Of Wheels and Watches: The Piaget Polo S, and the Mini Countryman JCW
Having a passion for watches and for cars are frequently things that run connected at the hip. Regardless of whether it’s an appreciation for their mechanical complexity, their exquisite or sometimes outlandish design, or simply a certain je ne sait quoi that draws in those struck by the gatherer bug, the two run connected at the hip as well as wine and cheese, or Scotch and a decent stogie. All things considered, aside from the obvious pairings where brands have dispatched restricted version watches in partnership with automakers or race teams (Zenith and Range Rover, and Oris and Williams F1 come to mind), finding a watch that is coordinated to a vehicle from a design and execution standpoint isn’t always easy. This specific blending — the Piaget Polo S, and the Mini Countryman John Cooper Works—came as somewhat of a surprise instead of an arranged coordination. Despite Piaget’s watch models reigning in prominence, the brand needed something somewhat extraordinary.
Having as of late been examining this newest version of the Polo S, sporting a more casual elastic strap and a dark ADLC treated bezel, I found the refreshed variation of the watch to be substantially more casual and sporting than its siblings. All things considered, it still maintains that degree of polished refinement anticipated from the Piaget make. It’s precisely that combination of sporting nature, execution, and refinement that caused the Polo S to adjust so well with the Mini that I had just ended up booking out for an end of the week cruise (also the coordinating shading range of the two mechanical marvels).
A Piaget Polo S is the ideal compliment to the Mini Countryman
In the case of the Mini, having always had an interest in the more execution biased corner of the vehicle industry, I ended up in the driver’s seat of the bigger Countryman model in John Cooper Works trim. For those new to the name, John Cooper started constructing rally cars back in 1946, and in 1961 (two years after the first since forever Mini was divulged) he assembled the first historically speaking Mini Cooper which would soon proceed to become somewhat of an obscure hustling legend, winning the Monte Carlo Rally in ’64, ’65, and ’67. With the recovery of the John Cooper Works nameplate, the advanced Mini (possessed by BMW) has made a scope of cars with improved motor execution, suspension tuning, and slowing down intended to revive that elite essence from days passed by. Albeit the current Minis are significantly bigger and heavier than their predecessors, even the most basic of models still have a very much tuned steering and taking care of almost likened to the experience of driving a go-kart.
Turning back to the Piaget Polo S, there’s a lot to be said for its internal workings as well, when taking a gander at its specifications. Piaget made the new in-house made Caliber 1160P for the dispatch of the Polo S line—a bi-compax chronograph with a date window at 6 o’clock, showing registers for chronograph hours and minutes, however no running seconds subdial. While some will positively complain about the absence of running seconds on the dial, I have an alternate point of view. Given the decision, I very much want the appearance of a two-register chronograph versus a three-register , however in the same breath I discover there to be something slightly useless about a chronograph that can just tally 30 minutes. Thus to have it both ways, the format of the Polo S chrono is the best way to go. Returning to the type itself, it’s a section wheel chronograph with a vertical grasp, and exceptionally nitty gritty finishing of the type visible through a sapphire display caseback. Over to the dial side, it’s hard not to attract a loose corresponding to the Patek Nautilus given the dial’s level ridging, and to the Aquanaut given its case shape and smooth bezel, anyway having really dealt with said watches side-by-side after the underlying dispatch of the Polo S, there’s a distinctly extraordinary feel to the Piaget that doesn’t always translate until it’s on-wrist. Also, in this shading combination the thing that matters is considerably more perceptible. Its dark ADLC bezel gives the Polo S the illusion of being slightly smaller on-wrist than its steel siblings, and the expansion of a red tip to its seconds hand was the ideal little detail that pulls the entire look together.
The John Cooper Mini Countryman: photograph courtesy of Mini
That same red/dark combo proves similarly fitting on the John Cooper Works Mini Countryman as well. By comparison to the regular Mini, the stout all-wheel drive 4-entryway bring forth is in no way, shape or form svelte, anyway a dark outside hides some of its weight, while its roofline, mirrors and grille are complemented with a splendid lipstick shade of red. I could easily manage without the red detail that surrounds its grille, yet otherwise the combo works. Visuals aside, the Countryman is still a genuine mob to drive. Controlled by a 2.0L turbocharged motor, the “huge Mini” delivers 228 horsepower and 258 ft/lb of force basically just off of inactive. At speed you’ll take note of that force seems to drop off a touch in front of the redline, yet BMW/Mini engineers have since quite a while ago kept a focus on street going force demands, and the compromise for low to mid-range force is a worthy one. Contingent upon the sort of roads you’ll be on, its suspension is very firm without being bone shaking. It also has some SERIOUS stopping power by virtue of its exceptionally huge set of fixed Brembo calipers. In the Mini’s inside, the shading combo carries through, and from a utilitarian standpoint there is abundant space and suitable comfort for four grown-up passengers. While its not a 100k+ BMW 7-series, the materials used in its inside are more than reasonable, and unless you go burrowing around to kick panels and things you’re not intended to contact in the first spot, the entirety of its surfaces feel suitably sturdy.
At the day’s end, both the Polo S and Mini Countryman JCW land in the same corner of the market. A first rate, amusing to wear (or drive) creation that isn’t necessarily the best watch or best vehicle on earth, however delivers everything you could look for from a sporty day by day wearer/day by day driver.