Flash News: Ralph Lauren Sporting Automotive Chronograph

By Thierry Ané on November 13, 2014

Along the sophisticated “867” line named after the prestigious 867 Madison Avenue flagship, the refined “Slim Classique” offer with its finely-crafted guilloché bezel and dial, and the unmistakable “Stirrup” collection inspired by the equestrian world so dear to the brand, the “Sporting” timepieces form the fourth pillar of Ralph Lauren’s vison of Fine Watchmaking.

As the name implies, the “Sporting” line-up regroups the more laid-back but still exquisitely designed models produced by the brand. This relaxed way of life has always been at the heart of Mr Lauren’s fashion since the very beginning and a huge part of the brand’s success. And, for watches just like for clothes, this environment seems more conductive to expressing Mr Lauren’s passions than any other.

Safari and life in the savannah have always been a constant in the brand’s creations and, as they put it, “a dream to which Ralph Lauren often returns”. Through the “Sporting Safari RL67” models including time-only chronometers, chronographs, or even tourbillons with a very evocative steel case featuring a gunmetal finish, it is now a theme explored in the watch collections.

Automobiles and particularly vintage cars are another well-known passion of Mr Lauren who happens to be a seasoned collector generous enough to share his treasures with the public, for instance with the magnificent Classic Car Collection Exhibition organised in Paris in 2011. Not surprisingly, the brand has decided to use the “Sporting” collection to express Mr Lauren’s love for the astonishing sleek lines of yesteryear cars and incorporate them into sporty and elegant watches.

Ralph Lauren takes inspiration from his classic cars collection

Many beautiful creations have been presented since the very first Sporting Automotive model was unveiled in 2012. This time-only creation was soon followed by a rendition with a steel bracelet and by a more high-end Sporting Automotive Flying Tourbillon in black PVD steel earlier this year. In 2013, we even discovered a surprising Sporting Automotive Chronograph in dark green resin-coated titanium. However beautiful this last rendition was, it remained quite cutting-edge and perhaps not sober enough to become the chronograph of choice of most watch aficionados.

At the SIHH 2015 that will take place in January in Geneva, Ralph Lauren will finally introduce a more classic-looking chronograph version of their “Sporting Automotive” series. The Sporting Automotive Chronograph presents the same round 44.80 mm case as last year’s dark green version with the identifiable six screws on the bezel but this time simply crafted in stainless steel. With its black alligator strap featuring black Alsavel lining and secured by a traditional stainless steel pin buckle, the chronograph now puts on a more refined appearance and seems ready to become a timeless classic.

Like the rest of the “Sporting Automotive” collection, the new model is immediately identifiable by its highly original and beautifully made dial featuring a black matte galvanic centre and a brown elm burl wood outer décor reminiscent of Mr Lauren’s Bugatti 57SC Atlantic Coupe dashboard. A black flange with a tachymeter scale, medium-sized Arabic numerals and sword-shaped hands with beige Super-LumiNova perfect the vintage look of this multi-purpose timepiece.

Inside the watch beats the self-winding RL751A/1 calibre, a Swiss movement developed by Jaeger-LeCoultre exclusively for Ralph Lauren. It offers 65 hours of power reserve and features traditional Haute Horlogerie finishing like perlage and Côtes de Genève decorations that you can admire through the sapphire crystal on the back of the watch.

Watch Agora will of course come back to this Sporting Automotive Chronograph and the rest of Ralph Lauren’s introductions after the SIHH with our live pictures and videos directly from the exhibition. But if this sneak peek is any indication of what to expect, we truly look forward to discoreving the rest of the novelties…

For more information please visit the Ralph Lauren Watches web site.

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: