Ralph Lauren RL Automotive Skeleton Watch


The passion behind a collection runs deep.  Your world becomes informed by its lines, materials and intimate details and, if you are Ralph Lauren, it also acts as the creative catalyst for his latest collection of luxury timepieces. 

At the heart of this collection, inspired by Ralph Lauren’s own 1938 Bugatti, is the RL Automotive Skeleton, a first for the brand.


“I’ve always been inspired by automotive design – the materials, the lines, but also the power and functionality. Cars are like art – moving art – an accomplishment in mechanics and precision.” – Ralph Lauren

Dating back to the 18th Century the origin of the skeletonized timepiece is attributed to André Charles Caron, clock maker to Louis XV, who surmised that customers would be interested to see the inner workings of his art first hand.

As a worthy heir to Caron’s creation, the RL Automotive Skeleton envelops us in the world of the ’38 Bugatti.  Referencing the car’s rich interior through its use of amboyna burl wood bezels, elm burl wood dials, and luxurious alligator for the strap, no detail has been overlooked as the Arabic numerals on the dial even pay homage to the car’s iconic gauges.

Housed in the sleek sophistication of the 44.8mm x 11.20mm matte black gunmetal steel case, the caliber RL1967 is powered by a renowned IWC hand-wound mechanical movement that runs at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour and features a 45-hour power reserve.


Front and back view of the RL Automotive Skeleton

The amboyna burl hardwood used for the bezel requires careful consideration as it must be hand-cut and finished by an expert craftsman in order to reveal the inner beauty of its pattern and depth of its color.  The bezel, however, is not complete until it is crowned with six functioning hand-set screws.

Notable details include: the matte black galvanized azuré subdial with RL logo at 12 o’clock, the decentralized seconds subdial with Arabic numerals at 6 o’clock (presented in an azurage pattern), and the black oxidized sword-shaped hands which have been treated with Super-LumiNova® to enhance low-light visibility.

A skeleton watch, of course, is about revealing what is normally hidden, and in this case, the masterful mechanics of the timepiece are revealed through the skillful cutting away of the main plate, celebrating not only fine craftsmanship but elevating the functional elements into the realm of art.


More about the RL Automotive Skeleton.

I have partnered with the brand on this article but every word is mine.

Joseph Fields