Ralph Lauren Sporting Automotive
Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
“I see watches as I see clothes, part of a world that we live in, and an elegant watch fits such a particular part of life… ”
A few years ago, Ben Clymer of Hodinkee sat down with Ralph Lauren—not to discuss clothes, but to discuss something that, until then, no one had really associated with the designer.
We mean, of course, watches.
It’s safe to say that we live in Ralph Lauren’s world—a world that he crafted and molded with passion and, above all, thoughtfulness. Far removed from the Bronx neighborhood in which he grew up, the son of immigrants from Belarus, the fashion empire that Lauren created spans nations and reaps profits in the billions. Yet to bring that up is somewhat indelicate considering the integrity and sheer enthusiasm with which he tackled this latest venture.
Yet it does bear noting, because Ralph Lauren as clothing designer is impossible to ignore. What started as a tie business that Lauren ran out of a drawer in the Empire State Building has expanded to encompass everything from tailored suits to rugged field jackets. And his hand is evident in everything he creates, inspired by the classic, put-together look of his heroes Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra.
When Lauren set about designing watches, he wanted to, as he stated in his interview with Hodinkee, “design something that [he] thought people would like… people who simply love high quality, beautifully designed things.”
A watch collector since the earliest days of his business, Lauren only chooses watches that resonate with him on a personal level. He counts in his collection such classics as the Cartier Tank, but also early watches made by Panerai. Though these brands couldn’t be farther opposite each other on the design spectrum—one epitomizing Parisian elegance, the other the ultimate in tool watches—they’re nothing if not distinctive (for completely different reasons).
In creating the Sporting Automotive line, Lauren used his Bugatti Type 57SC as inspiration. This is a car that very few people own, and by few we mean—two. If Lauren’s “look” could be considered classic, then the “look” of the Type 57SC was—when it debuted in 1935—something straight out of a Flash Gordon film, entirely too futuristic for the people who first laid eyes on it.
With a chassis constructed out of an alloy of magnesium, the Type 57SC or Aerolithe was held together with external rivets. The dashboard and wheel were crafted out of a beautiful burl-wood. Both of these features would later appear on the Ralph Lauren Sporting Automotive, launched in 2013.
This watch, with its burl-wood dial and riveted steel bezel, is Lauren’s love of cars translated into watches. Even the numerals on the dial are taken straight from the instruments on the Aerolithe’s dash. For lovers of cars and automotive-inspired watches, this one might be a touch too “on-the-nose,” but in the right way.
Complete with inner and outer boxes, instruction manuals, sales receipt (from Ralph Lauren’s flagship on Madison Avenue), and warranty card, this example is mint, practically unworn.
Simply put, it’s as well-made and thoughtful as something we’d come to expect from such a master of design.
Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Ralph Lauren Sporting Automotive