Ralph Lauren would probably be the last name that would come to one’s mind when thinking of watches. That said, the brand does have a nice collection of watches that like the brand’s clothing line make a strong style statement and pack a decent technical punch making them more than just fashion watches. The latest to entry to the Ralph Lauren watch catalog comes in the form of the Polo Bear Collection, a trio of watches powered by Swiss automatic movements designed to pay a tribute to the attire admired and enjoyed by Ralph Lauren himself.
Ralph Lauren’s association with the Polo Bear goes back to 1991 when he was gifted a bear dressed in clothes inspired by his style of clothes. Following this, the bear became a playful representative of the brand’s Polo style and is now back to express Ralph Lauren’s definitive style through the medium of timekeeping.
So basically, what you are looking at are 3 watches that are similar in terms of their overall design with the Polo bear being the major differentiating factor. The face on all the three watches has been presented in a subtle shade of cream that has been well complemented by the bold black Arabic numerals. A rail-road style minutes track has been placed on the outer periphery and time can be read using the elegant and well-proportioned handset. The branding has been done at the 9 o’clock position and standing confidently between 12 and 6 is the highlight of these watches, the Polo bear that has been dressed differently on each model.
The Bedford Bear shows the bear clad in a tweed sport coat and riding jodhpurs, reminiscent of what Mr. Lauren wore for a 2007 Town & Country photoshoot. The Tuxedo Bear represents the distinct combination of a double-breasted dinner jacket with denim and cowboy boots. And finally, the Denim Flag Bear showcases the casual American denim clothing through a well-worn jacket, jeans, and the beloved Polo flag sweater.
Surrounding the dial is a polished stainless-steel case. It is 42mm wide and has a thickness of just 10.2mm which should result in a nice thin profile on the wrist. There are a few interesting design touches on the case as well. First up are the thin wired lugs that evoke the vibe of trench watches from the past. And next is the crown that has been positioned at 2 giving the watch a distinctive visual appeal. Protecting the dial is a sapphire crystal and there is also a sapphire window at the back to view the movement. Powering these watches is the caliber RL 200 automatic caliber that is based on the Sellita SW 200-1 and operates at a frequency of 4 Hz offering an autonomy of around 38 hours.
In all the new Polo Bear Collection, in my opinion, succeeds in reflecting Mr. Lauren’s unmatched style over the years. The watches would be made available with a wide variety of straps. The Tuxedo Bear would be accompanied by a black alligator strap and would retail for USD 2,150. The Bedford Bear would come with the option of a Tan leather strap or a tie silk strap and the Denim Flag Bear would come with either a denim strap or a tan leather strap. Both would retail for USD 1,950.