While all great automobiles of the 1930s made especially lavish use of exotic materials for their interiors, the 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe is particularly compelling. Its dashboard, with its superbly controlled visual balance, has directly inspired the Automotive Chronograph. The timepiece’s curved case horns and chronograph pushers echo the graceful yet powerful lines of the automobile’s body (and recall the first generation of gentlemen’s sports chronographs of the 1930s), while the handmade wooden dial element — crafted from specially chosen loupe d’orme, or elm burl wood — reflects the interior trim of the Type 57 SC’s cockpit. In order to give the dial the same visual detail and impact as the automobile’s instrument panel, only veneers with the right concentration of knots and grains were chosen. Each veneer is selected individually for each watch, and as no two veneers are alike, each watch is a unique piece.
A timepiece inspired by a high-performance automobile deserves an engine as refined as its design, and for the movement that drives the Automotive Chronograph, Ralph Lauren has partnered with Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre. The movement, self-winding caliber RL751A/1, runs in 39 jewels, beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour, and offers a 65-hour power reserve. The Côtes de Genève and perlage movement finishing is a special decoration exclusive to Ralph Lauren.
The Ralph Lauren Automotive Chronograph is a superbly functional and impeccably crafted timepiece — a direct reflection of Ralph Lauren’s lifelong passion for the world of beautiful machines found both in automotive design and the tradition of fine watchmaking.