The full-gold limited edition watch is the first of many to commemorate Piaget’s 150th anniversary
Think disco and big perms. Think shoulder pads stretching to the horizon. Think celebrating luxury that money can buy. Think timepieces like the Piaget Polo, which give the affluent more than what they ever needed in a sports watch.
“They want to be exquisite, even in sport,” said Yves Piaget, the fourth-generation descendent of the brand’s founder famed for numerous Piaget icons, including the Polo, which he introduced in 1979 to a high-society crowd with an appetite for excess.
Though the water- and shock-proof Polo was conceived to withstand the rough and tumble of its namesake sport, its appearance suggested otherwise. Dressed in full gold and decorated with gadroons that mark the case, dial and bracelet—evoking the look of tiny gold bars linked with, well, more gold—it was a statement-making sports watch that could only emerge from the embrace of 1980s extravagance.
It is perhaps timely, then, in an era of virtual currency and the return of boundless consumption, that the most regal of Piaget Polo watches makes a return to the stage. At first, it looks like that watch had never left. Named Polo 79, a reference to its birth year, the watch bears close resemblance to the original.
The full yellow gold armour, the polished gadroons and brushed surfaces that distinguish the look, the dauphine hands, and its heavy presence on the wrist pay clear homage and are proof that one doesn’t need to mess with a good thing.
At the same time, the Polo ’79 is upgraded for better performance and a more modern sensibility. An ultra-thin automatic movement with micro-rotor replaces the quartz movement in the original, ensuring sleekness but also mechanical prestige. The case has also be slightly enlarged to 38mm, a perfect diameter for both gents and ladies in contemporary times.
Limited to 79 pieces and priced at US$79,000, the Polo 79 wears as it is advertised: a fast pass to an era of intoxicating glamour and opulence. While numerous variations of the Polo have followed the original—round, square, gem set, bi-colour, and with various complications—none scream Piaget’s boast of the Polo being ‘the ultimate sports watch’ quite like the iconic full-gold version and, now, the Polo 79.