Not everybody likes their watches served on the rocks, and it’s evident that Piaget has been listening closely to market trends. With the return to more compact case sizes that swing it both ways, the Piaget Polo Date 36mm sheds its diamond-set indices and returns with a deep midnight blue dial and the relaxed sporty-chic charm that has always characterised this model.
Yves G. Piaget, the fourth generation of the Piaget dynasty, was the brainchild of the Polo. Harnessing the brand’s expertise in watchmaking and jewellery, the Polo was a sleek bracelet watch with a contemporary sporty-chic vibe. Introduced in 1979, the watch’s design was a continuous stream of solid sculpted gold bars that wrapped around the wrist. Fitted with Piaget’s ultra-thin quartz calibre 7P – considered to represent the height of technology in its day – the Polo accounted for almost one-third of the brand’s sales. Endorsed by celebrities of the day like Ursula Andress, Roger Moore, Andy Warhol and Bjorn Borg, the Polo epitomised the casual, laidback elegance of equestrian events.
The Polo underwent a radical makeover in 2016 and resurfaced as a cushion-shaped luxury sports watch that added stainless steel to the mix for a more casual effect. With a host of models – three-hand-and-date, chronograph, ultra-thin perpetual calendar, skeletonised and flamboyant high jewellery – the Polo reveals its flexible, multifaceted nature.
Two years ago, Piaget presented its most compact version of the Polo Date in a 36mm case size. Although the reduced case size was much applauded and certainly found its audience, all the iterations of the Piaget Polo Date 36mm – until today – featured diamond-set indices; some even flaunted diamond-set bezels and cases. In a move to make the watch even more versatile, more suited to everyday wear and tear and more appealing to both sexes, the new Polo Date retains its elegant dimensions but dispenses with the diamonds.
Thanks to its ultra-thin automatic movement, the 50m water-resistant case of the Polo Date flaunts a lean height of 8.8mm. Perhaps the most salient feature of the Polo is its round bezel with a cushion-shaped interior framing the cushion-shaped dial. Highlighting its shape and rotundity, the top surfaces of the bezel are decorated with horizontal brushing, contrasting with the brightly polished bevels and lugs.
On the reverse side of the watch, you can see the interchangeable strap system and the blue calfskin strap with folding buckle accompanying the watch.
The attractive midnight blue dial features the hallmark horizontal guilloché ridges that echo the horizontal gold bars traversing the dial and bracelet of the original 1979 Polo. Faceted and applied to the dial, the indices repeat the horizontal brushing featured on the bezel. The hour and minute hands are skeletonised to expose as much of the dial as possible, and the ‘P’ counterweight of the central seconds hand is openworked.
Unlike Polo Date versions, there is not a trace of lume on the indices or hands of this 36mm model. Another difference between the larger size and this one is the absence of a minute track with numerals; the new 36mm, like the diamond-set models, relies on a more subtle series of dots to mark the minutes. The trapezoid-shaped date window at 6 o’clock is framed and has a white background with black numerals.
Piaget has the distinction of being the forerunner in the field of ultra-slim movements with the inauguration of its 2mm manual-winding 9P calibre in 1957, followed by the automatic 12P calibre with a height of just 2.3mm. This expertise has spawned a second generation of ultra-thin automatic movements, which includes the in-house calibre 501P1 powering this model. With a thickness of just 3.63mm, the movement beats at a frequency of 4Hz/28,800vph and delivers a 40h power reserve for the hours, minutes, seconds and date. With blued screws on the bevelled bridges, the movement is finished with a circular-grained plate and classic Côtes de Genève and the Piaget coat of arms on the rotor.
Availability & Price
This clean, stone-free edition of the Piaget Polo Date 36mm is an E-com Exclusive edition, meaning that it is not available in boutiques and can only be ordered on Piaget’s website. The retail price is EUR 11,300.