The New Piaget Polo Field Steps Out The Grail Shadows
I am saying yes, though I’ll try to say this only once: 42mm is too big for this dressy beauty. Still, I have tried on its black-dial sibling, and find it disconcertingly tempting. This year, with celebrity wrist endorsements including mega-hunk Ryan Reynolds, the Polo is back in the spotlight. And green is still the new blue, right? With hard-to-get grails frustratingly flooding Instagram, I say the new Piaget Polo Field is a great alternative.
The Piaget Polo is on the rise, including a chronograph version that looks quite hot. This might not be everyone’s idea of a field watch, but for me, the Polo feels like a bona fide grail-ternative (phrase hereby coined). And that’s not just because I’m always rooting for the underdog. I genuinely like the odd-shaped Piaget, and with a rubber strap, it has the perfect sports-luxe balance for me.
First indefinable impressions
You might look at it and think “Aquanaut,” but I think this green Polo Field is a good alternative to bigger fish — the rare green-dial Nautilus ref. 5711. Yes, the very one that, while retailing for €30,400, sold at auction for over €320,000 in its unopened, sealed plastic pouch. Obviously, that is not a fair comparison, but I find the (still-too-big) Polo inhabiting the quirky middle ground between the gorgeous Nautilus and the overtly sporty Aquanaut. But still, this shape is its very own thing and full of indefinable charm. Piaget was the peak of elegance in the ’80s, and I feel a renaissance is well overdue. The Polo’s rubber strap is supple, and with this, I could live with the 42mm size, even if the bracelet would be too much. I’ve tried the black-dial version on for size, and I can confess to its temptingly soft wrist presence.
Does sporty rubber make the Polo a tougher contender?
I think it does. I’m not a huge fan of the bracelet, and the soft embrace of the rubber strap makes it feel nimbler. But despite having “Field” in the name, a field watch this isn’t (read that as a compliment). With a slim 9.4mm thickness, its versatility as a dressy sports watch is secured. For the €10K+ price, I would expect beautiful details, but against a similar-looking Patek Aquanaut? Well, after hosting an Aquanaut for a weekend, I’ll tell you the legends are not always true. But the Piaget Polo never overplays its hand and surprises with its understated character. Suggesting it’s a field watch, however, riddles me, as this is not for rambling through the woods in any form. But as a suave sports watch and fairly priced Aquanaut (even Nautilus) alternative, it works on many levels.
Just like the black-dial Polo Date, this green version is powered by the automatic Piaget caliber 1110P. Without yet another reference to the Aquanaut (which I just made — oops), Piaget never lets us down when it comes to finishing. The 4mm-slim caliber has perlage on its mainplate, circular Côtes de Genève on the bridges and rotor, blued screws, and polished bevels too. It’s a decent 28,800vph heart with a 50-hour power reserve in a solid 100m-water-resistant case. So I’d consider this a great everyday watch. Sure, you will find hints of inspiration in the hot pocket of the ’70s grails that everyone loves these days, but it is also its very own thing. And for me, it is in the smallest of details.
What sets the Polo apart?
The Polo has the only horizontally brushed steel bezel I know of, with a broad glitzy bevel. This matches up to the soft brushing on the case sides, and its width accentuates the contrast between the oblong dial shape and the rounded case. This bezel is a favorite of mine, and ever since its 2016 debut, it has made the new-shape Polo instantly recognizable.
Sure, you might find a robber mistaking it for an Aquanaut, but just take the time to explain Piaget as a brand, and he might stop tugging at your arm. Not that it’s not valuable. The €13,400 price is not cheap, but this time, I think it might just be worth it. The deep green is luscious, and I love the personality change that the tapering rubber strap creates.
Winning details and concluding thoughts
The trapezoid date window at 6 o’clock also makes for an interesting feature as its tapering shape works perfectly with the angled indices in creating a focal point on the dial. The diamond-shaped counterweight on the seconds hand is also a flourish I appreciate as it creates extra eye candy together with the soft spear-shaped hour and minute hands. And while we are noticing the small details, check the striations on the dial. Unlike a broad-striped Nautilus, the horizontal lines on the Polo Field have a center with broad lines, while the outer edge differs. Following a circular shape under the indices, the striations are doubled. This creates extra depth and nuance to the dial, though I did first think my bespectacled focus was faltering (again). These small observations make the Polo Field and its black-dial brother a design that grows on you. And aren’t those always better than instant love?
Fratelli, dear Fratelli, what do you think? Are we inundated with luxury watches on rubber straps trying to catch the same grail wave, or is this supposed field watch exactly what we need? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.