As the luxury watch market feels the pressure from the economy on its shoulders, you wouldn't expect to see new brands popping up. Regardless, this partnership between Polo Ralph Lauren
and the Richemont Group
took seed before the economic hit really began and there was no stopping this seemingly immune connection of fashion and haute horology.
The new Equestrian line from Ralph Lauren is separated into three collections. The first of which is the aptly named "Stirrup Collection" due to the shape of the watch case. No, it isn't the tombstone collection. These are no mere fashion watches as can be seen from their unveiling at which occurred at the luxury watch show SIHH 2009. Richemont is the name behind many luxury brands, some of which the Ralph Lauren collection borrows from literally and thematically.
Inside the Ralph Lauren Stirrup collection watches are all Jaeger LeCoultre (Richemont owned) movements, such as the caliber RL750 in the power reserve version of the watch. The
18k rose gold case has a domed anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal, with a water-resistance of 30 meters. The watch designs look to me like a cross between Cartier (Richemont owned) and Hermes (not Richemont owned). Think of the Roman numbers (Cartier) and the shape of the case that looks like the Hermes lock-shaped watch. The stirrup collection is mounted on a wide crocodile band that is almost like a bund strap given how the lugs are attached. It's attractive and sober looking - just what the economy needs right now.
Ariel Adams publishes the watch review site aBlogtoRead.com