The Stirrup collection was introduced in 2009 and is still a cornerstone of the Ralph Lauren collection, with models for men and women. Ralph Lauren is a lifestyle brand, making garments and accessories in its instantly recognizable sport-influenced style, and so it was only natural that they should launch their own watches as well, with the Ralph Lauren Watch & Jewelry Co. They are designed by the company, and have quality movements built by other companies in the Richemont group. For example, the Stirrup Large Chronograph for men, reference RLR0031700, has a column-wheel movement named the RL750 but made by Jaeger-LeCoultre.
What I think is interesting about the Ralph Lauren Stirrup is that the brand quietly and efficiently introduced a totally new shape for a watch. After several hundred years, there can’t be many left, after the naturally circular dials, the squares, octagons, triangles, tonneaus and so forth. Ralph Lauren took a motif linked to his brand heritage – riding – and transformed it into a watch shape. The result is one of the most distinctive shapes around today. Of course, it’s more about aethetics than function, because the chronograph second hand at the centre is close to the railroad-style minute track in the top half of the dial, and much further away at the bottom corners, but I don’t think that this is going to worry anyone buying a Ralph Lauren chronograph. The small seconds dial is at 6 o’clock, while the subdial at 3 o’clock is for chronograph minutes, and that at 9 o’clock is for chronograph hours. The case is in polished rose gold, with 30 metres water resistance. The strap is in alligator with a rose gold fold-over clasp. Size 36.6 mm wide, 38.5 mm high, 12.15 mm thick. The strap is more complex than usual, with one layer that runs behind the watch lined with water-resistant Alsavel, and the two loops holding the case sewn onto the top. The result is a comfortable watch because the leather runs all the way around, but the leather precludes a view of the caseback. And so the Cotes de Genève decoration on the movement is something that can’t be appreciated by the user.
The Ralph Lauren Stirrup Petite Diamond Link, reference RLR0042200, has a quartz movement, and case and strap entirely set with a total of 2,017 diamonds, for a total carat weight of 20.35. The case is 23.3 x 27 mm in size. The Stirrup Petite Diamond Link costs US$189,500 or €148,800. The The Stirrup Large Chronograph Rose Gold costs $25,100 or €19,800.