Ralph Lauren’s watch collection will, we hear, introduce a significant number of new models this year, and as an introduction we’ve been vouchsafed a first look at a 39mm edition of the Sporting collection’s Classic Chronometer. This is, as they say, exactly what it says on the tin: a 39mm version of the Sporting Collection’s 44mm Classic Chronometer. The Sporting Collection includes the RL67 Safari watches, as well as the Sporting World Time, Sporting Guilloche (chronographs), the Sporting Chronographs (in various sizes, on straps and bracelets) the Sporting Automotive watches (with burlwood dial inserts, famously inspired by the dash of Lauren’s 57SC Atlantic Bugatti) and the Sporting Chronograph Ceramic watches. All Sporting collection watches have in common a core case design, with tapered lugs, six bezel screws, screwed-in attachments for the strap (or bracelet) and Roman numerals –in general Ralph Lauren’s preferred the running seconds indication in a sub-dial at six-o’clock, although in keeping with their slightly more sporty, instrumental vibe, the Safari watches have a conspicuous red center seconds hand.
At 39mm the new Sporting Classic Chronometer looks to be a winner. The lines of the Sporting collection cases put together several of Ralph Lauren’s favorite design cues –a bit of retro, even archaic, Deco era charm in the elongated lugs, with the machine-celebrating aesthetic of exposed screws on the case and use of (in general) Roman numerals and somewhat formal sword or Breguet style hands making the Sporting watches quietly refined celebrations of the Deco era’s love of the machine aesthetic, combined with its foregrounding of the luxury of materials; this without too directly or obviously quoting any particular Art Deco era watch design. Essentially they’re the kind of watches that Ralph Lauren probably would have designed if he’d been designing watches in 1928 –which is exactly the point.
Stay tuned for more from Ralph Lauren from this year’s edition of the SIHH, and check out the entire collection here.