Ralph Lauren’s New Collab Watch Is As Collectible as the Iconic Snow Beach Jacket

An ode to milestones in streetwear history.

Sometimes it’s not the details and engineering but, instead, a density of history and culture that makes a watch compelling. The new Ralph Lauren x Revolution (that’s us) & The Rake collaboration is an example of exactly that. It’s a watch that, rather than a loupe, requires some background to fully appreciate—but if you’re a devotee of hip-hop style, you probably already get it.

Street style aficionados will need no introduction to either the Polo Bear nor to Snow Beach. They’re both icons that represent milestones in Ralph Lauren’s rise as a designer and his vast influence on style and apparel, and they both come together in this limited-edition collaboration watch. 

Ralph Lauren is interesting from a watch lover’s perspective as it exists outside of the traditional watchmaking world. Coming from the fashion industry gives them an outsider’s approach and a fresh vision, but they take the discipline seriously at the same time. Creative designs, interesting materials, unconventional shapes and even high horology with prices to match can be found in their collections from Stirrup to Automotive to Western. 

Polo Ralph Lauren "Snow Beach" jacket Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang's 1994 rap video for 'Can It All Be So Simple.' (Image: X)

Much like their clothing lines, however, the brand operates on different tiers, and the Polo watches are among the most accessible, hovering around the $2,000 mark. Measuring (mostly) 42mm and sporting Swiss Sellita automatic movements inside, there are currently nearly a dozen models in the Polo collection featuring the bear in various states of sartorial elegance. The “Snow Beach Polo Bear” watch now joins their ranks, bringing its nods to important hip-hop history. 

But first, the bear. Beginning life as a teddy bear gifted to Mr. Lauren himself and dressed to represent him, they were subsequently offered as a limited edition (of 200) in 1991. Hype ensued, and the bear became a motif on sought-after clothing that now commands high prices from collectors. He’s graced all manner of apparel and other items, and can be found dressed in outfits from a velvet tux to sweater and jeans. 

For this collaboration, his ‘fit represents another influential Ralph Lauren design: the Snow Beach parka famously worn by Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon in a 1993 video. That parka is said to have marked the transition of Ralph Lauren from pure country-club preppiness to adoption among hip-hop culture. But it wasn’t just a turning point for Ralph Lauren, as it also brought the style of outdoor gear to streetwear and eventually into more mainstream fashion. Now 30 years old, the parka itself is an icon for collectors costing well into the thousands of dollars (it only cost a few hundred in 1993). 

The Polo Bear and Snow Beach parka are at the center of this watch’s design, but the references don’t end there. He’s depicted here in lacquer, mid-trick on a snowboard which will recall another Polo Bear collab to those familiar with it: that with Palace Skateboards which featured him ollying in preppie digs. To top it all off, the bold and colorful style associated with the classic parka is reflected in the accessories that come with the watch in a box set: a NATO-style leather strap and wraparound, blue-mirrored, high-performance sunglasses—both boldly emblazoned with the Snow Beach wordmark.

There’s a lot going on in the Ralph Lauren x Revolution & The Rake “Snow Beach Bear Watch” and a lot of flex for streetwear fans. For watch collectors, it’s further reminiscent of watch dials with cartoon characters from Mickey Mouse to Snoopy which have developed cult followings. The best collaborations bring disparate icons and design languages together in a way that feels purposeful, and that’s exactly what the Snow Beach Polo Bear watch does exceedingly well. 

Tech Specs: Ralph Lauren x Revolution & The Rake “Snow Beach Bear Watch”

Movement: Self-winding Sellita SW 200-1; 38-hour power reserve

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds

Case: 42mm; stainless steel; water-resistant to 50m

Dial: Lacquer

Strap: Leather; NATO-style; Snow Beach logo

Price: $1,850 (box set including strap, sunglasses, notebook, stickers)

Availability: 300 examples


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