Besides the noveltiy from the Sporting collection that we have already covered, Ralph Lauren likewise presented several newcomers from the Safari, the 867 and the Stirrup collection at this year’s edition of the SIHH event. The Safari line of products consists of timekeepers with casual appearances which tend to have circular steel cases with gunmetal finish and matte black dials with light hands. These traits are more or less visible in each of three new models. The first and the most important novelty which is technically the most challenging is the model with a tourbillon complication. The second one – RL67 Chronometer – is not that significant or technically advanced as the first one, but still marks a very important event in the history of the watchmaker. It is the very first chronometer certified timekeeper by the brand that has a completely in-house produced movement. The final Safari newcomer is supplied with a movement with a column-wheel chronograph feature.
RL67 Safari Tourbillon Watch
New Safari Tourbillon model by Ralph Lauren is in a sense an unusual watch since it combines the overall sporty and casual look with a demanding feature such as a tourbillon. Its carriage, visible at the bottom of the watch’s face is combined with a pitch black dial with yellow Roman numerals and hands in the same tone. Moreover, the watch sports more Safari-styled traits such as a 45mm wide round case with gunmetal finish. The housing with the vintage lines is attached to a stationary bezel fixed with six screws.
Behind the creation of the movement with a complication that is as challenging as a tourbillon, lays the partnership with the Genevan high horology manufacturer, La Fabrique du Temps. From the facilities of the Geneva-based company comes a self-winding tourbillon movement with a power reserve that lasts for 38 hours. This automatic movement has a micro-rotor visible through the transparent section on the back side of the housing and is in a way an automatic caliber in disguise – due to the imaginative design of the tourbillon’s plate and bridge, it retains and mimics the looks of the classical hand-wound tourbillons. Unlike the majority of the Safari watches by the brand with the name of the famous designer, the tourbillon watch is paired with a brown leather strap. As far as the price is concerned, the star piece from the Safari line costs $55,000.
RL67 Safari Chronograph Watch
The next model is the link between the brand’s sporting and safari lines. It is the watch with the housing from titanium with olive-green finish. The titanium and resin mixture utilized for the 45mm wide case and the bracelet of the model resembles the exterior of a safari vehicle. This sort of image is further strengthened with the inclusion of a car instrument looking matte-black dial with an elm burl wood bark colored ring, as it is common for the models from the Sporting collection by the Swiss brand which evoke the styling of the vintage Ralph Lauren cars.
Sporting a tachymetric scale on the flange and three subsidiary chrono counters, this model likewise has white Arabic numerals, hands and pointers in the same color. At the very bottom of the black dial with a white indication and a wood colored ring, there is the aperture with the indication for the date. Once again, the case back is skeletonized to show the function of the mechanical movement that was used in the model. It is self-winding caliber Jeager-LeCoultre 751A/1. The collaboration of two high-end brands is not that surprising considering that they are both owned by the Richemont group. The caliber in question features a column-wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch. It is a very sturdy movement with a rotor mounted on ceramic ball bearings in order to reduce friction and increase efficiency. JLC automatic movement has a power reserve of 65 hours.
R67 Safari Chronometer Watch
The final of the newcomers from the Safari lineage marks an important moment in the brand’s history since it is the first manufacture caliber with chronometer precision certification. Previously, the watchmaker’s palette of products included chronometer calibers manufactured by Jaeger-LeCoultre (as it is the case with the previous Ralph Lauren newcomer) or by one of the other Richemont-owned brands like IWC or Piaget. Aside from the significance of the watchmaker, this model is actually not that special or complex. Like the most of the Safari models, this one likewise has a steel 45mm casing with gunmetal finish and a black dial with cream colored Arabic numerals. The peculiarly styled chapter ring sports enlarged numerals for the six and especially the twelve o’clock position. Aside from the timekeeping function, the watch with an orange central second hand has no other supported complications. Ralph Lauren RL67 Safari is coupled with a faded olive colored canvas strap.
The first proprietary chronometer by Ralph Lauren is made with a casing featuring gunmetal finish which comes as the result of a process that changes the color of the material and simultaneously makes it more resistant and enhances its properties. Unlike the vast majority of the timepieces unveiled in Geneva, this one has the fairly low price of $3,250.