Last Friday, we brought you our recap of the launch party for the new Piaget Polo S with some preliminary images of the watch in the metal. Today, we are bringing you our hands-on review and our objective thoughts on what is already a somewhat controversial watch design, referred to by many as a 'Nautilus Copycat'. While the new Piaget Polo S uses a very strong selling tagline that reads: "Play a Different Game"; it is very hard for us to see such thing anywhere in the design or the name of this new watch. Perhaps, if the watch had been presented with a completely new name and not under the 'Polo' umbrella, it had been better received by journalists and avid watch collectors. Now, for under $10,000 USD, you are getting a lot of watch with a ton of 'pedigree' in its brand name and a great in-house movement.
The original Piaget Polo line was launched in 1979 trying to compete with the Royal Oak, the Nautilus and the Vacheron Constantin 222. Almost 40 years later, the Piaget Polo resurges one more time —after several facelifts and redesigns since its launch in 1979—, with a design that blends in the look of the previous Piaget Polos with a very similar dial construction to that on the Patek Philippe Nautilus and a round shape that highly resembles the shape of the Patek Philippe Aquanaut with a 'TV Screen'-shaped dial opening.
The new Piaget Polo S comes with a 42 mm stainless steel case with integrated matching bracelet with double folding clasp and available in three dial variations. A silvered dial ref. G0A41001, a blue dial ref. G0A41002 and slate grey dial as ref. G0A41003. As part of the marketing strategy behind the new Piaget Polo S, the brand has decided to use nine male brand ambassadors to represent the new watch throughout the world with a slogan that reads: "Nine men, one spirit".
These ambassadors include Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds as the main 'International Brand Ambassador'; Malcolm Borwick —businessman and member of the British Professional Polo Association—; Swiss novelist Joël Dicker; Shanghai native actor and singer Hu Ge; Belgian tennis player David Goffin; UAE artist and businessman Mohammed Sultan Al Habtoor; Hollywood actor Michael B. Jordan; Japanese musician Miyavi and French Chef Jean-François Piège. The fact that Piaget had to choose so many ambassadors makes very little sense to us. Instead of relying on the power of strong watch design, Piaget decided to continue to ride the wave by relying on marketing tactics that have been over-utilized in the watch industry and that in the long term, do nothing other than to erode the 'brand equity' that has taken decades or even centuries to build. In a few words, as a marketing and advertising executive, the advertising agency that helped putting together this strategy, should be fired.
The Dial, Case & Crown
The new Piaget Polo S features a 42 mm stainless steel case with a satin-brushed bezel, satin-brushed caseband and mirror-polished lugs. The case is 9.4 mm thick and water resistant to a 100 meters. The case is completely round but very similar to that on a Patek Philippe Aquanaut minus the octagonal rounded shape on the latter. The Piaget Polo S features a pull-out crown with an engraved 'P' on it —it would've been nice to see a screw-down crown on this new watch— that is somewhat small and difficult to pull out.
The dial construction is quite similar to that on the Patek Philippe Nautilus with the same type of embossed horizontal pattern —just much tighter— and with applied markers with superluminova. The hands are also fitted with superluminova. The dial features a framed date aperture at 6 o'clock and a small flange with a minute track.
Additionally, the seconds hand features the Piaget 'P' as its counterweight —a very nice touch— but unfortunately placed upside down. From a design standpoint, it would've been nice to see the 'P' in its correct position when the seconds hand lines up with the 12 o'clock marker —just like it does on the new Piaget Polo S Chronograph. Of all three available dials, our favorites are the slate-gray followed by the blue one.
The new Piaget Polo S features a mirror-polished stainless steel bracelet with satin-brushed center links and equipped with a double-folding deployant clasp. The bracelet has a nice weight to it and is nicely constructed; however, we feel that as far as aesthetics goes, it would've been nicer to have a bracelet that tappers towards the clasp, instead of maintaining the same width at the lugs all the way towards the clasp. The bracelet is really not our cup of tea. We could see ourselves wearing this watch on a nice integrated croc or rubber strap.
The new Piaget Polo S is powered by the in-house automatic calibre 1110P based off of the ultra reliable in-house calibre 800P. This movement only 4 mm thick, is equipped with 25 jewels and beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph —4 Hz— to provide a power reserve of 50 hours. The movement is fully visible via the screwed-in display case back that by the way, is very nicely finished. The movement features a slate gray oscillating weight decorated with circular Côtes de Genève and stamped with the Piaget manufacture coat-of-arms.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the watch wears smaller than its 42 mm actual size —more like a 40 mm watch— and quite comfortably. Putting any similarities with other watches aside, this is a very handsome watch for the price —especially the slate-gray and blue dial options. The watch is priced extremely aggressively and just right for the level of craftsmanship and brand name you're getting; however, for ultra savvy watch collectors, we think that it will be quite hard to see past the strong resemblance of the new Piaget Polo S with the Patek Philippe Nautilus or the Aquanaut.
Now, "if you want to play but can't pay" —that's where the watch selling tagline "Play a Different Game" comes in handy—, this is a perfect watch to add to your collection without breaking the bank or even a perfect first watch where you are getting a lot of watch for the money. Our hands-on review of the new Piaget Polo S Chronograph coming up tomorrow.
Sticker Price $9,350 USD. For more info on Piaget click here.