Celebrating the Western Lifestyle Ralph Lauren Introduces the Western Watch CollectionBy Keith W. Strandberg
Ralph Lauren celebrates the brand’s 50th anniversary with a very distinctive set of watches – the Western Watch Collection.
This is a project that has been in the works for a long time, but the brand wanted to wait to introduce it during the 50th anniversary celebrations, which are underway now.
The Western Watch Collection is in total five pieces, three wristwatches and two pocket watches, crafted in either antiqued sterling silver or antiqued 18K rose gold. All the pieces are engraved in a Western style, echoing the vintage rodeo and concho belts Mr. Lauren himself wears.
The opening timepiece is a 42mm cushion case, which is heavily engraved and available in both antiqued silver or antiqued gold. Powered by a mechanical movement made for Ralph Lauren by Piaget, this timepiece uses the same vintage-inspired off-white dials as the rest of the collection.
The round models are powered by the same movement and are likewise available in both antiqued silver or antiqued gold. One additional round piece is the RL Western Round Skeleton. The engraving found on the cases of this and the other watches finds its way onto the main bridges and baseplate of the movement itself.
The wristwatches come with two straps, one crocodile and other a hand-tooled leather strap that is done in the USA, in Texas. The cases are engraved in Ralph Lauren’s New York City workshop, by a master craftsman. Because of the handwork, each of these watches will differ slightly from all the others, making each a piece unique.
“We manufacture the cases and the parts in Switzerland, then they are shipped to New York, where we do the engraving,” Guillaume Tetu, VP of Ralph Lauren Watches and Jewelry, details in an exclusive conversation with Revolution. “We also do the antiquing in New York, then the parts are shipped back to Switzerland and assembled. The leather straps are hand-tooled in Texas, then the dyeing and finishing is done in Europe.
“This new Western Watch Collection is so Ralph Lauren, it has the legacy of Ralph Lauren, and the design is such a part of the Ralph Lauren world, which is a really good thing,” Tetu adds.
The prices for these timepieces, which are limited production, are from $24,000 – $58,000. Due to the amount of work that goes into these, customers will be able to customize the pieces, with special engravings or different color straps.
The Pocket Watches
In keeping with the Western engraving theme, there are two pocket watches in the collection as well. The first pocket watch is in 18-karat antiqued rose gold using a manual wind movement.
The most exclusive piece in the collection, with only 50 for the world, is the hunter pocket watch in sterling silver. The cover features a floral motif incorporating two types of engraving techniques, and it is finished with an antiqued gold RL logo and steer head detail. The head is cast from a hand-carved mold and set with ruby eyes.
“I think the spirit of Western style has a rugged elegance and authenticity that people want to relate to,” says Ralph Lauren. “There’s both a sensibility and honesty that gives it an enduring appeal.”
The Western Watch Collection was just introduced and the plan is to have these timepieces on the wrists and in the pockets of the first customers in November.