Yes, it tells the time. But this dazzling Piaget watch has more in common with statement-making baubles than pragmatic timepieces. The circa-1989 watch, which is pebbled in emerald- and baguette-cut diamonds and sapphires, sold for $338,500—well above its estimated price range of $150,000–$200,000—at Christie’s June 15 Important Watches sale. Dubbed the Aura for its undeniable radiance, the watch is one in a series of five created at Piaget’s fabrication facility in Geneva. “This is an iconic Piaget style and a timeless signature of the house,” says Franck Touzeau, the brand’s watch marketing director. “It’s crafted of large and exceptionally high-quality diamonds and sapphires,” with the biggest diamonds weighing up to 0.80 ct. Its sunburst claw-setting design, which Touzeau calls “a study in seamless integration,” features wrist-hugging Parisian mesh construction. Each stone was individually cut by hand to fit its exact location in the timepiece, and a 1/100th of a millimeter of precision was required to realize the bejeweled dial. But this beauty doesn’t run on luminosity alone; an 8P2 quartz jewel movement keeps its ticks tocking.
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