Piaget has always had, and still has, the company policy that they only craft watches out of gold or platinum. Presumptuous? No, Piaget simply knows its own strength. For decades they have delighted the world with some of the most refined precious metal watch cases, and bracelets, the industry has seen.
It is therefore not a surprise that Piaget’s history knows very little watches, that could be qualified as a sports watch, since sports watches in general command more robust metals. But that does not mean that Piaget never made them. In the 1950’s a very limited number of steel cased Piaget’s where made especially for the Japanese market. After that is took until 2001 before Piaget would introduce its next, steel cased watch. This was the infamous Upstream, an innovative, tonneau shaped watch where the folding clasp was integrated in the watch case.
It seems above all that Piaget simply needs a good reason to venture off it’s normal affair of business. Some might argue that this limits the chances of commercial success, yet at the same time one can say that it keeps the brand’s DNA pure since it is not compromised by forced sports models simply because there is apparently a market for and money to be made.
When Piaget introduced the first Polo, it was 1979. A time when it probably would have made sense to introduce a steel sports watch. But that would make Piaget a trend-follower instead of a trend-setter, because Audemars Piguet already introduced the Royal Oak in 1972 and Patek Philippe the Nautilus in 1976. So Piaget went a different way, and crafted the Polo according to their traditions exclusively from gold. With the matted case and the polished gadroons, the bars that are positioned horizontal on the watch and that even seem to go through the dial, the watch was an eye catcher. No wonder it became an almost instant must-have for the rich and famous.
The vintage Polo was most of all a watch for spectators and officials of the noble sport of polo, not so much a watch that a polo-player would wear. At least not on the field playing. How different is this with the Polo FortyFive, that Piaget introduced in 2009? For this we take a look at the chronograph version of this watch.
Although Polo is perhaps a sport best played without a watch, the FortyFive would be up to the task. Crafted from titanium, a first for Piaget, with steel gadroons and a rubber strap, another first for Piaget, the FortyFive chronograph is everything you want from a sports watch and more.
Piaget fitted the watch with caliber 880P, a movement we also known from the gold chronograph in the Polo-collection. This ultra-slim movement with a thickness of only 5,6mm, combines useful complications with a very pleasant dial lay-out. It starts with perfect symmetry, with the sub-seconds at six o’clock, and date at twelve. The sub-dial at three o’clock is reserved for the minute counter of the chronograph. The chronograph has its functions controlled by a column wheel and also offers the flyback complication.
At nine o’clock a sub dial shows a second time zone. This turns the watch into the perfect cosmopolitan. This is especially true since this timezone can easily be set by a pusher at ten o’clock. With a diameter of forty five, hence the name, it is not a small watch, but the titanium case keeps it light weight, while the rubber strap keeps the watch firmly in place. The folding clasp is designed in style with the rest of the watch, and also incorporates the highly desired option to switch between a summer and a winter setting, since the size of most peoples wrists vary between the seasons.
With the Polo FortyFive Chronograph Piaget proofs once again that they can make a sports watch) that can firmly hold their ground in this competitive part of the market, they just need a good reason.