In collaboration with French poet-writer Jean Orizet (born March 5, 1937), Yves Piaget released his memoirs, Orfèvre du temps: Dialogues avec Jean Orizet ("Goldsmith of Time: Conversations with Jean Orizet").

 

"A view of ye great clock in St. Mark's place at Venice":

c1715-1738 color engraving by Henry Fletcher (fl. 1715-1738) after Venetian artist Giovanni Antonio Canal (Oct 7, 1697- April 19, 1768)
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

A Magnificent Collaboration: Restoration of St. Mark's Clock Tower in Venice

 

In 1996 Piaget International joined with Brandolin Dottor Group, an architectural enterprise founded in 1836 in Italy's Venetian region and dedicated to the restoration of historically significant buildings and monuments, embarked on a ten-year project, restoration of St. Mark's Clock Tower in Venice, Italy. Piaget International focused on the clock while Brandolin Dottor Group was responsible for the tower.

The Clock Tower in St. Mark’s Square (Torre dell’Orologio di San Marco in Venezia) dates from the close of the fifteenth century. Its geographic coordinates are 45° 26′ 4.96″ North and 12° 20′ 20.08″ East. It is known as the Moors’ Clock Tower because of the pivoting bronze figures, known as Moors for their bronzed darkness, that strike each hour.

Construction of the clock and its tower began in 1496 by well-known municipal clockmaking brothers, Gian Paolo Ranieri and Gian Carlo Ranieri. Inaugurated on February 1, 1497, the clock was maintained by a custodian (temperatore), a position which, until its abolishment in 1998, was funded by the Venetian government. Repairs and restorations have occurred frequently, beginning in 1551.

The unveiling ceremony for the restitution of the clock and its tower took place on May 27, 2006, with over 30,000 attendees.

 

closeup of clock face after restoration

"The clockface on the Torre dell'Orologio (clocktower) in the Piazza San Marco, Venice"
"The clockface on the Torre dell'Orologio (clocktower) in the Piazza San Marco, Venice"

Yves Piaget rose: parentage

 

In 1985, the Meilland family introduced a hybrid tea rose, cultivar name ‘MEIvildo’, that honored the fourth-generation scion of impeccable luxury watches. 'Yves Piaget'® rose, which is its American Rose Society exhibition name, is also known as 'Royal Brompton' and 'Queen Adelaid' (for Queen Adelaide [August 13, 1792 - December 2, 1849], German spouse of English King William IV [August 21, 1765 - June 20, 1837]).

The parentage of the Yves Piaget rose is (['Pharaon' x 'Mme. A. Meilland'] x ['Chrysler Imperial' x 'Charles Mallerin']) x 'Tamango'.

 

'Yves Piaget'® parentage: Rosa 'Chrysler Imperial

richly scented, crimson Hybrid Tea introduced in 1952 by Dr Walter Lammerts of Descanso Gardens, La Cañada Flintridge, Los Angeles County, southwestern California
" Rosa 'Chrysler Imperial' in the Volksgarten in Vienna. Identified by sign."
" Rosa 'Chrysler Imperial' in the Volksgarten in Vienna. Identified by sign."

Rosa 'Yves Piaget'®: Description

 

The American Rose Society (ARS) color classification for the Piaget rose is deep pink. Flowers shade from pale rose pink at the edges to rich pink in the center. Flowering occurs singly or in clusters of two or three.

The flower size is 4.7 inches (12 centimeters).

Irregularly indentations in the edges of the petals crown the rose's outline with distinctive frills that enhance its pastel highlights. According to rosarian Dan Bifano of premier rosebreeders Weeks Roses, headquartered in California, flowers of Piaget roses have around 80 petals. With their voluptuously round, large shape and abundant petals, these flowers are reminiscent of peonies.

Medium-sized leaves are semi-glossy dark green.

This rosebush may reach a height of 2.5 feet (0.7 meters) and has a horizontal spread of about 1.6 feet (0.48 meters).

The Piaget rose's fragrance is intensely sweet.

The Piaget rose is immensely popular and greatly admired, especially for its fragrance, its floriferousness (Latin: florifer, "bearing flowers"), and its demure vibrance. Its success is no surprise, as its parentage includes 'Mme. A. Meilland', a fragrant, yellow perfection and 'Chrysler Imperial', a sumptuously red, fully shaped, richly fragrant beauty.

 

Rosa 'Yves Piaget'®, Rapperswil, Switzerland
Rosa 'Yves Piaget'®, Rapperswil, Switzerland

Magnificent Meilland family: Creators of the world's most famous rose

 

The Meilland family rose business was started by Lyonnaise gardener Philippe Jean-Baptiste François Rambeau, known as Joseph Rambaux (March 14, 1820 - July 30, 1878), around 1850. In 1923 the company, in need of more space, moved to the quiet village of Tassinla-Demi-Lune, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) west of Lyons.

 

 

With the instituting of plant patenting by the United States in 1930, the company wisely expanded their business to the United States in 1932 through a contract establishing as their American agents Conard-Pyle Company’s Star Roses Nursery in West Grove, a town in the southeastern corner of Pennsylvania. There the historic Red Rose Inn, established in 1740, famously was granted land from the commonwealth’s founder, William Penn (October 14, 1644 - July 30, 1718), for the annual rental payment of one red rose.

 

Red Rose Inn, West Grove, Pennsylvania:

historic inn was built on land which was leased at the annual payment of one red rose
"Vintage Postcard - Red Rose Inn, West Grove, PA"
"Vintage Postcard - Red Rose Inn, Wes...

 

On January 14, 1939 Joseph Rambaux’s great-great-grandson, Francis Meilland (February 20, 1912 - June 15, 1958) married Louisette Paolino (1920-1987), in southeastern France at Cap d’Antibes, where Louisette’s parents, Marie-Elisabeth Greco Paolino and Francesco Giacomo Paolino, had established a successful rose growing business.

In 1948 the Meilland family moved their rosebreeding operations to Cap d’Antibes while retaining half-ownership in the Tassin property (including greenhouses, roses, etc.), which was reformed, exclusively for the production and sale of roses, with Lyonnaise rosarian Francisque Richardier as Roseraies Meilland Richardier. The main rose-breeding station is now located at Le Luc-en- Provence in the southeastern French department of Var. Test sites are maintained in central and southern France, northern Germany, and in West Grove, Pennsylvania and Wasco, California in the United States.

 

Rosa 'Mme A. Meilland', also known as 'Peace': illustrious parentage of Rosa 'Yves Piaget'®

Introduced by rosebreeding genius Francis Meilland in 1945 the Peace rose is considered universally to be the most beautiful rose in the world.
Rosa 'Mme A. Meilland
Rosa 'Mme A. Meilland

 

From 1935 to 1939, Francis focused on developing a rose which has become the most famous rose in the world. Introduced in 1945, Francis named the rose ‘Mme. A. Meilland’ to honor his mother, Joséphine Claudine “Claudia” Dubreuil Meilland (November 3, 1887 - 1932?). This remarkable yellow rose with rainbow edges of crimson, cream, and pink is known in English-speaking countries as ‘Peace’, in Italy as ‘Gioia’ (“Joy”), and in Germany as ‘Gloria Dei’ (“Glory to God”). One of Francis' greatest legacies, the 'Peace' rose has secured a special place for the Meilland family in worldwide rosebreeding as innovative, serious rosarians. 'Peace' serves as a roseate memorial to Francis, who succumbed to stomach cancer at the young age of forty-six, and to his mother, Claudia, whose life also was cut short in her fourth decade by cancer.

Francis' widow, Louisette, bred the 'Yves Piaget'® rose, which was introduced two years before her death in 1987. Louisette created the perfect rose to symbolize the beauty, luxury, perfection, and precision that the name of Piaget connotes.

 

Piaget watch:

7.07 ctw (carat weight), roundcut diamonds
"Piaget"
"Piaget"

Luxury's domain: Piaget watches + Yves Piaget roses

 

One of the heights of luxurious living is wearing Piaget watches, growing 'Yves Piaget'® roses, and buying Piaget cut roses. Any one of these Piaget namesakes instills a priceless sense of perfect beauty.

 

present beauty of one opened Yves Piaget® rose:

with promise of future splendor in four encircling buds
Yves Piaget (TH Meilland 1984) in Duftrosengarten for blind people in Rapperswil (Switzerland)
Yves Piaget (TH Meilland 1984) in Duftrosengarten for blind people in Rapperswil (Switzerland)

Dedication

 

This tribute to Rosa 'Yves Piaget'® is dedicated to the magnificent Meilland family, especially to the memory of Francis and of his charming Louisette, who kept the flame of his genius alive and who instilled a sense of ceaseless awe in all rose lovers at the fascinating, unfailingly beautiful diversity of roses, through her own rosy creations as well as through those inspired by her exemplary guidance.

This tribute is also dedicated to the Piaget watchmaking dynasty in appreciation of their unswerving commitment to excellence.

 

Yves Piaget® roses, carefully packaged by wholesale florists

"Yves Piaget Garden Rose"
"Yves Piaget Garden Rose"

Acknowledgment

 

My special thanks to:

  • Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.

 

luxury stores in luxurious Paris: Chanel and Piaget

Place Vendôme, 1er arrondissement
"Chanel + Piaget"
"Chanel + Piaget"

Sources Consulted

 

Austin, David. The Rose. Woodbridge UK: Garden Art Press, 2012. 

Meilland, Alain, Gilles Lambert, and Louis Clark Keating. La Vie en Roses. Paris: Editions Solar, 1969.

Modern Roses XI: The World Encyclopedia of Roses. San Diego: Academic Press, 2000.

Piaget, Yves G. et Jean Orizet. Orfèvre du temps: Dialogues avec Jean Orizet. Paris: Le Cherche Midi, 2010.

Quest-Ritson, Charles and Brigid. American Rose Society Encyclopedia of Roses. 1st American Edition. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 2003.

Roberts, Andrew V., Thomas Debener, and Serge Gudin, eds. Encyclopedia of Rose Science. Volumes I, II, and III. Oxford UK and San Diego CA: Elsevier Academic Press, 2003.

Roses. 1st American Edition. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1996.

Teillol-Foo, Melvyn (Dr.). “Piaget --- A Family History of ‘Luxury and Precision’: 1874-1988.” May 19, 2009. PuristSPro.com Baselworld and SIHH discussion board. http://basel.watchprosite.com.

  • Available at: http://basel.watchprosite.com/ show-forumpost/ fi-881/ pi-3160006/ ti-521306/s-0/

“Venice: Piazza San Marco – Torre Dell’Orologio.” Monday, May 29, 2006. Contessanally Visual Online Diary. contessanally.blogspot.com.

  • Available at: http://contessanally.blogspot.com/2006_05_01_archive.html

“Vive la vie: Piaget.” Exero Luxury Brands > Watchmakers. www.exero.com.

  • Available at: http://www.exero.com/mastergate/secured/boytoys/piaget.htm 

 

Rosa 'Yves Piaget'®, Roseraie de Bagatelle, Paris
Rosa 'Yves Piaget'®, Roseraie de Bagatelle, Paris
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Large headed roses, long stem, with exceptional fragrance ~ Hand picked and shipped fresh from greenhouse

Garden Rose Yves Piaget 72 Roses

Charmingly Piaget: bracelet or necklace charm replica of Possession Ring, 18k white gold with .03 carat diamond

PIAGET 18k White Gold and Diamond "MINI RING" for bracelet or necklace

Perfectly Piaget: band of 15 diamonds in 18k yellow gold setting spins around larger band

PIAGET Diamond Gold Spin Bracelet

Exquisitely Piaget: Perfection of 18k yellow gold with spinning links, white coral bar, and 20 white diamonds

PIAGET Yellow Gold White Coral White Diamond Necklace

Pink Rose Triptych: black t-shirt

Pink Rose Triptych
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DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 08/20/2014, DerdriuMarriner
 
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DerdriuMarriner on 10/29/2013

Mira, It's easy to see why 'Peace' is acknowledged universally as the most beautiful rose in the world. And to think that it was bred in the 20th century!
Even if you don't know what the varieties are, your article would be nice just for the photos alone.
Aren't labels posted alongside each rose? Isn't there an archive or an archivist who did or still does keep records of what is growing in the park? It would seem to me that somebody somewhere has a paper trail regarding provenance and identification.
Thank you for appreciating roses, visiting and commenting.

Mira on 10/28/2013

I've always wanted to learn more about roses. We have a park in Romania with hundreds of varietals. I wanted to post pictures but have no idea what to call the individual roses.

Your article was absorbing. Loved the images too: the clock in St. Mark's Square, and, oh, the Peace rose! How beautiful!

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