The Piaget Limelight High Jewelry depicts a chunk of wild opal The Piaget Limelight High Jewelry depicts a chunk of wild opal

The Piaget Limelight High Jewelry depicts a chunk of wild opal

Fergus Nash

I don’t know if it’s specific to Australians or a global phenomenon, but opals capture my attention more than any other precious stones. With 95% of the world’s opal production coming out of, Australia it’s a no-brainer to assume the origins of the Piaget Limelight High Jewelry dial, and it bears a striking resemblance to the triplet pin on my Akubra Coober Pedy. Regardless, this watch lavishes its 1960s eccentricity and glamour on us, influenced by the cuff watches of the time rendered in a modern environment.

The case

Piaget Limelight High Jewelry Watch 1

Oval-shaped cases have been a Piaget calling card for decades, particularly reaching fame when they pioneered using precious stones as watch dials in 1963. Coming into watchmaking as a jewellery brand, their proficiency for metal bracelets was also legendary. To say that the bracelet of the Piaget Limelight High Jewelry is integrated would be an understatement, as the bracelet actually engulfs the very case of the watch itself. Emerging from a jagged crevice, it’s easy to imagine the case as a jewel of its own, waiting to be prised out from the surrounding 18k white gold rock.

Piaget Limelight High Jewelry Watch 2

Taking inspiration from nature is one thing, but artfully depicting the romantic notions of mining and discovery is not something that most brands would be bold enough to achieve. Then, we have the engraved finish of the bangle-like bracelet links. With almost invisible seams, the links have been decorated with a pattern of ice crystals. This frosty, spider-webbed display is a nice contrast to the chaotic randomness of the opal dial, and brings out the lustre of the white gold. The case extends to 27mm at its widest point, and you can ignore the lug-to-lug dimension as the watch essentially wears like a bangle. The 6.5mm height is perfect for a dressy watch like this, elegant without disappearing.

The dial

Piaget Limelight High Jewelry Watch 3

Deceptively named black opal, it got its name from the colour of the stone on which the opal formed. The darker the stone, the brighter the colours appear. Here, a psychedelic display of blue and green flecks move with incredible dynamics and dimension as your wrist moves, accented with emeralds set into the small section of visible bezel. It’s amazing to think that opal is formed from silica, the same mineral that makes up the majority of sand and quartz, and yet it’s capable of such intense beauty under the right geological conditions. Piaget know how to let a material speak for itself, and have elected to keep the dial as simple as possible. The printed logo and the baton hands are unobtrusive, and there are no complications to distract you. It’s really more of a sculpture which can depict the time, making its statement effortlessly and skilfully.

The movement

Piaget Limelight High Jewelry Watch 4

There really isn’t much to be said about Piaget’s 356P quartz movement, other than it seems to be their go-to movement for high-end jewellery watches like these. Its operation is as simple as pulling out the crown, which is sealed for 30 metres of water resistance, and adjusting the time in either direction. No specific battery life has been mentioned, but it will be at least several years before change is required.

The verdict

Piaget Limelight High Jewelry Watch 5

For those who don’t see watches as artistic expression, there probably isn’t a lot that the Piaget Limelight High Jewelry can do for you. However, if you’re one to embrace the finer side of things, it’s an intoxicating piece with a lot to love. Any opal dial would win me over, but incorporating the naturalistic elements of the integrated bracelet brings it to the next level of ingenuity, executed beautifully.

Piaget Limelight High Jewelry pricing and availability

The Piaget Limelight High Jewelry is available for inquiries now, with price on request.

Brand Piaget
Model Limelight High Jewelry Watch
Reference Number G0A48256
Case Dimensions 27mm (W) x 6.5mm (T) x 22mm (H)
Case Material 18k white gold
Water Resistance 30 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Dial Black opal
Strap 18k white gold engraved bracelet
Movement 356P, quartz
Functions Hours, minutes
Availability Available for enquiries
Price POA