Watch brands are already looking forward to 2015, and Ralph Lauren has presented the Automotive Chronograph, inspired by the dashboard of Ralph Lauren’s Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe, shown below, image courtesy of http://www.conceptcarz.com/
It is a large piece at 45 mm diameter, 12.2 mm thickness, but the actual dial with the indications is on a much smaller area at the centre of the piece, within the concentric rings formed by the wide satinized bezel, then the tachymeter scale, then the burr wood.
The indications are reminiscent of dashboard instruments, with chronograph indications provided by the central seconds hand, the 30-minute subdial at 3 o’clock, and the 12-hour subdial at 9 o’clock. The subdial at 6 is for small seconds, with a date window. SuperLuminova is used on the hour and minute hands, and on the Arabic hour numerals. Ralph Lauren’s watch uses a different timber with respect to the car, elm burr wood, to provide the right scale of veining. The veneer ensures that each watch is a little different visually. The watch is powered by the Jaeger-LeCoultre FL751A/1 movement, offering a 65-hour power reserve. The case is in stainless steel; the sapphire caseback reveals the Côtes de Genève and perlage finish. Black alligator strap with stainless steel buckle. Reference RLR0230713.
The Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe has a dorsal seam running from front to back, based on the 1935 Bugatti Aérolithe made using a magnesium or aluminium alloy echoing the Type 59 Grand Prix car, in which the bodywork had to be riveted and not welded, because the lightweight alloy is combustible at welding temperatures. Ralph Lauren’s Bugatti Type 57SC is one of the only two of its type that still survive. The second was sold to the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, in 2010, for somewhere between $30 and 40 million. Below, the car in Ralph Lauren’s collection (photo courtesy of Wikipedia):
Below, a period photo of the car, showing the distinctive seam: