Piaget’s move into the high-end steel sports market surprised many – but how does the Polo S hold up under close inspection?
The Polo S caused quite a fuss when it was released. Not only was this steel sports watch far from what most people expect from the reserved Genevan brand, they also released it at a star-studded launch party in Brooklyn – the sort of event you’d expect from the likes of IWC and JLC. And finally there was the style of the watch. Many people in the watch community quickly noted its resemblance to similarly high-end steel sports watches, such as the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Aquanaut, and to a lesser extent the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Girard-Perregaux Laureato. But cut away all the drama around the release and what do you have? Well, not to give the game away, but you have a watch to be taken seriously.
Piaget first introduced the Piaget Polo back series replica watches in 1979 and, much like the Nautilus, Royal Oak et al, it was very much an ‘of the time’ design with bold vertical stripes bisecting the case and bracelet. Fast forward to 2009 and the Polo still had a place in Piaget’s line-up, the titanium-cased Polo FortyFive, which simultaneously beefed up the case size and (slightly) toned down the bold design. It’s always been something of an oddity in Piaget’s typically demure collection, and the Polo S attempts to offer the best of both worlds.
Now that the history lesson is over, let’s talk about the stainless steel case Piaget fake watches. While there’s a clear link to the tonneau shaped Polo models of yore, for me the Polo S bears a striking resemblance to Piaget’s high-end Emperador collection, thanks to the TV shaped dial in a wide flaked case. The flat oval shaped bezel has remarkably even horizontal brushing (not as fine as the bracelet, but more on that later), a nice nod to the stripes on the original Polo. The case middle is likewise brushed, but the angles are all polished. All up, the mixed finishes and shapes of the case add up to a very neat blend of sports and luxe. And the actual design itself? The other big news story is that the Polo S is cased in steel. And even though it’s not the brand’s first steel watch (that honour goes to the genuinely avant garde, and sadly short-lived Upstream), it’s a significant change for the predominantly precious metal brand.