If you’ve ever seen or attended a polo match in Argentina, you know about the sport’s brutal reality. There are the massive crowds, the boisterous fans. The ultra-competitive athletes, recognized as “hired assassins,” going full-tilt on the pitch. It’s all surprisingly violent.
The rarefied universe of Ralph Lauren paints a different picture. Chalk it up to decades of brilliant marketing, advertising, and brand-building. Polo is evocative here, the aspirational and compelling concept that gave Ralph Lauren a winning company name in 1967. Soon after, the concept was distilled down to a singular icon, woven into the body of a shirt: man, mallet, and steed. The emblem became an indispensable mascot, representing a lifestyle that’s equally sporty, elegant, and tasteful. Now, the symbol has taken its rightful place on the dial of a new line of timepieces.
“My new Polo watch with the symbol of the Polo player artfully rendered on the dial represents the timeless spirit of authenticity that has always inspired me,” says Lauren.
Said player is rendered with a multi-layered colorful three-dimensional effect, surrounded by luminescent Arabic numerals, with the Polo name appearing on the rotating bezel. There are three lacquered dials offered inside a traditional stainless steel case: green, navy blue, and black. The latter dial can also be had with a PVD-coated stainless case.
Still, like Ralph Lauren’s endlessly adaptable fashion collections, the straps are where the self-expression really begins. Mix-and-match fabric straps (inspired by Ralph Lauren’s shirtings) can be easily swapped out for leather straps and steel bracelets. Perhaps the most desirable is a NATO strap printed with the PoloSport logo, inspired by resurgent interest in vintage Lauren wares from the 1990s, now fiercely sought collector’s items for the hypebeast set.
That’s not to say the new Polo Watch is a mere fashion item. Where most competing brands opt for simple quartz movements, Mr. Lauren’s personal love of mechanical watches shines through by way of an automatic Swiss movement, Caliber RL200, manufactured by Sellita. Elevating the watch further, this movement is decorated with vertical Côtes de Genève stripes and circular graining known as perlage, visible through the sapphire crystal open caseback. Power reserve is 38 hours, and the case is water-resistant up to 100 meters.
Joining last year’s Polo Bear collection, these irreverent and sporty timepieces are a notable departure from the first watch collections that debuted in 2018, in celebration of Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary. Repositioning the Polo Watch collections as more utilitarian makes sense; in what has proven to be an unpredictable year, the move seems both smart and agile. It’s also a reminder that Ralph Lauren’s expertise in the fast-paced, ever-changing world of fashion is among the brand’s greatest assets.
The other, of course, is worldwide recognition. So while the Polo Watch collection might just be hitting stores now, the appearance of the signature Polo Player makes each piece seem like an old friend. That familiarity, now more customizable and accessible than before, is almost sure to hit home with a range of customers.
“A watch is like a piece of art with a quality and character that goes beyond functionality. It is the most personal accessory, and during times like these, a most reassuring piece of who we are, of one’s personal style,” says Lauren. “It feels like a classic because it has been part of our heritage for almost fifty years.”
Sellita Automatic Swiss Made movement, Caliber RL200, 26 jewels, Frequency 28’000 vibrations per hour (4 Hz) Power reserve of 38 hours, Vertical Côtes de Genève and pelage (circular graining)
42 MM stainless steel polished case; black PVD stainless steel with black eloxed aluminum bezel; green eloxed Aluminum bezel, blue eloxed Aluminum bezel, or black eloxed Aluminum bezel; white Super-LumiNova Arabic numbers; curved sapphire crystal, internal colorless anti-reflective treatment; open caseback with sapphire crystal; water resistance to 10 bar (100 meters); Crown: Stainless steel with Pony logo.
Green, blue, black lacquered with 3-D printed polo player; White Super-LumiNova printed Arabic numbers; white printed minute track; black with white Super-LumiNova sword-shaped hour and minute hands; red seconds hand.
Stainless steel three-link bracelet with interchangeable pin bar/quick release; tie silk and tan leather strap; tan calf leather strap; NATO strap with POLOSPORT printing; and black sandblasted stainless steel three-link bracelet for the black PVD stainless steel model.
USD 1,650 to 2,150 depending on dial/strap combination