Piaget Revives Polo 79 Watch In Gold For 150th Anniversary

Hey, Piaget, the '80s called, they want their watch back.

BY HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN

I wasn’t around in the 1980s, so my impressions of it are limited. On the one hand I see those Instagram reels which show something like the 1980s Miami high life with some slow techno music played over. On the other hand, I asked my parents about it and they said it was mediocre. Obviously, not all experiences are the same; I just don’t understand why so many people around my age wish they were born in a different decade; I promise you it wouldn’t be any better than it is now; you just wouldn’t have WristReview’s amazing articles to keep you company.

So, yes, the 1980s. As with all things, they looked great through rose-tinted spectacles. I can only imagine the excitement of choosing between Coke or Pepsi, the wedding of Charles and Diana, or going around with a Sony Walkman listening to The KLF or whatever they were calling themselves at that particular moment. When you’re a manufacturer of products, it’s much easier to get away with nostalgia without seeming weird about it. Re-issue watches have been popular for ages and Piaget’s new Polo 79, Piaget’s 150th birthday present to itself, cashes in on that trend.

Sure, the watch this is based on was launched in 1979, hence the name, but it set the bar for 1980s luxury watchmaking. The new piece, with its horizontal line design, is very distinctive. The bracelet reminds me of Omega’s Constellation, a watch I also like the look of, and those lines cut across the dial which is attractive. In fact, as historical re-issue watches go, it’s pretty accurate to the original source material at a glance. 

Despite this being a re-issue piece, Piaget hasn’t been afraid to change certain aspects around. For instance, the 18k solid gold case is now 38mm (7.45mm thick) across, the old one was 34mm. Also, where the original watch had a quartz movement (undoubtedly a move to save Piaget from extinction in the midst of the quartz crisis), this watch has a mechanical movement.

To be precise, it’s the calibre 1200P1, an ultra-thin self-winding movement. The 1200P1 is just 2.35mm thick, only about 0.4mm thicker than the quartz movement in the original watches which is impressive for a mechanical movement. It also has a 3Hz beat rate and a 44-hour power reserve with a sapphire crystal case back for viewing purposes.

Overall, I think this watch is a hit. Sure, not everyone is interested in the ’80s aesthetic, but it’s hard to deny that it works in 2024. The price of the new Piaget Polo 79 is $73,000.