Ralph Lauren : When watchmaking turns time upside down

Sporting Safari RL67
Case: steel with Gunmetal finish, tinted sapphire back Diameter: 45 mm Movement: self-winding Caliber RL 750, 28,800 vph, 65-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph Strap: washed out olive green canvas, leather lining, pin buckle matching the case Water resistance: 50m

It’s time to set off for the great African plains at the wheel of a jeep with the all-new Sporting Safari RL67 chronograph, equipped with the self-winding RL 750 movement developed by Jaeger-LeCoultre for Ralph Lauren. The Safari ambience has been an integral part of the Ralph Lauren world since 1984 – a year before the cult film Out of Africa was released – when the designer presented his first fashion collection on this theme. Highlighting its use of original materials, the new watch creation brilliantly combines design, innovation and expertise. Fitted with a washed out olive green canvas strap lined with leather, it displays the hours, minutes, small seconds and chronograph functions on a matte varnished black dial enhanced with white, a luminescent substance and a shiny orange accent, framed by a truly astonishing case. Available in 39 and 45 millimetre diameters, it features a rugged surface ranging from deep grey to intense black – a unique aesthetic achieved by hand-made finishes performed by a master artisan on each of the components. The chemical and thermal treatment applied to steel is one generally used in the field of weaponry. In addition to the gunmetal effect, this innovative treatment substantially increases the durability of steel, making it harder than that generally used for watch cases.
The gunmetal finishes calls for extreme precision and a concern for detail worthy of the most advanced watchmaking techniques. The innovative procedure stems from a lengthy, demanding and delicate process associating cutting-edge technologies with hand-crafted expertise. Ralph Lauren has borrowed the technique from the weaponry industry and has ensured its compatibility with contemporary watchmaking standards. The high-precision tools used at each stage to endow the model with its distinctive character are individually hand-crafted. Each of the watch components – case, bezel, crown, pushers, screw and buckle – are in turn sandblasted, shotpeened, brushed, polished and chamfered. This treatment serves to create satin-brushed and matte surface effects as well as subtle nuances ranging from anthracite grey to deep black. The Gunmetal finish that lends the Sporting Safari RL67 its exceptional character reveals perfect technical mastery firmly establishing the watchmaking spirit of the House.



Driven by a passionate interest in style and in watchmaking, Ralph Lauren designs watches imbued with strong character and spread between four collections : Stirrup, Slim Classique, 867 and Sporting – the latter being the vehicle through which he likes to express another of his passions : automobiles. The interior of one of his collector’s cars, a 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupé, inspired him to create a dial enhanced with genuine elm burl. This precious wood, a signature feature on upscale car dashboards, offers a striking contrast with the galvanized black base of the display zone of the Sporting Automotive model. In 2012, it appears with a steel bracelet making a perfect match with the masculine lines of the round case studded with six screws. The hand-wound RL 98295 movement powering it was developed for Ralph Lauren by IWC.

With the Sporting Chronograph Black Ceramic, Ralph Laurent turns the spotlight on the world of competition. This model is made from zircon ceramics, a light and highly resistant high-tech material that makes it as comfortable as it is scratch-resistant. The new models feature the vivid shades of racing colors through rows of bright red or yellow links running along the center of the bracelets. These chronographs are equipped with self-winding Caliber RL 750 developed for Ralph Lauren by Jaeger-LeCoultre.


1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupé
Car belonging to the private collection of Mr. Ralph Lauren


Sporting Automotive
Case: steel, sapphire crystal caseback Diameter: 45 mm Movement: hand-wound Caliber RL 98285, 18,000 vph, 45-hour power reserve Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds Bracelet: steel Water resistance: 50 m



Sporting Chronograph Black Ceramic
Case: ceramic with tinted sapphire caseback Diameter: 45mm Movement: self-winding Caliber RL 750, 28,800 vph, 48-hour power reserve Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph Bracelet: ceramic, colorful rubber links Water resistance: 50 m


The imprint of time-honored expertise
Since its launch in 2009, the House of Ralph Lauren has chosen to ennoble its collections by highlighting the ancient engraving technique known as guillochage. Initially introduced in its Slim Classique line, it now also appears on other models. Adorned with a complex pattern of 80 waves spiraling outward from the dial center, this emblematic “barleycorn” motif extends over the curves of the bezel. The Ralph Laurent Sporting Chronograph Guilloché now pursues the path forged by the Slim Classique and 867 by combining the art of hand guilloché decoration with the material that best symbolizes the 20th century : steel. Offering a powerful evocation of sporting elegance, this chronograph features a resolutely more classic and timeless aesthetic.
Guillochage calls for the mastery of a guilloché lathe or “rose engine” that the master engraver uses to create extremely complex and regular patterns. This work is performed by highly qualified artisans who gain complete mastery of this skill through many years of practice. First used in the 18th century, guillochage is a painstaking and demanding procedure. The part to be worked is carefully fitted on the lathe. Guides known as rosettes are then used to help the craftsman’s hand to direct the tip of the burin or graver as it moves over the dial or case. It is the artisan who controls the rotation speed and the pressure exercised by the tool. Precision, regularity and absolute concentration are essential in order to guarantee the flawless excellence of the motif and the depth of the engraving. The artisan follows the process extremely closely, generally by means of a powerful magnifying glass or a lower-power binocular microscope. A technique that calls for patience and close attention, an art that tolerates no compromise. The art of guillochage is so rare that only a handful of skilled artisans still exercise this age-old technique. Ralph Laurent guilloché watches are distinguished by their original and unique décor. In the dial center, a “barleycorn” guilloché motif is created in a series or regular interwoven waves, radiating outward like concentric circles. These are exactly the kind of details that set the signature touch of true perfection.



Sporting Chronograph Guilloché
Case: steel, guilloché bezel and dial Diameter: 39 or 45mm Movement: self-winding RL Caliber 750, 28,800 vph, 48h power reserve Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph Strap: alligator leather Water resistance: 50m


Slim Classique
Case: pink or white gold, guilloché bezel and dial Diameter: 38 or 42mm Case: hand-wound, 21,600 vph, 40h power reserve Functions: hours, minutes Strap: alligator leather Water resistance: 30m


Case: white gold, guilloché bezel and dial Dimensions: 27.5 X 27.5mm Movement: hand-wound RL Caliber 430, 21,600 vph, 40h power reserve Functions: hours, minutes Strap: alligator leather Water resistance: 30m

Journaliste experte en horlogerie, Marie présente des nouveautés et s’occupe de la rubrique 12e Art (l’art de la mesure du temps), qui établit un parallèle avec les arts classiques.

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