Watchuseek Blog

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ralph Lauren and the Art of the Automobile

The Art of the Automobile:
Masterpieces of the Ralph Lauren Collection
The Musée des Arts Décoratifs
Paris, France
April 28– August 28, 2011

If you’ve got it, you may as well flaunt it, and that’s precisely what Ralph Lauren is doing with an exhibition at Paris’ Musee des Arts Decoratifs of some of his most treasured and iconic sports cars over the next four months.

Of many fine car collections around the world, for the sheer beauty and rarity of his collection, Ralph Lauren’s stands out more than any other. Patiently, over many decades, Ralph Lauren assembled some of the rarest jewels in European automotive history.

European car making at its best

17 of his stunning cars have been carefully chosen by curator Rodolphe Rapetti to reflect European car making at its brilliant and most beautiful best.

The Exhibition will show sporting masterpieces from iconic marques such as Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Porsche and Ferrari, a veritable who’s who of top automotive legends. The Exhibition is open to the public as of now.

By now you may be wondering what in the world this has to do with watches. Well there is a link.

The Ralph Lauren Sporting Automotive Watch

This stunning watch was inspired by the interior design of one of the most celebrated antique cars in the world, one that has elevated Mr. Lauren to an elite status in the car collecting world; the owner of a 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic coupe. This is one of the cars that will be on display at this very special exhibition.

The outer dial of the Ralph Lauren Sporting Automotive Watch is made of elm burl, the same type of wood found on the dash of Lauren’s Bugatti. Within the elm burl frame you’ll find a matte black galvanic dial that, just like the gauges on the Atlantic coupe, feature Arabic numerals for increased legibility.

The hour and minute hands are arrow-shaped and rotate around an open railroad-style track. Seconds are displayed in a sub-register at 6 o’clock.

It runs on an IWC movement RL Calibre RL98295 and has 156 components and a power reserve of 45 hours. The movement is finished with both Cotes de Geneve and Perlage work on the plate.

The watch is just now delivering in the US and is selling as fast as it arrives in the stores!

The car that inspired the watch

For closer inspection, click on each of the photographs.

Commemorative book

If you can’t make it to the exhibition, there is also a glossy commemorative book being published, which, judging by these photographs, is likely to become a collector’s item in itself.

Some of the other cars in the Exhibition

Jaguar XKD, 1955

Bentley Blower, 1929

Mercedes Count Trossi SSK, 1930

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