Robert DeNiro’s Gangster-Glam Watch from ‘Casino’ Is Back in the Piaget Polo 79

The Piaget Polo 79 might just be the coolest sport-chic timepiece of the year, and we’re only one month in.

Piaget has released a reissue of the Polo watch that was a symbol of excess and glam in decades past. Though once viewed as ostentatious and over-the-top, the new Polo 79 hits all the right notes for today’s retro-obsessed and increasingly open-minded watch market. In monochromatic gold, it’s 38mm and thin with a micro-rotor automatic movement—and we’re already giddily calling it one of the standout watches of the year.

 

In 1979, the culture of watch design was about as diverse, chaotic, and varied as anything seen before or since. Conventions of the past were being questions, challenged, and discarded. The marketability of mechanical movements was waning, quartz was becoming king. Some brands clung to their history, their heritage, their tradition, like life rafts which were slowly leaking. Others abandoned ship, departing for wild and untraditional design codes.

Piaget Polo ’79 (Photo: Zen Love)
Piaget Polo ’79 (Photo: Zen Love)

Whether desperate times called for desperate measures, or the industry was in the midst of a renaissance – one could make the argument that this was the Golden Age of avant-garde watch design. With that in mind, few other watches demonstrate the duality of the era more completely – with a company acknowledging and respecting their identity while simultaneously pushing the core of who they were – than the Piaget Polo.

In 1972, the age of the luxury sport watch had begun, though it would be a few years before anyone would realize it. But by 1979, the trend was becoming apparent. The jet set of age of the 60’s and 70’s was about to give way to the glamour and excess of the 1980s. It was at this intersectional point, where leisure and sport were mixing in a dynamic and ever increasingly global way, that Yves Piaget saw the need for a new timepiece.

Piaget Polo ’79 (Photo: Zen Love)
Piaget Polo ’79 (Photo: Zen Love)

The golden sculpture of polished rounded bar and brushed block links that was the Polo spawned multiple additional versions of both round and squared varieties – gem set, high complication, and myriad of watches evolving into the Piaget Polo we know today. The success of the series would come to typify a certain fashion and pop culture iconography, worn by the likes of Ursula Andress, and later, Robert DeNiro in the 1995 film Casino.

Piaget Polo ’79 (Photo: Zen Love)
Piaget Polo ’79 (Photo: Zen Love)

But that was 45 years ago – and now the cyclical tides of fashion have come around once again. Vintage reprisals, reinterpretations, and integrated sport watches have reach almost limitless levels of popularity and demand. Lines of gender specification for a watch’s intended purchaser are increasingly blurred, and fashion itself arriving at a place of self-expression rather than limited trend. In other words, the perfect moment for the original Piaget Polo’s return.

Piaget Polo ’79 (Photo: Zen Love)
Piaget Polo ’79 (Photo: Zen Love)
Piaget Polo ’79 (Photo: Zen Love)
Piaget Polo ’79 (Photo: Zen Love)

Thus, on the most auspicious occasion of the Maison’s 150th anniversary, Piaget has released the Polo 79. It is without a doubt one of the most faithful re-releases of an iconic timepiece in recent years. Gone is the quartz movement of its original era, and in its place is the ultra-thin and masterfully finished calibre 1200P1, its micro rotor on glorious display through the sapphire caseback.

Piaget Polo ’79 (Photo: Zen Love)
Piaget Polo ’79 (Photo: Zen Love)

The category of the integrated-bracelet sport watch has been at the front of mind of virtually the entire watch industry for the past few years. Such is its ubiquity that the very definition of the category has been debated. But even in the most popular of integrated bracelet watches, there is still a degree of demarcation between bracelet and head. This is one of the primary areas in which the Piaget Polo 79 now stands apart. The dial itself is, at least visually, a part of the bracelet – and the bracelet is case and dial. While it is early yet in the year, it is entirely likely that the Polo 79 will (judging by our level of excitement, at least) come to be seen as one of the defining watches of 2024.

Piaget Polo 79 Specs

 

Movement: Piaget 1200P1 automatic

Dimensions: 38mm wide, 7.45mm thick

Materials: 3N yellow gold

Price: $73,000

 

Learn more at Piaget.com

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