We’ve spoken before on aBlogtoWatch about the impending return of yellow gold to the current luxury watch zeitgeist, and 2024 seems to be the year when this timeless luxury material tops both brand and enthusiast wish lists once again. Of course, there’s no bolder, more opulent way to style gold on the wrist than with a full gold integrated bracelet design, and to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2024 Piaget turns to the most famous gold watch in its archive – the original 1979 Polo. Fully rendered in yellow gold (down to a matching integrated dial, in fact) and distinctively striped between brushed segments and rounded polished bars, or gadroons, the classic Polo of the ‘70s and ‘80s is one of the most emblematic watches of its excess-driven era. The new Piaget Polo 79 takes this classic golden touchstone and slightly upsizes it for a modern audience, complete with a refined new movement and breathtaking finishing.

While the first-generation Piaget Polo’s case offerings topped out at 34mm wide, the new Piaget Polo 79 translates this same look in a 38mm diameter. Like the original, this is all 18K yellow gold, weighing in at a sizeable 200 grams including the bracelet. It’s a dramatic, joyfully opulent look in initial photos, with a vaguely tonneau-shaped lugless case design dominated by the line’s signature horizontal gadroon motif. It’s a deceptively simple shape at first glance, feeling almost like a stack of gold bars from certain angles, but the magic really is in the details here. Finishing is key to the Polo 79’s visual impact, and the crisp, instant transition between stark, highly defined directional brushing on flat surfaces and mirror polishing on rounded elements is its greatest strength. A hairline-thin polished chamfer running along the flat case side edges and into the bracelet links keeps the design from feeling too brutally simple in photos, and should add another dynamic highlight to an already impressive spectacle on the wrist. Of course, Piaget’s great claim to fame in the modern watch industry is its dedication to ultra-slim cases and movements, and the Polo 79 takes full advantage of the brand’s expertise here. It may not be Piaget’s thinnest watch at 7.45mm thick overall, but these dimensions should be plenty slender on most wrists, while allowing the spirit of the ‘70s Polo to shine through during wear. The Polo 79’s greatest departure from its ‘70s forebear sits under its new sapphire display caseback. Rather than the thin quartz powerplants of the originals, the Polo 79 proudly displays its in-house microrotor automatic movement in photos. Water resistance for the Polo 79 is rated at 50 meters, but this is arguably the least sporting major design in the integrated-bracelet canon to begin with.

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As with its forebear, the Piaget Polo 79’s dial is a seamless continuation of its case and bracelet. The “stacked gold bars” motif continues unabated here, which gives the Polo 79 one of the most cohesive, holistically designed silhouettes on the modern market. The brand aims to keep this gadroon pattern as uninterrupted as possible here, which leads to a dramatically minimal dial layout. Each of the circular hour and minute indices are individually engraved into the dial surface, and the large printed Piaget logo at 12 o’clock is really the only dial text to speak of in photos. A set of polished, faceted dauphine hands handle timekeeping duties, and while the gold-on-gold color scheme is a potential nightmare for legibility Piaget tackles this issue through finishing. With fully polished hands and a predominantly brushed dial surface, the gold-on-gold treatment is nominally readable in initial photos, but real-world lighting conditions may work to trip up this layout.

Piaget powers the Polo 79 with its in-house 1200P1 automatic microrotor movement. With a 44 hour power reserve and a 28,800 bph beat rate, the 1200P1 is a decent if unspectacular performer, but its 2.35mm overall thickness is the real focal point of this movement’s design. The 12000P1’s finishing is nearly as dramatic as the case that surrounds it, with elegant circular Côtes de Genève radiating outward from the rotor to cover the three-quarter plates and balance cock. Multiple sizes of perlage on the mainplate, blued screws, and an elegant sunburst gold rotor complete this flowing, attractive layout in images.

Naturally, the visual spectacle of the Piaget Polo 79 hinges on its integrated bracelet, and the brand does not disappoint here. The motif of the case and dial continues to flow all the way around the wrist through this solid 18K yellow gold bracelet, complete with a hidden butterfly clasp. While enthusiasts tend to value strap versatility with most watch designs (even most integrated designs), it’s difficult to imagine the Polo 79 having anywhere near the same level of visual impact on leather or rubber as it does with this cohesive bracelet design in images.

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The watch world at large is on the cusp of a yellow gold revival in 2024, and the new Piaget Polo 79 may be just the release to push it over the edge. Refined for modern audiences and rendered in striking contemporary quality, the Piaget Polo 79 is nonetheless an intriguing love letter to the opulence of the ‘70s and ‘80s and a fitting celebration for the brand’s 150th anniversary. The Piaget Polo 79 is available now through authorized dealers. MSRP for this watch stands at 73,000 USD as of press time. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.

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