The new Piaget Polo Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin represents a meeting of Piaget’s expertise in ultra-thin watchmaking and its continuation of the Polo line. First a very short history lesson. When Piaget launched the Polo in 1979, some people liked it. It had alternating horizontal ridges and grooves called godroons and they went all the way down the bezel into the bracelet. Pro-Polo people said this watch achieved perfect integration of case and dial and bracelet. Some people didn’t like it. They said, wow this looks like a Gérald Genta watch except it’s not made by Gérald Genta. This first Polo was quartz.
For the next 30 years there were so many iterations of the Polo it’s actually a bit hard to track. The first automatic Polo came out in 1981. The Piaget Polo FortyFive, which came out in 2009, was Piaget’s moment to reclaim a coherent design strategy for this watch and to move toward the sportier, less obviously glam side of things. It had a titanium case (the folks at Piaget were yellow gold people before this) and Piaget Caliber 800p movement. Piaget went on to expand on the FortyFive with chronographs, perpetual calendars, and tourbillons, including Piaget’s first in-house chronograph movement, the automatic caliber 880P. In 2016 it released the Polo S, which was stainless steel with a cushion case.
Running alongside the history of the Polo is Piaget’s history of ultrathin, a segment of watchmaking that’s always been important to the brand. As early as 1957 it had made a ground-breakingly thin hand-wound movement, the 9p, and in 1960 it launched the 12P movement, which used a micro-rotor to make it the thinnest self-winding movement in the world. In 2020, Piaget launched the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Watch, which was, for a short while until the Bulgari Octofinissimo Ultra took over, the thinnest watch in the world. The Richard Mille UP-01 took the crown shortly after. But of course, all those watches are hand-wound, and much of what makes a watch thicker is its self-winding mechanism, and obviously its complications. So, this is Piaget’s first Ultrathin Perpetual Calendar. This watch is 42 mm and 8.65 mm thick. It comes in green only, with a horizontal textured groove that calls back on the Polo’s early godroon styling. The month, day, and day of the week are in titanium edges subdials at 12, three, and nine. The moonphase is at six, and the power reserve is 42 hours.
The watch comes on a steel bracelet, a green rubber strap is easy to add. Water resistance is 3 ATM.The movement is a self-winding mechanical 1255P, based on their iconic ultra-thin movement, with the perpetual calendar built on top of it.
Piaget is selling this green perpetual calendar for $58,500.Old Piaget watches are absolutely amazing. I saw that Michael B. Jordan has a vintage Piaget, the 1979 era one that is like the one that Ursula Andress wore to the 1980 World Polo Cup in Palm Beach when the Piaget Polo was on its way to being the hottest watch in the world. I want to like this new watch more than I do. I feel I met its mother and she’s like “You have to meet my son,” but then he’s just playing video games and doesn’t want to talk to me, he’s too busy trying to get a higher score than his friends. I know I am not the first to say this and I will definitely not be the last but it looks so much like the Vacheron Overseas Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar and the Nautilus Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar and the AP Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar. I realize it’s roughly half the price, but I mean, for the brand that made that original Polo in all its glamorous glory to produce something so familiar, that isn’t even that water resistant, even though its width is also roughly the same as these other luxury ultra thins, is a bit disappointing. For what it’s worth, none of these watches comes close to being as thin as the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar which is 5.8 mm thick. I am pretty intrigued by Piaget’s history and I think it has made some pretty great-looking watches. I would have liked to have seen more design cues taken from the archives. For example, in the ’80s it came out with a beautiful perpetual calendar, the Piaget Perpetual Calendar, Ref. 15958. I realize this is not a Polo, but its lush, intricate moonphase could have been nodded to, for example. I don’t see why Piaget, of all brands, should be making watches that are so visually similar to other ones.
That said, would like to go hands-on with this watch because I feel like it could be greatly improved in my estimation if I could really see it up close and also, as a semi-newbie, have a chance to compare it to other watches in this category that this watch was clearly made to compete with.