Ralph Lauren Watch Collection Inspired by 1938 Bugatti

By Paul Joseph

Fashion label Ralph Lauren has created a new watch collection inspired by a 1938 Bugatti motorcar.

There remains only two of the 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupes remaining in the world today – both of which are owned by the fashion brand’s eponymous founder Ralph Lauren.

Such is his passion for the cars that he decided to design five timepieces as a tribute to them, each featuring distinctive nods to the automotive world.

“I’ve always been inspired by automotive design,” he explained. “The materials, the lines, but also the power and functionality. Cars are like art – moving art – an accomplishment in mechanics and precision.”

The Super-LumiNova Arabic numerals on each watch emulate those found on the car’s iconic gauges, while the Amboyna burl wood bezels, Elm burl wood dials and black alligator straps are reminiscent of the Bugatti’s rich interiors.

The collection’s flagship model is the Ralph Lauren RL Automotive Skeleton that comes in a shot-blasted black gunmetal steel case and boasts a matte finish. Its bezel, crafted out of Amboyna burl, a noble hardwood, is hand-cut and finished by an expert craftsman, revealing intricate patterns and depth of colour in its rich, twisted grain.

Underneath, the bridges of the movement have been blackened to reflect the aesthetics of the watch, while the main plate has been artfully cut away, to reveal the intricate mechanics underneath – a manually wound caliber RL1967 running at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour and has a 45-hour power reserve.

Pricing for the RL Automotive Timepiece Collection starts at $14,000 and rises up to $50,000 for the RL Automotive Skeleton.

By Paul Joseph