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WWD Men's Collections issue 03/16/2009

Ralph Lauren and most of his family swept into Geneva for a gala dinner hosted by Compagnie Financière Richemont chief Johann Rupert to launch the American designer’s first luxury watches. The launch was a major step for both partners. Lauren, a longtime watch collector, said he dreamed for years of putting his imprimatur on a high-end timepiece. “Basically these are watches that I would want to wear myself,” he explained. “It took me a long time to find the right partner and then to come up with a design that was all my own.”

This story first appeared in the March 16, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Lauren’s taste for classic American style tempered with Continental flair is evident in the collection, which is built around three groups. The Stirrup draws on the Ralph Lauren equestrian heritage. The Slim Classique is a thin, round, vintage-looking evening watch with intricate guilloche detailing on the face. And the hefty Sporting features screws on the bezel. The watches start at $9,000, and the most expensive model, a limited edition platinum piece, costs $70,000—a perfect complement to the gentlemanly Ralph Lauren Purple Label collection unveiled in New York.

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