In all the ways you’d expect, the new Piaget Polo 1979 ticks the boxes: anniversary celebration, 1970s vibe, a glamorous past, and a faithful reissue of the original Piaget Polo. But what’s unexpected is the mind-boggling precision and craftsmanship—those tenets of traditional watchmaking—that were pulled out to recreate this historic timepiece.
The year is 1979 and the Piaget Polo makes its debut at the World Cup polo tournament in Palm Beach. Swiss actress and Bond girl Ursula Andress wears the watch alongside Yves Piaget, the fourth generation Piaget to work at the manufacture, and images of this all-gold, bold jewellery watch are propelled around the world. The Piaget Polo personifies the flamboyance and irreverence of the time, and is quickly adopted by the beau monde and global jet set. Andy Warhol had two.
Fast-forward to 2024 and Piaget’s 150th anniversary, and the watch has now been reborn in an upsized 38 mm (the original was 34 mm), the quartz movement replaced by the sport-led and robust 1200P1 in-house automatic calibre. Its signature motif remains pure as ever—alternating polished gadroons with brushed blocked links that chicly flow from the bracelet to the case and dial—but has been given a serious nip-and-tuck. The bracelet has been completely reengineered for maximum flexibility and second skin-like wear, while all the gadroons—and in fact the entire watch—have been completely made and assembled by hand to fit the new dimensions. So don’t expect a raft of Polo 79s to hit stores this year.
Evocative, properly unisex, and striking in its beauty, the new Piaget Polo is an apt choice to kick off Piaget’s 150th anniversary. It truly embodies the Piaget spirit, past, and future. “Piaget is about paradox,” said CEO Benjamin Comar at the watch’s launch in Gstaad, a kind of symbolic home for the brand where Yves Piaget famously hosted sparkling gatherings with clients. “It’s a sports watch, but very dressy at the same time. It’s a day watch, but it works very well for the evening. It’s a jewel but also your watch. It’s very visible but very chic. This is what we try to do at Piaget.”