Sometimes a watch manufacturer releases a model that seems to catch the spirit of the market so well, that it transcends to the status of an icon. Such a thing happened for Piaget in 1979, when they first introduced the Piaget Polo. This all gold watch with integrated bracelet, captured, as no other watch, the luxurious and sophisticated lifestyle of the then reigning jet-set. Key to this all was the combination of brushed yellow gold, alternated with polished horizontal gold bars, or gadroons.
Three decades later the Polo is still part of Piaget’s current collection. Although it still features the enticing combination of brushed and polished gold, the watch itself has changed to meet the demands of today’s reigning jet-set. While its founding father was exclusively available as a time only watch, the current collection houses a variety of complicated models. Amongst them are a tourbillon with a twist, a unique perpetual calendar, and a chronograph that does more than you would expect.
Building a chronograph that stands out in today’s market is tough. Any brand, from high end to low end, has often multiple offerings in this genre. If you don’t consider a simple date a complication, then the chronograph must be, by far, the most popular complication in a watch. So what did Piaget do to stand out amongst it pears?
First it paid its due diligence; no chronograph can be taken seriously at the highest tiers of watchmaking, when it is not a manufacture movement that features a vertical coupling clutch and a column wheel, to coordinate it’s function. They show that the brand has actually the knowledge, machinery and craftsmanship to created them. Because even when you have one or more in-house calibers in your collection, that doesn’t mean that you are also capable of making an in-house chronograph movement, that incorporates the vertical coupling clutch as well as a column wheel. However, in today’s market, they are not any more unique selling points, but merely aspects, often required by well informed watch connoisseurs, to even be considered to get a place in their collections.
Piaget is well aware of this fact, and goes the extra mile. Caliber 880P is first of all, in the best Piaget tradition, ultra-slim. With a thickness that measures 5.6mm, it ranks amongst the slimmest automatic chronograph movements. Especially when you take into account, that Piaget added some additional complications to the movement. The chronograph features a fly-back function, enabling you to instantaneous start measuring the next round of your race-car, or thoroughbred right at the moment the first round ends.
But the feature that really set the Polo Chronograph apart from its competitors, is the second time zone. Today you don’t even have to be a member of the jet-set to appreciate this complication. Life has become increasingly international, and even when staying at home, there is often contact with different timezones, for which a second timezone display on your watch is more than handy.
Piaget houses all this in a case that embodies the classic, signature style of the 1979 Polo. Again it is the tantalizing combination of brushed and polished gold, that make the watch really stand out. The case itself is quite substantial with a diameter of 43mm. This gives Piaget plenty of room on the dial, to position the sub dials and the date in a fashion, that makes them easy to read and that is pleasing to the eye. The integrated bracelet has made place for a strap, crafted from alligator leather. Although the diameter of the Polo chronograph has modern proportions, its overall height is only 11mm. This ensures that the watch is not top heavy, and for added comfort, Piaget also has given the case a slight curve.
The Polo chronograph is available in either white or rose gold. Although identical in form and function, they both breath a different atmosphere. The rose gold version gives the Polo Chronograph that timeless, classic look, immediately identified as a precious object at first sight. The white gold version is more understated in character, and actually ensures that the watch feels perfectly at home, in for example the Modern Art department of any major museum. That perhaps also sums up the true power of the Piaget Polo chronograph; although a classic, it most certainly doesn’t dwell on the past, and is even contemporary today!
Eclectic taste in Haute Horlogerie, passion for diamond set watches, loves the classics
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