One of the 20th century’s most enduring fashion emblems, the mallet-wielding polo player has been synonymous with Ralph Lauren since the 1970s. Found on everything from polo shirts to furniture – which admitted makes it excessively common – the logo now makes its debut on the Ralph Lauren Polo Watch.
Because Ralph Lauren’s watch division is run by Guillaume Tetu, cofounder of independent watch brand Hautlence, the Polo Watch is an affordable mechanical watch, rather than a quartz watch with a logo. Automatic and Swiss made, the Polo Watch has the polo player on the dial printed in several layers of lacquer for a more three-dimensional result.
Having grown up in the 1990s when the polo-player shirt was something of a fad, this watch does have some nineties nostalgia to it. And despite appearances to the contrary, it is a proper watch with a solid automatic movement inside.
Mr Tetu stated the goal was to make it proper mechanical watch rather than a “fashion” watch, and he succeeded; the Polo Watch appears to be as well put together as other watches in the US$2,000 price segment.
It’s executed simply, but sufficiently well. Probably most attention was paid to the polo player on the dial, the visual focus of the watch. The polo player is printed with a good level of detail – Mr Tetu says the figure is meant of have the appeal of a miniature painting – and succeeds in seemingly being on the dial rather than part of its surface.
The only shortcoming appears to be the short hands, no pun intended. The minute hand in particular falls short of the minute track, although the seconds hand is correctly sized.
Simple but effective
All of the elements of the watch are straightforward. Simple in form, the case is steel, measuring 42 mm and a little over 12 mm high. But it still includes touches like the brushed finish on the notched edge of the bezel.
Inside is a Sellita SW200-1, a clone of the ETA 2824 that’s dependable and widely used in more affordable watches. The movement has been dressed up slightly with striping on the rotor, as well as black-coated screws to match the lettering on the rotor.
Key Facts and Price
Ralph Lauren The Polo Watch
Ref. 472836828001 (black with black dial)
Ref. 472836827001 (steel with black dial)
Ref. 472836826003 (steel with green dial)
Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 12.35 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 100 m
Movement: RL200 (Sellita SW200-1)
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 38 hours
Strap: Fabric or leather strap; leather NATO-style strap; or metal bracelet
Availability: Now at Ralph Lauren boutiques
Price: Steel on strap – US$1,650 (or 2,380 Singapore dollars); steel on bracelet – US$1,750 (or 2,530 Singapore dollars)
For more, visit Ralphlauren.com.
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