Meeting MR PIAGET! Yves Piaget on the return of Polo Meeting MR PIAGET! Yves Piaget on the return of Polo

Meeting MR PIAGET! Yves Piaget on the return of Polo

Zach Blass

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, born in 1972, is credited with introducing the phenomenon of luxury steel sports watches. Then, the also Genta-designed Patek Philippe Nautilus would debut in 1976 – further establishing this new category. At times left out of the conversation, however, is the Piaget Polo, launched in 1979. Its revival, the Polo 79, is deservedly bringing the – dare we say – icon back into the limelight. And it comes at a perfect time, when through the efforts of various influencers and personalities within the watch community, vintage Piaget is becoming more and more on watch collectors’ radars. Fortuitously, Andrew was able to meet with Mr Piaget himself, Yves Piaget, who was at the helm of Piaget when the Polo was first launched. The fourth generation of the Piaget family to oversee the brand, Yves, in his conversation with Andrew, showcases the genesis of the Polo as a watch and concept, and his perspective introduces a new and interesting lens.

I mention the Royal Oak and Nautilus above for two reasons. Firstly, these are both watches that share a common designer and theme. Secondly, they were both were as mechanical watches. The Piaget Polo, on the other hand, was not, the original being quartz. What it did have though, was one of the most distinct aesthetics in the integrated-bracelet luxury sports watch segment. There is no other design, with the Polo’s gadroon-centred look, that looks anything like it. Yves Piaget describes the creation of the Polo as, to an extent, the creation of an anti-Rolex of sorts. With the Piaget brand’s core sense of fashionable and sleek design, they certainly could have utilised their ultra-thin 9P calibre for the original Polo. Instead, Yves looked to the future, and, perhaps, where other Swiss manufacturers were scared, he leaned into quartz. In fact, a quartz calibre of their own design: the 7P.

Piaget Polo 79 old vs new
L-R: the original Piaget Polo ref. 7661 C701 and the new Piaget Polo 79

As shock resistant as a manufacturer can make a mechanical movement, the 7P inside the watch would ultimately keep more accurate time – both in more static scenarios and under the stress of sport. Yet, the Polo, in its chic look, certainly had no hallmarks of a traditional tool or sports watch. You could say, like the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, the Polo ambitiously sought to create a watch envisioned not just for the sport of polo itself, but also for the lifestyle of those who engaged with it both on and off the field. Robust enough to serve its purpose, handsome enough to be the talk of Studio 54 as well.

Piaget Polo 79 14

This is the core of what Andrew, Yves Piaget, and current Piaget CEO Benjamin Comar dig into: the philosophy behind the Polo’s design, the breakdown of mechanical and quartz watchmaking logistics in the era, the illustrious and famous clientele who adopted the Polo on their wrists, and the process of reviving and reinterpreting the original Polo into what is now the Polo 79. You’ll have to watch the video at the top of the page for the full and colourful dialogue.

Piaget Polo 79 pricing and availability


The new Piaget Polo 79 is available now from Piaget retailers. It is not a limited edition, but it is “limited production”. Price: A$120,000.

Brand Piaget
Model Polo 79
Case Dimensions 38mm (D) x 7.45mm (T)
Case Material 18k yellow gold
Water Resistance 50 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Dial Ridged gold
Bracelet Integrated 18k yellow gold bracelet, folding clasp
Movement 1200P1, in-house, automatic, micro-rotor
Power Reserve 44 hours
Functions Hours, minutes
Availability Available now
Price A$120,000