Piaget's New Watch Will See You Through to the Year 2100
The Seinfeld catchphrase ‘yada, yada, yada’ can be traced back to season eight, episode 19 from 1997. Its source was George Costanza’s new girlfriend Marcy, who first used it to shorten a story about some complimentary beauty treatments she’d received from Bloomingdale’s.
“So, I’m on 3rd Avenue, mindin’ my own business, and yada yada, yada, I get a free massage and a facial,” she explains.
Later it transpires how Marcy got her free treatments—she ran off without paying. She also did some shoplifting.
“Oh, and I stole a Piaget watch,” she says.
Back then Piaget was already approaching its 125th birthday, the venerable luxury goods brand as famous for its sparkly jewelry as it was for its watches, and precisely the kind of name to use as shorthand in a sitcom for the sort of frippery that would appeal to a habitual shoplifter.
Since then Piaget’s image has taken a more credible turn. In the 2000s it refocused its efforts on a watch called the Polo.
The original Piaget Polo was a high-society 1980s calling card, worn by Roger Moore and Andy Warhol and launched by original Bond Girl Ursula Andress at the World Polo Cup in Palm Beach, Florida. Its gold bracelet featured a recurring step motif that ran through the case and the dial. Yves Piaget, the company’s chairman, declared it “a watch bracelet, rather than a mere wristwatch”. It was meant to be elitist.
A series of revamps in 2016, 2020 and 2022 repositioned the Polo as a more accessible luxury—most notably the 2016 introduction of the Polo S.
The ‘S’ apparently stood for ‘steel’, ‘style’ and ‘signature’, and the resulting model chimed with a huge appetite for luxury steel sports watches, and proved a hit.
Today Piaget’s website lists 62 different versions of the Polo—from an automatic steel version for just under £10,000 to a white gold diamond dual-time version for just under £70,000, to more extravagant ‘price on request’ versions.
One version of the Polo that hasn’t appeared is a perpetual calendar—the name for a watch that displays the date, day, month and (usually) moon phase, while automatically taking the number of days in the month and the cycle of leap years into account. Considered a feat of miniaturisation, it’s one of the great complications in watchmaking.
And now there’s a Polo version—the 42mm Piaget Polo Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin.
The new model features three sub-dials for the date, month, and day of the week, plus a moon phase indicator at 6 o’clock.
As its name says, it’s a thin watch—just 8.65mm thick. Piaget is well-regarded for its work as a trailblazer in ultra-thin complications. (Back in the day, it produced movements for many of its rivals, including Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Omega.)
Meanwhile, the steel case houses a deep green—almost emerald—dial, the same shade the company used for its Polo Date and Polo Skeleton models last year. The bracelet design echoes the gadroons (parallel rounded strips) of the dial, while the sub-dials use a number of different finishes.
Combined with the amount of text on the watch face—numbers, months, days, baton markers plus the words ‘Piaget’, ‘perpetual’, and ‘calendar’ just in case you needed reminding, there is a lot going on.
But it’s all perfectly balanced, and the result sits somewhere between a dress watch, a grand complication, and a sportier model—an altogether classier affair than might appeal to an opportunistic department store thief.
What’s more, the sheer amount of watchmaking tech squeezed into the ultra-thin case is fairly staggering. Piaget says the calendar functions won’t need adjusting until the year 2100.
Which may be all you really need to know. The rest is just yada, yada, yada.
From: Esquire UK