Evolving Symbol: Piaget Polo
By The Time Place Magazine
Piaget celebrates the enduring legacy of one of its most iconic timepieces, the Piaget Polo.
Nothing comes close to epitomising the sporty glamour of the 70s like the Piaget Polo. Created in 1979, the timepiece is a reflection of the jet-set living of the era. With its distinctive design incorporating the case, dial and bracelet into a seamless whole, the Piaget Polo signified the changing times and broke free of outdated design codes. Offering a more relaxed form of elegance, the solid gold model became a symbol for successful couples and individuals, such as Björn Borg and Mariana Simoniescu, as well as renowned pop art icon, Andy Warhol, who added it to his Piaget watch collection.
Through the years, the Piaget Polo has gone through a number of refinements and improvements, but the watch continues to be much sought after for its sporty and sophisticated appeal. Casual yet refined, it has a become a status symbol for a new generation of passionate and committed influencers who follow the beat of their own drum and continue to set new rules for living.
Making a Mark
Under the helm of Yves G. Piaget during the 1980s, the brand associated itself with the world of polo. A sport loved and played by the elite set, the extreme sport also reflected the brand’s values – boldness, rigour and precision.
In 2001, the silhouette of the Piaget Polo was given a fresh look and its dial embellished with larger numerals and a date indicator at 6 o’ clock, confirming its avant-garde character. Five years later, the collection was equipped with the new-generation, self-winding 800P calibre and the exceptional Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif, fitted with the 608P movement. This was followed by the addition of a white and pink gold model in 2007, which was powered by the first mechanical chronograph movement to be designed, developed and produced by the Piaget Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie. In 2009, a titanium iteration was introduced: the Piaget Polo FortyFive.
To celebrate the 30th year anniversary of the original, Piaget launched five new editions in 2009. Faithful to the design codes of the 1979 watch, two white gold, diamond-set Piaget Polo models reinterpret the historical dials and character of the initial offering. The large one is powered by a hand-wound Manufacture Piaget 534P mechanical movement, while the ladies’ version beats to the rhythm of a Piaget 690P quartz movement. Both watches are limited to 150 pieces.
The other three iterations feature the alternation of gold colours on the case and bracelet. Polished gadroons serve to highlight the 18-carat white gold/pink gold case and satin-brushed bezel of these iterations. Offered in limited editions of 300 pieces, the large models feature a hand-wound Manufacture Piaget 800P mechanical movement, while the ladies’ version boasts a gem-set bezel and a 690P quartz movement.
One year after the 30th anniversary of the Piaget Polo, a new version of the Piaget Polo FortyFive was unveiled. Made of titanium, it showcased an elegant sporty design that matched the remarkable technical mastery within. Two stunning models were presented: the Piaget Polo FortyFive with an openworked dial, and the Piaget Polo FortyFive Lady, dedicated entirely to women.
Aesthetically, these new releases stayed loyal to the DNA of the original FortyFive, as well as the 1979 Piaget Polo, however, modern tweaks gave them a contemporary spirit. Exuding a more technical sporty mood, the men’s iteration with an openworked dial was offered as either a chronograph or a three hand model with a date display, and featured a daring combination of grade 5 titanium, vulcanised rubber and steel.
The Piaget Polo FortyFive Lady, on the other hand, perfectly upheld the sporty glamour of the line. With a gold case, a contemporary dial and a white rubber strap, the timepiece can be worn while shopping, working, or doing just about anything. Available in white or pink gold, the watch was further enhanced by the addition of diamonds on the dial and bezel.
To the Present
In 2021, the Piaget Polo was updated to cater to a new generation of watch lovers. This could best be seen in the Piaget Polo Date 36 mm. A reflection of the Piaget philosophy of living on the sunny side of life, the timepiece is a celebration of all of life’s moments Remaining at the heart of this new iteration is the line’s shape-in-shape design with a round bezel and cushion-shaped dial. Modern yet true to the design codes of the Piaget Polo, classic elements meld perfectly with novel features in the six new variants.
Powered by the slim self-winding Calibre 500P1, the Piaget Polo Date 36 mm has a refined profile that is elevated by a graphic dial featuring a horizontal guilloché pattern, Dauphine and skeleton hands, a date at six o’clock, and diamond-set indexes. A versatile watch for every day, most of the models come with Piaget’s interchangeable strap system, and are also available with a steel or gold bracelet.
Two watches are rendered in stainless steel with matching steel bracelets and a combination of polished and satin-finished details. One comes with a beautiful Piaget blue dial, while the other has a pristine white dial paired with a radiant diamond-set bezel. Another two draw attention with their rose gold cases, diamond-set bezels and snow-white dials, while two fully-paved timepieces, one with a dark blue alligator strap, and the other with a fully-paved diamond bracelet, round off the collection.
Last year, the Piaget Polo received an all-new look: a fully skeletonised version. With this latest offering, Piaget wonderfully brings together its prowess in watch design and expertise in ultra-thin skeleton movement creation. The Piaget Polo Skeleton’s adventure began with the brand’s designers and engineers carefully considering the key aspects of the Piaget Polo, particularly the curved case, round bezel, cushion-shaped dial opening and its slim profile. They determined that the case of the Polo Skeleton had to be 30% thinner, and along with this, the Piaget 1200S self-winding skeleton movement powered by an off-centre micro rotor engraved with Piaget coat of arms had to evolve. The result is a 42 mm steel sports watch measuring just 6.5 mm thick and powered by Piaget’s 1200S1 self-winding, manufacture movement – entirely developed and produced in-house – which is a wafer-like 2.4 mm thin.
A wearable work of art, the Piaget Polo Skeleton is as sturdy as they come despite its slim proportions. Equipped with a 44-hour power reserve, the watch has a water resistance of up to three atmospheres. In addition, the polished and satin-finished “H” design integrated bracelet has been revised in order to provide an interchangeable function. With this in place, the watch becomes ever so versatile and the wearer can swap straps whenever the occasion (or the mood) calls for it. The Piaget Polo Skeleton is available in two highly individual designs: the first with a movement in Piaget Blue PVD, the second in a slate grey finish.
Earlier this year, Piaget elevated the Polo Skeleton with the addition of diamonds. Thanks to the high jewellery arm of the brand, the timepiece received a sparkling upgrade. A total of 1,746 brilliant-cut diamonds were set into the white gold case as well as the white gold polished and satin-finished ‘H’ design integrated bracelet; the process took over 61 hours to complete. This dedication and attention to detail is an undeniable testament to the gem-setting expertise of the brand’s “Atelier Extraordinaire”.
Beautifully sophisticated, yet still projecting a sporty charm, the Piaget Polo Skeleton High Jewellery is proof that you don’t have to choose between haute horlogerie and haute joaillerie, because, thanks to Piaget, you can have both.