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Piaget’s Polo 79: A Luxurious Revival of Elegance and Extravagance

In the midst of an era defined by carefree attitudes, extravagant elegance, and the glamorous lifestyle of the jet-set, Swiss watchmaker Piaget is relaunching a timeless piece of luxury – the iconic “bracelet-montre” that once adorned the wrists of the elite. The backdrop is the 1970s, a period when Piaget transitioned from crafting watch movements to creating exquisite timepieces and jewelry. Facing the quartz invasion from Japan, the brand successfully navigated the challenge by introducing the world’s first ultra-thin quartz movement, the 7P, in 1976. In 1979, this innovation found its way into the heart of Piaget’s new creation – the Polo watch, a masterpiece forged from 125 grams of solid gold.

Yves Piaget, who had a keen understanding of the evolving luxury market, envisioned a timepiece that embraced the “casual chic” lifestyle prevalent in the United States. The Polo watch was designed to cater to a clientele that enjoyed both sports and refined elegance, reflecting a shift in the behaviors of the elite.

This luxurious and elite watch was introduced as the world’s most expensive at its launch, a strategic decision advised by the brand’s American agent, Gedalio Grinberg. It was Grinberg who not only convinced Piaget to name the watch but also coined the term “bracelet-montre” to emphasize its unique character.

The Polo watch quickly became a symbol of prestige, adorning the wrists of celebrities like Ursula Andress and gaining ambassadors such as Andy Warhol, Sammy Davis Jr, Roger Moore, and Björn Borg. Its success was not only attributed to its opulence but also to its ingenious design – a bracelet so meticulously crafted from gold that it appeared as if carved from a single block.

Now, after forty-five years since its inception, the historic timepiece is reborn as the Piaget Polo 79. In an age where steel watches command premium prices, the Polo 79 remains true to its roots, being entirely forged from precious metal. While staying faithful to the original design, subtle updates include a larger 38mm case and the replacement of the quartz movement with the ultra-thin automatic caliber 1200P1, visible through the transparent case back.

The distinctive godron-patterned bracelet, crafted with Piaget’s unique expertise, adds a touch of magnificence to the piece, embodying the artisanal intelligence of Piaget’s workshops.

In conclusion, the Piaget Polo 79 is not just a watch; it is a revival of a bygone era’s distinction and flamboyance, a testament to Piaget’s commitment to merging technical expertise with bold design and creativity. It stands as a shining example of the brand’s unique approach to luxury, where craftsmanship and innovation converge to create timeless pieces that transcend generations.