The Piaget Polo Perpetual Calendar

Ultra-Thin Watchmaking, Monsters Inc and KitKats - How One Piaget Boutique Changed My Mind About The Brand

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My gut feeling after visiting the boutique however is that they by no means get the respect they deserve from the die-hard watch community. Even me, a self-professed dork is certainly guilty of underestimating their watchmaking prowess.

I was in Sydney for an event a few months ago and had a few hours up my sleeve. As is my routine, I booked a flight to arrive five hours before I needed to be anywhere. If you’re not on time, you’re late I always say!
It's a habit I picked up from my dad and have embraced fully since I met my often tardy wife. We cancel each other out like a perfectly on-time captain planet. ‘With our powers combined!’
After having my usual Sydney work trip lunch, food court rice paper rolls, I wandered the rows of shops inside the CBD Westfield. I got lost looking for the entrance to Harrods and I was about to give up when I came across a small but impressive-looking Piaget boutique. Why not, I’ve still got 4 hours and 30 minutes left until I need to be somewhere. A quick look won’t hurt.

My First Piaget Experience Was A Good One.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the people that represent a brand do more for their perception than the products the brand produces.
As I walked into the Piaget Boutique, I was warmly greeted by Christine, the manager. After quickly explaining to her that I had never tried a Piaget on before and that I hadn’t thought of them as a serious watchmaker, she went on to say to me politely “Mitch, you couldn’t be more wrong! Piaget was a watchmaking company first" and that once I try a few pieces on I would understand. "Alright Christine," I thought, let’s do it.

Like a lot of people, I was under the impression that Piaget was mainly a jewellery brand that made a few watches on the side. Not sure why I thought this, maybe it’s their general public perception, or maybe my own ignorance.
Yes, they make some impressive Jewellery, their Possession line in particular is very cool. But after digging into their history during my chat with Christine I learnt that they are extremely proud of what they do.
My gut feeling after visiting the boutique however is that they by no means get the respect they deserve from the die-hard watch community. Even me, a self-professed dork is certainly guilty of underestimating their watchmaking prowess.

I went on to try the Polo Perpetual Calendar, Altiplano and even the famed Black Tie worn by Andy Warhol. After I was done,  I went on to insult Christine by saying I would never go for the Skeleton Polo, to me it just looked too busy. Little did I know that it was the very watch she was wearing. Oops. She laughed and told me that I was wrong (once again) and that I just had to try it on.
Damn, the Skeleton Polo was good too.
Christine and I hit it off and ended up chatting for an hour about Piaget and the watch industry as a whole. This kind of interaction is what makes a lifelong fan and I will remember my interaction at that boutique forever. It could have so easily gone bad after she realised that I didn’t have the bank balance to match any of their watches but instead, she leaned in. I felt respected and appreciated.
Maya Angelou once said - I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

I now want a Piaget, badly.

Three Piaget Watches That Blow Me Away

After my encounter in Sydney and while waiting for my flight home I narrowed down my ‘to buy’ list to the following three watches. In no particular order and in full awareness that I can’t afford any of them. Maybe I should set up a Subdial GoFundMe page… only joking. Or am I?

The Piaget Polo QP

This was the first watch I tried on from the brand and oh boy, is it good. I initially thought the polo looked too flat and broad for my wrists and from the images, the dial proportions seemed a little funky, a bit like Scott "Squishy" Squibbles from Monsters Inc (that's a deep cut). If there are any Piaget designers reading, you’ll be happy to know that my opinion changed as soon as I put it on. It’s so hard to get an accurate sense of a watch through images and this is a prime example.

Although it’s 42mm, it wears smaller. The Squircle dial (technical term), sits inside the case with a sizeable bezel and putting the moon phase at the bottom inside a small ring to match the other subdials is a nice touch, one that shows they think about proportion.
Although most people will probably opt for the bracelet, there’s something so cool about a highly complicated watch like this coming on rubber. It’s the perfect daily flex. Ultra-thin, complicated and humble(ish).

Altiplano Ultimate Automatic With Diamond Bezel

Diamonds are Mitch’s best friends at the moment. I love them and I'm convinced we will see more and more men with sparkling wrists in the next few years, mark my words.

Piaget Ultiplano Ultimate Automatic

The Altiplano Ultimate Automatic is a watch that at first glance looks entirely unapproachable, especially with a diamond bezel, but upon trying it for the first time, I would absolutely wear it with shorts and a t-shirt. Come on, as if you wouldn’t. Don’t lie to yourself.
At 41mm in diameter, 5.3mm thin and dressed in 18k white gold with a diamond bezel, It’s the watch equivalent of a pearl white Ferarri Testarossa. Gaudy, ostentatious and fucking cool.

Piaget Ultiplano Ultimate Automatic

Piaget Polo Skeleton

I’m sure Christine will be happy to see this watch on my list.
People can change you know Chistine... We can open our minds to new experiences and our preconceived ideas can be challenged. We can learn to love what we once rejected. Ok? Moving on.

Piaget Polo Skeleton
Piaget Polo Skeleton

I'm a little embarrassed to say that I didn’t like this watch because it doesn’t have sharp internal angles on the bridges, what an absolute dork. It's a classic case of listening to the so-called 'watch experts' on Instagram.
The Polo Skeleton is 42mm, just like the QP above but is a little thinner at just over 6mm. This is as thin as you want to go for a sports watch in my opinion. Some heft is necessary to make you feel like you’ve got your money's worth and assure you it won’t snap like a KitKat with any sign of exertion.
The blue of the skeletonised bridges pops and I love the placement of the logos. There’s one on the upper left corner and one on the micro-rotor, it’s quirky, weird, and I love it.

Piaget Polo Skeleton

If you’re spending money at this level, which is a little insane by the way, you need to have a sense of humour, a wild streak and a fuck it let’s do it attitude.

Piaget is a brand that seems conservative on the outside but just below the surface there’s an insanity bubbling away that only shows its head in the details of the watches they create. An off-centre dial here, a coloured micro-rotor here and an ultra-thin movement there. It’s all a little bit bonkers.
The issue with Piaget is that no one knows how good they are, like I was, the watch industry is sleeping on them. But one day, hopefully soon, their genius is going to burst onto the scene and blow everyone's boring little minds.
I cant wait!

Cya in the next one.

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