Friday, November 15, 2019

Ralph Lauren Polo Bear Collection

From the Amazon Prime Series Jack Ryan -

Nicolás Reyes: [coming down from his horse] Do you know anything about polo?

James Greer: I know Ralph Lauren makes a great shirt.

Courtesy of Ralph Lauren
For those of you who don't have HBO, I highly recommend that you find a way to watch the documentary on Ralph Lauren.  

It aired last night (at the original time of writing this article) from 9:00 PM, and whether you appreciate fashion, a success story, you are a fan of artists and what drives them, or simply enjoy a true entrepreneurial story?  Get it in front of you and watch it.  It is worth your time.
Courtesy of Ralph Lauren
I will not craft a false narrative and say to anyone that I was a fan of the first iteration of the Ralph Lauren watch collection.  They just weren't my jam.  While it was (and as far as I know still) is a partnership with Richemont, and while the look is classic, I just felt that the same thing was available through other Richemont brands.   The Ralph Lauren collection evolved and grew, but for whatever reason it never really resonated with me.
Courtesy of Ralph Lauren
And then something happened this past BaselWorld.  A Ralph Lauren watch changed my mind, and did so in the highly unlikely form of an earlier Ralph Lauren Bear watch being worn on the wrist of a young blogger from Singapore.  Think about this for a minute, BaselWorld is the ultimate vanity/ego trip for those of us in the media.  We fret and worry about which watch to wear because we want to stay "fresh" in the eyes of our peers.  And you will see some extraordinary pieces from time to time - tourbillons, equations of time, I could be wrong but I might have seen one last year that can make a cappuccino ; )  Remember, we are the lucky few that from time to time will be gifted with prototypes and other rare one-offs that can't be bought or sold.  So what did this dashing young man have on one of his wrists?  A Polo Bear watch.  And I am not engaging in hyperbole when I tell you that this watch got a lot of attention.  Not because it was a tourbillon, not because it was crafted of Unobtanium, nor because the dial was varnished with the tears of unicorns.  The real reason?

It was FUN!  And it spoke to me and to the several journalists, collectors and even independent brand owners that were gathered around our mini-fair at the HYPE.  And the more I think about it, it isn't too difficult to understand.  For the same reason that I continually hope that some brand will make a truly solid, classic, mechanical Tintin or Snoopy watch, this young man's Polo Bear watch hit that wonderfully joyful visceral button.  It spoke to the idea of why we like watches in the first place.  It goes without saying that in today's world, you don't NEED a watch.  You want one.  

And my personal favorite out of the new collection?
Courtesy of Ralph Lauren
The Tuxedo 42 mm.  It just speaks to me.

Here are the pertinents -

Automatic Swiss movement, made by Sellita Caliber: RL200, 11’’’1/2, 26 jewels Frequency: 28'800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz) Power reserve : ~38 hours
Decor: Vertical Côtes de Genève and perlage (circular graining)

Hours, minutes, central seconds

Stainless steel, polished
42.00 mm
Thickness: 10.7 mm
Curved sapphire crystal, internal colourless anti-reflective treatment 
Open case back with sapphire
Inter-lug width: 20.00 mm
Water resistance: 5 bar (~50 m)
Crown: Stainless Steel with Pony logo

Color: Off White (creamy) lacquered
Black Arabic numbers, printed Bear 3D printed

Hour, minute: red, lacquered Second: Shiny black, lacquered

Black Alligator, 20mm/18mm – 115/75mm

Pin buckle 18.00 mm, polished

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