The Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif has an inviting appearance and proffers an ambrosial flavour to metaphorically delight my tastebuds.
It is easy to become nonchalant about watches costing six figure sums when you see them every day in your professional life. Writing about watches can result in you becoming increasingly blasé about incredible timepieces. There is a distinct risk of becoming detached from reality.
At times you appraise a watch and immediately compare it to other offerings you have seen in the past. It becomes more difficult to inspire awe in the cynical eyes of journalists.
I am a relative newcomer to watch journalism. My eyes still have a virgin-like innocence. I still enter the horological sweet shop, scarcely believing the array of delights which are laid in front of me. Those who know me well, will concur I hungrily devour all that I see. Some horological treats are not to my taste and one inquisitive lick of the outer shell and I set them aside. However, there are many wonderful confections which I gutsily devour.
My waistline has expanded whilst writing about watches, both in a physical and figurative sense. I need to reduce my intake and savour the flavour of the finest.
There is now a horological delicacy I wish to taste. The Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif has an inviting appearance and proffers an ambrosial flavour to metaphorically delight my tastebuds.
The white gold version of the watch is my preferred model. The restraint of its hue provides balance to the flamboyance of its minute hand which is oversized and blends both polished and satin-brushed finishes to enticing effect. The tip of the hand is squared, broad and bold. The satin-brushed tip guides the eye to the chapter ring.
Unusually, the tourbillon carriage is suspended from the opposite side of the minute hand tip. It resembles a counterbalance. The carriage consists of 42 parts and weighs a mere 0.2 grams. It is constructed of titanium, featuring three bridges.
The revolving tourbillon carriage provides a spectacle which would mesmerise the most insouciant beholder. It spins around its axis once per minute. The mechanical choreography has a hypnotic allure which will never cease to captivate those who witness its horological wonder.
Hours are indicated by a central disc, located centre stage. Adjacent the disc is a snailed central section to the dial. It is detailed with Arabic numerals imparting 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 9 o’clock and noon. The intervening hours are marked with simple batons, tapering towards the centre of the dial.
The chapter ring is marked with a combination of minute marks and Arabic numerals, the latter arranged in intervals of ten. This is set against a silver section of dial with sunray motif.
The dial is complex in its construction, yet somehow simple in its presentation. It imparts information with brevity, but in a cultured, measured tone.
A case diameter of 45 mm is substantial and confers value with its ample dimensions.
The union of strap and case is neat. The two elements appear to fuse together seamlessly.
The crown nuzzles the caseband, barely protruding. It has a stylised “P” on its vertical flank, reminding the wearer this is a Piaget timepiece, a son of Geneva.
Satin brushed surfaces on the bezel, sit adjacent polished horizontal stripes running from east to west. They coquettishly toy with light. Their seductive strategy elicits covetous stares from this self-confessed horological fetishist.
The caseband and caseback are highly polished. The latter is solid and engraved. I mourn the absence of a sapphire caseback. Piaget are exponents of haute horology and this movement employs fine finishing. A solid caseback feels sacrilegious, hiding much of the exceptional craftsmanship practised by the artisans of this prestigious maison.
Piaget is “manufacture”, that is to say, they make their own movements.
The movement is the “Manufacture Piaget 608P hand-wound tourbillon relatif”. Beyond the lengthy nomenclature, is a movement with a fine specification.
The mainplate is circular-grained by hand. I never tire of perlage, especially when it is presented to such an elevated standard as found on this movement.
The carriage is bevelled and drawn by hand. Blued screws impart a regal hue with the etiquette befitting a horological aristocrat. The bridges are circular grained, drawn and bevelled by hand. They feature a circular Côtes de Genève motif.
Twin barrels help provide an impressive power reserve of 80 hours. This is remarkable when you consider the energy requirement necessary to drive the tourbillon carriage. The frugal consumption of energy is partly due to the light weight of the titanium carriage.
The persona of the case is modern, congruent with the dial, yet within the watch resides traditional craftsmanship which confers virtue with each distilled detail.
Piaget have earned a reputation for their jewellery and haute joaillerie timepieces. However, it is this version minus gems which appeals to me the most. It provides innovation and striking looks but without superfluous details which would overload the offer.
At times, like many, I satisfy my voracious appetite with a sandwich on the hoof, a speedily consumed sticky bun or hearty bowl of soup. These satisfy my hunger with minimalist consideration on my part and little effort on the part of the provider. Sometimes in life, you crave a finely prepared meal, blending complimentary flavours accompanied with a fragrant fine wine.
This is a timepiece which has a taste blessed with aromatic notes and a pleasing piquancy.
The Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif is a horological delicacy to savour. It is a rare, occasional indulgence. It is not a watch you would wear everyday but save for a special occasion where it will fulfil your wants with the horological equivalent of calorific cuisine, created without compromise, provoking thought with every nuance of its flavour.
Model: Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif in white gold
Case: 18-carat white gold; diameter 45.00 mm; height 13.2 mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback.
Functions: Hours; minutes; tourbillon.
Movement: Manufacture 608P, hand-wound; frequency 21,600vph (3Hz); 27 jewels; power reserve 80 hours; 163 parts.
Strap: Black leather strap supplied on folding clasp.
Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.