Well, this Piaget Black Tie Emperador Coussin Replica limited edition watch for SIHH 2016 wasn’t expected, but it is certainly interesting. People will definitely be talking about Piaget’s $70,000+ mechanical/quartz hybrid that, in design, borrows from the previously released Piaget Emperador Coussin Tourbillon (hands-on here). Visually, just by looking at the watch, you’d have no real way of knowing that it contains a piece of more-modern technology in addition to its “mechanical backbone.”
Last year at SIHH, Cartier made waves with the debut of the men’s Drive de Cartier collection (hands-on here) that featured an all-new cushion-shaped case that has really seemed to resonate with longtime fans. This year, Cartier has added two new models with the Cartier Drive de Cartier Moon Phases watch and the Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat. Initial impressions here are that the Drive de Cartier Moon Phases presents a sufficiently pleasant, yet somewhat obvious option in steel or gold that adds variety to the collection and differentiates itself enough that it will be just right for some, and for others may simply elicit a “why not?” The Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat, however, looks sleek and sexy. In a way, I feel like the Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat realizes what the Drive de Cartier line should be all along. The catch? It’s only available in white or rose gold.
Last summer, in 2016, we saw the release of the Piaget Black Tie Emperador Coussin Replica Polo S and Polo S Chronograph watches. Designed and marketed as an everyday steel watch intended to attract the growing market segment of younger watch aficionados who appreciate in-house movements, unique and versatile design, and look for serious horological cred (#womw is likely a regular part of their social media vocabulary, as well). While there is not too much in the broad $5,000-$10,000 range that checks all these boxes, Piaget may have pulled it off. Now, in addition to their steel bracelet models, here is a limited edition Piaget Polo S with a black ADLC bezel, black dial and a very cool rubber strap that actually has stitching so you don’t look like a goon while climbing the ladder at Credit Suisse. That is, if there are any left, since they are making them in a limited number of 888 – a triple lucky number in Chinese tradition.
The stand-out collector’s (wealthy collector) Piaget watch for 2013 is the Emperador Coussin XL Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater (that we debuted here). In our previous article on the watch we discussed most of the technical specs and we won’t repeat all of those here. This post is about hands-on with the slim and formal minute repeater – a continuation of Piaget’s quest to offer as complete a family of ultra-thin watches as possible.
At 48mm wide the cushion-style case isn’t for everyone. It isn’t for all Piaget fans either. Many of Piaget’s most excellent watches are thin dress watches at about 40mm wide or even less. A 48mm wide minute repeater is a big (literally) departure from those simple classic. However, Piaget doesn’t intend for exclusive models like the Emperador Coussin XL Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater to compete with its other models in any significant way. Stuff like this lives in a relatively thinly populated world of quarter million dollar plus timepieces.
I was surprised when Piaget Black Tie Inspiration Vintage Replica announced the new Polo S and Polo S Chronograph watches in July last year. Piaget already has a sports watch in the Polo FortyFive, but a new luxury sports watch in steel wasn’t something I was expecting from them. But with the benefit of hindsight, a luxury sports watch in steel is something that Piaget absolutely needs. The new Piaget Polo S and Polo S Chronograph watches are important for the brand because, first, their designs are more appealing to younger audiences, and second, they are considerably more affordable than Piaget’s more typical ultra-thin and dressy watches. So it is with these thoughts in mind today that I check out the new Piaget Polo S Chronograph watch as well as the Polo S Chronograph in black ADLC with a rubber strap, the non-chronograph version of which we also covered.
Piaget’s flagship men’s watch for 2011 is the Emperador Coussin Tourbillon Automatic Ultra-Thin. I first wrote about the watch here. There you can learn more about the technical details there and in the Haute Living article that I wrote. In this article I would like to talk more about being with the watch now that I have been able to molest it for a bit.
Piaget was really proud about releasing this watch, but also I think they were a bit nervous as to the reaction. The design of it is very experimental and not something you are used to with a typically clean face Piaget watch. The brand’s highly popular Altiplano Automatic 43 has a dial that is thematically opposite to this tourbillon. What they share is a “thin” outlook on life. They are both very thin in size for what they are. The Altiplano Automatic 43 is the thinnest automatic watch in the world, and the Tourbillon Automatic is the thinnest automatic tourbillon watch in the world. But Piaget designed them to look like really distant cousins despite being under the same brand name.
If one could distill a tuxedo into wristwatch form, no doubt it would resemble the Piaget Black Tie “Vintage Inspiration,” one of the brand’s most anticipated offerings at SIHH 2015 – and it didn’t disappoint when the ABTW team got their hands on it. True to its name, the Piaget Black Tie, like many of the most celebrated (and debated) watch releases in recent years, offers a new twist on a vintage model from the brand’s history. But how it contemporizes its retro inspiration in its choice of movement affects the nostalgic impact of what proves one of the most elegant dress-watch offerings we’ve seen this year.
Say friend, are you looking for a fancy formal watch that isn’t quite like anything else but won’t make your friends do a double take? Well then Piaget might just have something for you. This new collection for 2012 is a sort of amalgamation watch taking into consideration design cues from many different Piaget timepieces including the Polo, Emperador, and Altiplano. It isn’t round, it isn’t a cushion, it isn’t minimalistic, it isn’t sporty. It is somewhere in between all these things and feels like Piaget’s best stab at recreating the magic which is the durable design of Patek Philippe’s Calatrava family.
At SIHH 2017, Swiss Piaget Black Tie Emperador Coussin Replica released two new versions of a timepiece originally re-leased back in 2015. Back then it was called the Piaget Black Tie Vintage Inspiration watch and was produced as a limited edition. For 2017, the Piaget Vintage Inspiration watch is in two new versions, again as limited editions, with a modest price decrease, and a very sexy meteorite dial option.
“Vintage Inspiration” is probably not the best name Piaget could have chosen for this or any other watch. If only because a great majority of their timepieces are inspired either wholly or partly by vintage models. Piaget really wanted to call it the “Andy Warhol,” but couldn’t for obvious legal reasons. According to them, the reason they brought this design back in the first place was because they saw images of Mr. Warhol wearing a vintage Piaget timepiece that looked a lot like it (only in a smaller size). So for those that know (which now includes you), “Vintage Inspiration” is Piaget’s way of saying “if Andy Warhol liked it, so might you.”