MECHANISM AND PRECIOUS WOOD
Unveiled in mid-February, the new Automotive Skeleton by Ralph Lauren reveals a manual-winding open-work mechanism encircled by an amboyna burl wood bezel.
This year, Ralph Lauren Watch and Jewelry, part of the empire of the same name, is celebrating its tenth anniversary. It was set up in 2008, in partnership with the Richemont group, a collaboration that gave rise, among others, to the first Automotive Skeleton model in 2015.
As its name suggest, the new version of the Automotive Skeleton, launched in mid-February, is strongly influenced by car design – the designer Ralph Lauren is himself a big collector of cars and owns over 70 of them – and especially vintage sports cars. But here, there’s no hood – and no dial either! The open-work calibre RL1967, based on an F.A. Jones design customised by Val Fleurier, unveils its workings and a delicately brushed silver plate. This manual-wound movement runs at a gentle frequency of 18,000 vibrations an hour (or 2.5Hz), providing the watch with an autonomy of 45 hours. The calibre drives the hours and minutes in the centre, where two blackened sword-type hands stand out, while the seconds have been offset at 6 o’clock in a blued sub-dial with hour markers and Arabic numerals. The RL logo can be seen at 12 o’clock on a disc also featuring circular grooves.
But what first attracts the eye is the bezel crowning the 44.8mm steel case. It is made of amboyna burl, a rare wood to be found on Ambon Island in the Maluku archipelago in Indonesia, and which is sometimes used for steering wheels and dashboards on luxury cars. The bezel is fixed to the case with six round-headed screws.
The Automotive Skeleton is worn with a three-link steel or havana-coloured alligator leather strap matching the chocolate tone of the bezel.
Price: 31,000 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
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