The iconic watch associated with one of the world’s most elite sports remains a model of refined, distinctive design.
Piaget is known for its ultra- thin watches, exquisite jewelry watches and a growing stable of complications. But the brand’s most iconic and recognizable model is the Piaget Polo, a watch that represents the sporting side of the brand. This does not mean however, that the Piaget Polo is only a sports watch. It was introduced as a solid gold dress watch, most appropriately worn by those sipping champagne in the grandstands. As Piaget puts it, the watch “expresses an elegant interpretation of both an active and refined soul.”
The Piaget Polo has changed and evolved since it was first introduced in 1979, yet many of its basic design characteristics have remained the same. The original Piaget Polo was housed in an 18k yellow gold round case and dial that were distinctive for their alternating polished and satin-brushed surfaces – the model’s signature look. The grooves created by the godrons of the bracelets links were visually carried onto the dial, resulting in one of the most integrated connections between bracelet and dial ever designed – nothing else looked like a Polo, and it became instantly recognizable. The watch was and still is, in its modern incarnations, evidence of the brand’s expertise in working with gold to create an iconic, modern design.
In 2009, the launch of the Piaget Polo FortyFive collection heralded a new chapter in the story of this icon. While it remains a study in understatement, it is at the same time sporty and features a titanium version with a rubber strap. Luminescent indexes and a red hand add a touch of color to some models. The legacy of the original Piaget Polo is expressed through the smooth case and bracelet integration.
The Piaget Polo began as a celebration of the world of polo, and remains an important symbol of Piaget’s participation in or sponsorship of a network of polo matches and organizations. Piaget’s history with the sport dates to the 1970s, when brand scion Yves Piaget became a major supporter of polo in Palm Beach. Piaget, in the belief that polo embodies the same attributes as the brand – including precision, performance and perfection, spearheaded the creation of the first Piaget Polo timepiece in 1979.
The brand has been a principal partner of the International Polo Club Palm Beach since 2006, and each spring hosts the USPA Piaget Gold Cup, one of the sport’s most prestigious tournaments. At this year’s event, Piaget debuted its Couture Precieuse Collection of high jewelry. The Club’s 7th Chukker terrace was transformed into a glamorous couture lounge, accented with David Downton fashion illustrations and fragrant bunches of Yves Piaget Roses. Crafted in 18k white gold and accented with diamonds, pearls and precious gemstones, the Couture Precieuse Collection features motifs such as fans, ribbons and embroidery details taken from haute couture. Piaget also displayed a selection of its latest timepieces including the Altiplano 43mm, the world’s slimmest automatic watch, the new Gouverneur models and two black-on- black Piaget Polo FortyFives in ADLC-treated titanium.
This past August, the brand partnered with polo legend Nacho Figueras to host the second annual Piaget Hamptons Cup at the Equuleus Polo Club in Watermill, New York, to benefit the Robin Hood Foundation. Piaget welcomed players, friends and fans with a polo lounge featuring a life-sized polo pony made from hundreds of Piaget Roses. On the same weekend in Santa Barbara, the world’s top players competed for the famed Piaget Silver Cup, the oldest tournament cup awarded in the United States.
Today, the Piaget Polo collection remains entirely in tune with the original spirit of the iconic model, with alternating brushed and polished surfaces and distinctive godrons in an integrated bracelet/ case design. The collection now includes models set with diamonds, including diamonds set into the godrons of the bracelet, and models with mineral dials, as well as those containing movements with chronograph or perpetual calendar and tourbillon functions, expressing the range of Piaget’s watchmaking expertise.