There’s a shared design language between traditional timekeeping and the instrument panels of classic cars. Designer Ralph Lauren is well versed in both, and his automotive series of timepieces is a celebration of two distinct passions. The Ralph Lauren RL Automotive Skeleton Watch is the latest in a series of truly stunning luxury watches, a collection inspired by some of the finest automobiles ever built. In this case, the RL Automotive Skeleton is a tribute to the designer’s most prized collector’s item, the 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe.
Beyond Ralph Lauren’s work as a visionary in fashion, the designer has maintained a remarkable collection of automotive artifacts. From the aforementioned Bugatti Type 57SC, which itself is worth about $40 million, to various Ferraris and Lamborghinis from different periods in automotive history. It was only a matter of time before Lauren’s passion for antique automobiles informed his work as a designer, and watchmaking became an obvious point of parallel.
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Ralph Lauren’s automotive watches are inspired by the instrument panels of his collection of antique automobiles. From the dial design to the material construction, these timepieces are carefully matched to the vehicles that inspire them. In the case of the Ralph Lauren RL Automotive Skeleton Watch, the stand-out design element is the ring of Amboyna burl wood that encircles the display. This wood was commonly used in the instrument panels of luxury vehicles in the 1930s, and Lauren has once again sourced this material for his automotive watches. Inside the case, black oxidized hands are lined in a brassy Super-LumiNova styling for a touch of era-appropriate class.
The design of the RL Automotive Skeleton is as classical as its construction. It has been built by hand, just like the Bugatti Type 57SC, and it celebrates a level of craftsmanship that has been lost in automated manufacturing. Lauren has stayed true to his inspiration in designing this timepiece, but also in the effort he has put into its construction.
The Ralph Lauren RL Automotive Skeleton is one of several new Ralph Lauren watches that will be released in 2015. This model is expected to be available soon for a rumored price of $35,000. See the full collection of sporting watches on the Ralph Lauren watch microsite.
- A look at Ralph Lauren’s car collection, a museum of famous automobiles
- The first Ralph Lauren Sporting Watch, the debut timepiece inspired by his automobile collection
- The Ralph Lauren Automotive Flying Tourbillon, the pearl of his watch collection prior to the Skeleton watch