Piaget and polo, still a winning combination
The watch-making Maison is ready for the British Openby Henry Neuteboom
The sport of polo inspired the name of Piaget's first collection of watches. Today, thirty years later, Polo is still a best-seller, and the latest model, Polo FortyFive, is achieving great success on the market by virtue of its tough-looking and modern style.
Piaget was in fact a pioneer in the area of elite sport sponsorship. Yves G. Piaget linked the name of the company to the world of polo from the early 1980s. In late 2008, the Piaget-polo combination was given further impetus by the sponsorship of a polo team, which is now carrying the name of Piaget into the most prestigious international tournaments. The team, captained by Marcos Heguy, has taken part in the most important events in the UK, and it has now completed its preparation for the country's premier tournament, the British Open Championship for the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup.
Although a relatively new team, Piaget succeeded in qualifying - one of just eight teams to do so - for another event, the Queen's Cup, held in June. What's more, it emerged from the league phase of this competition undefeated, and passed the quarter-finals. In the semi-finals, in an epic struggle, they lost 11-9 against the Enigma squad.
The Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup, played at Cowdray Park Polo Club, has attracted twenty teams, drawing players from a dozen countries. It is one of the most important events in the world on the polo calendar. It begins today, 22 June 2010, and ends on 18 July.
The Piaget Polo FortyFive was unveiled in 2009 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the legendary Piaget Polo. The FortyFive is a titanium watch whose rugged design is combined with a superb movement. In 2010, the Maison introduced two new versions of the Polo FortyFive: one with an openworked dial further expressing the sports philosophy of the piece, and the Piaget Polo FortyFive Lady, a version for women.
The FortyFive chronograph version is based on Calibre 880P, a self-winding movement with vertical clutch, whose functions include chronograph, flyback, hours, minutes, seconds, date, and 24-hour time zone indication. Its twin barrels provide a 50-hour power reserve when the chronograph is in operation.
Like the 1979 Piaget Polo, the Piaget Polo FortyFive has contrasting polished and satin-brushed finishes, with an ergonomically curved case that ensures comfort on the wrist, and the iconic trapeze-shaped appliques. The case is 45 mm in width (hence the model's name), and it is water-resistant to 100 metres. The new model is distinctive for its combination of grade 5 titanium, vulcanized rubber and steel. The transparent case-back displays the superb finish of the mechanical movement.
The open-worked FortyFive provides a view of the mechanism from the dial side, revealing the black PVD-treated circular-grained mainplate and the date disc. Numerals, hour-markers and parts are combined to form a multi-dimensional unit with extraordinary visual fascination, though the timepiece remains highly legible. Red accents on hands and hour-markers contrast with the openworked dial in black and metal. The two new Polo FortyFive versions are in limited series of 500 pieces, with rubber strap and a steel folding clasp, which can be used for convenient summer-winter adjustment.
The Piaget Polo FortyFive Lady makes the model's sporty and informal style available to women as well. It has the same rugged and dynamic looks, along with the same ergonomic feel, while it evokes a deliciously feminine fascination. With a case water-resistant to 50 metres, it is a versatile piece, equally at home on a yacht, in a tennis match, a boardroom meeting, or cocktails. The brilliant-cut diamonds that decorate the bezel and dial, and the brushed and polished surfaces of the case, give it a sophistication that makes it a perfect addition to evening attire. The Polo FortyFive Lady has a curving 38 mm case in white or pink gold, which combines superbly with the white rubber strap. The dial is superbly feminine, with a central circle of gold curving appliques, and the gadroons that accentuate the alternation of polished and satin-brushed finish.
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