Last summer, in 2016, we saw the release of the Piaget Polo S and Polo S Chronograph watches. Designed and marketed as an everyday steel watch intended to attract the growing market segment of younger watch aficionados who appreciate in-house movements, unique and versatile design, and look for serious horological cred (#womw is likely a regular part of their social media vocabulary, as well). While there is not too much in the broad $5,000-$10,000 range that checks all these boxes, Piaget may have pulled it off. Now, in addition to their steel bracelet models, here is a limited edition Piaget Polo S with a black ADLC bezel, black dial and a very cool rubber strap that actually has stitching so you don’t look like a goon while climbing the ladder at Credit Suisse. That is, if there are any left, since they are making them in a limited number of 888 – a triple lucky number in Chinese tradition.
The Piaget Polo S case is sized at an ideal 42mm wide and is a relatively slim 9.4mm thick, water-resistant to 100m. That familiar cushion-shaped dial within a more rounded case is immediately recognizable as a Piaget. One of the first things that separates this from the standard Piaget Polo S watch is the ADLC (amorphous carbon-like coating) coating on the bezel, providing superior scratch-resistance and protection for day-to-day wear. ADLC is generally superior to PVD for the purposes of protective coating, but I think it also lends its own unique, nearly glossy, brushed coat here. Also, I love ceramic as much as anyone but I’m glad Piaget chose to forego it here and opt for the brushed steel coated in black ADLC which I feel we don’t see often enough.
The black dial with a horizontal stripe pattern looks great, and I am really happy about the legibility of the dial. The hour and minute hands, indices, and dial text are all easily readable against the black background of the dial. I’m typically ambivalent about date windows, but I do appreciate the subtly tapered shape that almost looks like an isosceles trapezoid at 6 o’clock. Back to the hands, the only color on the dial is the bit of red at the end of the seconds hand, with the counterweight of the seconds hand sporting that very cool-looking diamond containing the “P” insignia. The legible, handsome baton hands are lumed and have a polished steel outline. The indices are lumed and polished as well.
As I’ve mentioned, this Piaget Polo S comes on a black rubber strap that’s given a dressed-up makeover with the addition of slate grey stitching throughout. If you’re feeling more traditional, the watch will also come with a calfskin leather strap that you can swap for. The downside here is obvious: no bracelet option which is the standard look for the Piaget Polo S, and there is something to say for the aesthetic cohesion lost with the lack of the brushed/polished steel contrast you’d otherwise get. So, as much as I really like this piece, I don’t know if I could pull the trigger unless I was looking for my second (or third, or more) Piaget Polo S. It’s not out of the realm of possibility, though, as this black model will also come in the chronograph version.
Turn the watch around and you see the in-house 1110P self-winding movement, which was developed from their 800P movement. The 1110P is 25.58mm wide and a slim 4mm thick while boasting that brooding slate grey rotor donning geneva stripes and the Piaget coat of arms. As for the technical specifics, the 1110P operates at 28,800vph (4Hz) and has a 50-hour power reserve. It’s made up of 180 components, contains 25 jewels, and has blued screws on the bridges. All in all, it’s a thin, modern, in-house Piaget movement, and that basically says it all.
Earlier today, we looked at some new Cartier Drive de Cartier watches, part of another cushion-shaped watch line introduced last year with an attractively priced steel model. You’ll save about $2,000 if you opt for the simple, time-only steel Drive de Cartier, although it seems like Cartier has a broader appeal that they’re going for. A Patek Philippe Aquanaut on a rubber strap costs about $18,900, the refreshed Vacheron Constantin Overseas watch we saw last year in steel is $19,900, and the Girard-Perregaux Laureato in steel is $14,300. This ADLC Piaget Polo S on rubber strap is going to come in a limited edition of 888 with a price of $8,900 – that’s a few hundred less than the steel bracelet model. Looking at what the competition costs, I think Piaget is knocking it out of the park. piaget.com