Elegance, timelessness, refinement: the famous designer from across the Atlantic also hones its values in high-end timepieces.
“Like all my creations, my watches must have character and show a timeless sense of style and luxury. With them too, I seek to express a way of life in all authenticity », explains Ralph Lauren. At the origin of a real life universe, he built an empire whose story could be the scenario of a great Hollywood movie.
Born in the Bronx, this son of Russian Ashkenazi Jewish emigrants dreamed of playing basketball. Instead of a sports career, young Ralph Lifschitz became a stylist in 1967, launching a line of ties, then polo shirts. Over the years, his vision of aesthetics has asserted itself through collections of ready-to-wear, decoration, furniture and perfume. What we applaud under the Ralph Lauren name has become synonymous with American style luxury and New York bourgeois chic embellished with western references.
In 2008, he set out to defeat watchmaking with the desire to bet, once again, on quality and knowledge. Although a fashion legend, Ralph Lauren refused to give his name to “fashion watches” and chose to enter through the great door of time measurement by joining the powerful Richemont group (Cartier, Piaget, IWC , Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, etc. ).
His first collection will also be presented at the Geneva International Fine Watchmaking Show, the famous SIHH, which became the Watches & Wonders show. Its approach is both simple and effective: combining the refined movements of Swiss manufactures with its brand’s most famous sources of inspiration.
The elegance of the rider inspired the Stirrup watch in the shape of a stirrup, currently revisited in all black and tied with a chain or a calfskin strap reminiscent of a rider’s saddle. The new version of the automatic chronograph is powered by a caliber specially created by the watchmaking Manufacture ValFleurier (MHVF).
Owned by the Richemont group, the company also supplied the chronograph engine for the Automotive line, born of Ralph Lauren’s love for his collection of vintage cars and, in particular, for his 1938 Bugatti Atlantic.This is probably the most beautiful car in the world. You can admire it for hours without getting tired of its beauty », said the gentleman driver. The result: the amboyna burl bezel of the Automotive Chronograph gives rise to a dashboard of this car as rare as it is refined.
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As it’s all about Ralph Lauren references, the recent Polo Vintage 67 in aged and patinated stainless steel reflects the designer’s passion for timepieces from the early 1920s and 1930s. Classically styled, it combines an onion crown and a Hand-wound caliber designed by the manufacture of La Joux-Perret.
But the latest launch concerns the 867 collection, which redefines the beauty of Art Deco by adapting it to today’s man. A quartet of pure watches have a square shape in sterling silver or 18-carat pink gold. Underneath the white lacquer dials, inlaid with Roman and Arabic numerals, beats an ultra-thin hand-wound caliber delivered by the specialist in ultra-thin watchmaking: Piaget.
Ralph Lauren store
52 boulevard de Waterloo in 1000 Brussels
02 511 82 08 – www.ralphlauren.fr
An air of Bugatti