Piaget’s New Polo Date 36mm is the Perfect Example of Quiet Luxury

Piaget’s New Polo Date 36mm is the Perfect Example of Quiet Luxury

No matter the decade, this sports watch has always embodied a glamorous lifestyle.

By Rhonda Riche

In many ways, the Piaget Polo is your grandfather’s or grandmother’s watch; even your mom and dad probably aspired to this emblematic sport-chic piece. And guess what? The Polo is probably perfect for you too!

No matter what generation you belong to, enthusiasts want watches that reflect their vision of the world. And Piaget, which was founded in the small Swiss Jura village of La Côte-aux-Fées in 1874, has always been a brand at the intersection of style, identity, and watchmaking.

Introduced in 1979, the Polo is a sleek and sexy timepiece that captured the spirit of a changing society – a world where the division between sports and dress was becoming less clear. And as the world keeps evolving, the new Polo Date in 36mm represents Piaget going back to its roots to create a timepiece that’s just as representative of our times as it was of the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and the 2010s.

My Generation

There’s been a lot of chatter about “nepo babies” lately but being born on third base (“nepo” is short for “nepotism”) isn’t always a bad thing. Case-in-point: Yves G. Piaget, the grandson of Swiss watchmaker and brand founder Georges-Édouard Piaget, broke with family tradition in 1979 when he created the Polo. It was a groundbreaking sports watch that embodied the idea of “casual chic” and was notable for its integrated bracelet, stainless steel construction, and “shape in shape” silhouette.

Piaget was already renowned for making ultra-thin mechanisms like the 2mm-thick, ultra-thin 9P calibre that was only within the price range of the upper classes, but high society was changing. The jet set now gathered on the slopes of Gstaad instead of worshiping the sun in Rome; the glitterati danced at Studio 54 instead of rubbing elbows with gangsters at the Copacabana. Similarly, the 36mm unisex design represented a new direction for watches in general.

At the time, Yves explained, “The entire Polo philosophy can be summed-up in one sentence: It’s a watch bracelet rather than a mere wristwatch. It was the first time one of our watches was created to meet demand. In 1979, it matched a strong desire expressed by the American market: our retailers wanted a luxury sports watch.”

Demand for the Polo has stayed strong over the decades. And several celebrities, such as Andy Warhol, Brooke Shields, and Sammy Davis Junior, all wore the legendary gold bracelet.

Stealth Wealth

Despite its East Egg pedigree, you don’t have to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth to appreciate the Polo. Rather than continue the story that luxury timepieces had to be overly formal or that men wore big watches and women sported smaller ones, Piaget reframed the conversation completely.

The Polo was so successful that by the early 1980s, the Piaget Polo accounted for almost one-third of the brand’s watch sales, and knockoff versions flooded Canal Street in New York (the counterfeiter’s playground).

What is rare is that The Polo continued to be a mainstay of Piaget’s business. There have been a few tweaks over the years, with one of its most notable makeovers (in 2001) featured a more graphic dial, a larger size, and a curved case. The Polo continued to be favored by a new generation of celebrities such as Ben Affleck, Puff Daddy, Rihanna, and Alicia Keys.

Now, the newest iteration of the Polo honors the original 36mm unisex size while embracing the various technical advances that Piaget has made.

Time Signals

The Polo Date in 36mm is the 21st-century incarnation of the classic everyday watch.

The timepiece is still defined by its round (yet also square) dial framed in a cushion-shaped case. And while it has returned to the original 36mm size, the silhouette is also slimmer (with a thickness of just 8.8mm) to make the stainless steel watch feel more ergonomic and look more balanced. Luckily, its streamlined self-winding 500P1 mechanical movement that includes hours, minutes, seconds, and a date function makes this elegant profile possible.

The new Polo Date 36’s polished case pleasantly contrasts its minimalist blue dial with baton indices. Plus, it now comes with a quick-change blue calf strap and folding buckle, making it easier to switch up your look to suit any occasion.

The Piaget Polo 36 is available now exclusively through Piaget’s eCommerce channels and is priced at $11,000. Visit the Piaget website for more information.

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Piaget Polo Date 36mm