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Economy

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Monday, 01 February 2010
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Marie Le Berre
Freelance writer and journalist

“How does time turn the corners on square clocks ?”

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Spread the word of watchmaking and introduce as many people as possible to an all too little-known sector.

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4 min read

Watch brands are increasingly under pressure to establish a distinct personality. JeanRichard is putting unprecedented accent on its sports models while Ralph Lauren concentrates on building up its three emblematic collections.

JeanRichard sport

All JeanRichard’s new models for 2010 fall into the sports watch category, a segment where the brand is making its presence increasingly felt. With sports watches already accounting for 70% of its production, the brand is intent on filling a relatively under-exploited niche. For while sports models certainly aren’t in short supply, very few can boast manufacture movements. Each of JeanRichard’s sports watches has the brand’s own self-winding JR1000 calibre as its base.

At the SIHH 2010, the brand unveiled the Aquascope, which looks to a 1960s diver’s watch for inspiration. It features a round opening in a tonneau shape, a monobloc case that protects the two crowns, an indented bi-directional rotating bezel and a chevron-patterned strap. It is water-resistant to 300 metres. Divers can choose between this and the Diverscope Goldwaters, also water-resistant to 300 metres. This model is in rubber-coated steel with pink gold crowns adding an original touch. The Diverscope Goldwaters comes with two straps:one rubber and the other rubber-coated alligator.

People on the move will appreciate the new 2TimeZones watch whose lightweight zirconium case stands up to shocks, corrosion and high temperatures. It features a rubber-coated steel bezel and an alligator strap. Powered by the JR1060 calibre, the second time zone is displayed in an aperture at 12 o’clock with the reference cities in a second aperture at 6 o’clock.

The JeanRichard Sport Collection also welcomes two chronoscopes, both equipped with the JR1030 chronograph movement. The first is in steel with a calfskin strap. The second is part of the partnership, initiated in 2007, between JeanRichard and the MV Agusta motorcycle team. The MV Agusta Brutale America Chronoscope highlights the MV Agusta team’s attempt to break the US Bonneville Salt Flats speed record. The case is in rubber-coated steel, the bezel, pushers and case back are in PVD-coated titanium, and the crown is in titanium. The dial copies the design of a Brutale motorcycle wheel rim. The traditional small seconds hand has been replaced by a rotating disc. Production of the MV Agusta Brutale America Chronoscope is limited to 290 pieces.

JeanRichard Chronoscope MV Agusta Brutale America © JeanRichard
JeanRichard Chronoscope MV Agusta Brutale America © JeanRichard
Ralph Lauren style

Ralph Lauren and Richemont are equal partners in a project to create a new watch brand. However, more than a joint venture between two companies, this is a partnership between two men. As a watch collector, Ralph Lauren had been waiting for the chance, and the freedom, to create the timepieces of his dreams, an ambition which Johann Rupert fully understood.

Launched in 2009, the three Ralph Lauren collections reflect a very personal view. Their style is instantly recognisable, distinguished by aesthetic and technical sophistication. The watches are made from platinum, gold or stainless steel. Certain models are set with diamonds and all are driven by manufacture mechanical movements. New models further enrich the Stirrup, Slim Classique and Sporting collections in 2010.

The Ralph Lauren Stirrup is an emblem in itself, as its stirrup-shaped case evokes the brand’s equestrian associations. The large Roman hour numerals and railroad minute markers around the white lacquered dial are hallmarks of this line. The collection lends itself to three sizes, with a diamond-paved medium model making its debut this year.

 

Ralph Lauren Slim Classique 42mm, white gold, two rows diamonds and 38mm, white gold, one row diamonds © Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren Slim Classique 42mm, white gold, two rows diamonds and 38mm, white gold, one row diamonds © Ralph Lauren

The Ralph Lauren Slim Classique is a homage to the watchmaker’s art. Its elegant round case houses an extra-thin movement. The bezel and opaline dial are decorated with a barleycorn guilloché pattern, done entirely by hand. Breguet-style “hollow apple” hands point to the Roman hour numerals and minute markers. Originally launched as a large model with a 42mm diameter, the collection now extends to a smaller 38mm size, together with jewellery versions set with brilliants and baguette diamonds.

The Ralph Lauren Sporting collection recalls the brand’s involvement with sports such as polo, tennis and golf. The original 45mm case features signature screws around its bezel, with a choice of simple, chronograph or world time movements. The chronograph is now available with a 39mm diameter, in steel or pink gold.

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