A long time has passed since 1979 when Piaget launched its Polo watch in New York. The new Polo S was presented in New York on 15 July 2016, and in various other cities across the world. We saw it in Milan on 19 September 2016. The Piaget designers have dedicated a lot of time to the two new watches. The principal aesthetic feature is the cushion-shaped dial within a circular case, enhanced by a flat, brushed bezel which contrasts with bright-finish steel for other parts of the case. The bracelet continues the same theme, with alternating bright and brushed links, and its comfort is enhanced by retaining an appreciable width all the way around.
The watch is made in two versions. The time-only watch has an attractive, balanced dial design, with the date window at 6 o’clock, neatly enclosed in a tapering frame that matches the hour markers to perfection. The watch is 9.4 mm thick and 42 mm in diameter, making it ideal in any situation, from boardroom to black tie event. Its water resistance is rated at 100 metres (10 bar), impressive considering that the crown is not screw-down. In short, it’s a great watch for all-round use. The price of €11,100 makes it available to a far wider section of the market when compared to most Piaget timepieces.
But my preference would undoubtedly be for the chronograph. Here the designers have applied a lot of thought to creating a practical timepiece that retains the same all-round versatility – in other words, it’s not a blatantly sports watch, and it fits well both with business wear and casual outfits. In this model, a distinctive feature is the chronograph seconds hand that retains complete legibility all the way around, even though the scale has the same cushion shape as the dial – the tip of the hand is always in correspondence with the quarter-second scale. Secondly, there is no continuous seconds subdial. This is a brilliant touch: usually, in the tricompax layout, one of the three subdials is for continuous seconds, which makes the dial crowded and to a degree illogical. Piaget on the other hand have reduced the chronograph to the essentials: central chronograph seconds hand, and two subdials for 30 chronograph minutes and 12 hours respectively. As the in-house movement has a column wheel to control the chronograph function, if you really want to see the seconds hand running, you can just leave the chronograph operating, with no detriment from the point of view of wear. In the photo below, the Piaget 1160P self-winding movement, with the column wheel in full view.
The date window is something that polarizes watch lovers into two camps, those who love it and those who think that it ruins the balance of a watch. In this piece, Piaget have found a great solution. Instead of a third subdial, they placed the date window at 6 o’clock, with the same tapering elegance as in the time-only piece. The counterweight on the chronograph seconds hand, a diagonal square with a P at the centre, is the final detail setting the seal on an elegant design. A curious detail: on the chronograph, the P on the counterweight is the right way up when the hand is pointing right up, while on the time-only version, it's upside-down.
The Polo S chronograph is 42 mm in diameter, and 11.2 mm thick, slim enough to slide comfortably under a shirt cuff, and with the same 100-metre water resistance as the time-only version. At €14,800, it’s a watch that is – as we were told – already selling well in boutiques. It has been on the market from July 2016. The time-only version is available with silvered, Piaget blue or slate grey dial; the chronograph has silvered or Piaget blue dial. It looks great on a female wrist even though it is a men's watch... though the latter term is becoming increasingly blurred in today's day and age. More details at http://en.piaget.com/