Coming in a scratch-resistant ceramic body and powered by a nice automatic movement made by the Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre exclusively for the American fashion house, the new Ralph Lauren Sporting Chronograph Ceramic (ref. RLR0236600) seems to offer a good value for money: an extremely rare quality for a watch produced by a fashion brand.
The new Ralph Lauren Sporting Chronograph Ceramic is just an update on their previous chronographs, so there is no need to churn out too many words here.
Sporty and energetic, the timekeeper comes in a predictably oversized body, which is, while being almost 45 millimeters in diameter, is still quite slim. Combined with its nicely sculpted (and also quite short) lugs, the watch looks great on a normal wrist.
Although I don’t really like the bezel of the piece (the six screws seem to be a little misaligned making the watch look cheaper than it is), I must admit that the watch seems to be very well-designed and quite ergonomic.
The Roman numerals on the chapter ring are clean and easily readable, and the sword-shaped hour and minute hands are just thin enough to look well-proportionate and light. Even the tachymeter scale, which I loathe in most watches, looks absolutely in place here.
Well, the date aperture looks a little bit too small, to my taste.
As I have already noted above, the Caliber RL750 is based on a column-wheel chronograph movement that was outsourced to Jaeger-LeCoulter: a reputable watchmaker with a vast experience in designing and making movements for the creme de la creme in the business. Although the fashion brand doesn’t specify, which movement it was, by the look of I can make a guess that it is either a simplified (at least, in terms of decoration) version of one of their JLC 751 family of ebauches or, perhaps, a refinished version of their earlier cal. 750 automatic chronograph movement that, in its own turn, is based on the legendary Frederic Piguet cal. 1185.
If my guess is correct, you are in a bit of luck: it’s hard to imagine a better choice of mechanism for a relatively inexpensive chronograph from a fashion-oriented brand.
I am not really sure about the red and “gold” color accents on the bracelets (also made of zirconium oxide ceramic with rubber inserts), but the color-keyed central chronograph second hands look really in place here making the dials more entertaining and, well, sporty.
Pricing was not revealed, but expect something around €5000* for one of these beauties.
Photos: Ralph Lauren
* UPDATE ON PRICE: The MSRP is actually €6100. Slightly higher than I expected, but still good for a piece that features a combination of ceramic body with nice JLC-sourced caliber.
Ralph Lauren Sporting Chronograph Ceramic (ref. RLR0236600) automatic watch specification
Price: €6100 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber RL750 (base Jaeger-LeCoultre, probably Caliber 750), 261 parts, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: No data
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 48 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, date
Case material: Ceramic (zirconium oxide)
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.50 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Hour markers: White
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Ceramic multi-link bracelet with a rubber stripe in red or gold
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire