Complicated Cool: The Piaget Polo Goes Perpetual

Complicated Cool: The Piaget Polo Goes Perpetual

The iconic, casual, sporty canvas of the revived Piaget Polo timepiece seems an unlikely home for a high-level complication that often veers into the fussy. But that is exactly what the brand unveiled earlier today.

By Mike Espindle
Executive Editor

The very presentation of the unmistakable Polo timepiece by Piaget, which resurfaced to the delight of watch fans in 2016, instantly evokes visions of mid-century jet-set excess and conviviality.

Think chic locations like St. Moritz, the Amalfi Coast, or Sardinia. Or think about the wrists of pre-paparazzi-hounded celebs like Sir Roger Moore, Bjorn Borg, and even Andy Warhol (all of whom wore Polos). Even think about film star Ryan Reynolds who was a spokesperson for the timepiece during the relaunch in 2016. Put simply: The Piaget Polo is just easy, stylish fun.

Since its re-introduction, many Piaget Polo models have been made from a multitude of noble metals, along with several jeweled executions as befits Piaget’s dual-life as a watchmaker and jeweler.

Of course, there was also the expected chronograph function version, which fits perfectly in the model’s zeitgeist. However, in a rather unexpected twist, the brand released a series of skeletonized Polo models that artfully stretched the boundaries of the core design without breaking it.

And it was that design push which may very well have set the stage for the latest Polo challenge: The addition of a perpetual calendar. So, without further ado, let’s meet the new Piaget Polo Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin.

Complication Made Easy

The just-announced 42mm steel Piaget Polo Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin more than successfully injects the profound complexity of perhaps the watch world’s most demanding complication (complete with a moon phase display) into the casual cool of the watch’s heritage and modern format.

The watch is based on the 1255P calibre and designed to deliver the accurate day, date, month, and moon phase (taking into account leap years) in perpetuity until 2100. That’s a pretty big bite to take with the free and easy Polo. But one of the secrets of the seamless marriage is no secret to Piaget fans: Thinness.

The Skinny

Born in the era of “you can’t be too rich or too thin,” this new Polo’s movement continues Piaget’s tradition of girth-busting calibres like 1960’s 12P (at the time the thinnest movement ever), the follow-up five decades later, the 1200P, and the ongoing battle between the watchmaker’s Altiplano platform and Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo line over just how small can you can actually get.

The 1255P movement, which somehow manages a 42-hour power reserve, clocks in at just 4mm, with the watch having an overall thickness of 8.65mm from crystal to caseback. An astounding achievement when you consider the sheer number of components and volume of watch works necessary to manage a perpetual calendar and a moonphase function.

But it is the watch’s thinness (both inside and out) that so aptly complements the Polo’s easy sophistication. It takes a lot of effort to seem so effortless.

Design Driven

The brand’s goal of achieving a look of easy sophistication is only enhanced further by the Polo Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin’s dark emerald gadroon-patterned dial. The horizontal stripes of the dial pattern tend to stretch the real estate of the dial surface and 42mm case, making it look bigger than it is. But considering there is a whole lot going on the dial, the use of a gadroon pattern with its attendant stretching effect is more than just a happy coincidence.

Specifically, it lessens the impact of the three needed sub-dials and the moonphase indicator. In fact, the only sign that the dial is a bit crowded is that the cardinal indices (12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock) are shortened, but that’s it.

The 12 o’clock month sub-dial (with a four-year leap year indicator riding on an inside gauge) is clear, stripped-down, and to the point. The date sub-dial at 3 o’clock manages to get in the numerals for 1 to 31 in a fairly small execution without feeling cramped. Meanwhile, the 6 o’clock moonphase indicator is an artfully simplified circle of white and black, which is quite fitting because a traditional ornate moonphase would simply overwhelm the core design. And, lastly, the 9 o’clock day wheel feels open and balanced. Mission accomplished.

Again, the brand injected more modernity and sportiness to an already accessible perpetual calendar, so expect 3 ATM water resistance, Super-LumiNova hands and indices, and a patented SingleTouch strap-swapping system that makes it snap to switch from the Polo’s classic steel bracelet to a comfortable, handsome green rubber strap.

The Piaget Polo Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin is accompanied by an official retail price of $58,500 USD. Find out more at the Piaget website.

(Images © Piaget)

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