Introducing The Ralph Lauren RL867 In Two New Sizes And Materials
If you think the design of the new Ralph Lauren RL867 above looks familiar, you’re completely right. The famous fashion designer launched his line of watches back in 2008 and introduced the RL867 one year later. At the time, it was only available in a fairly small 27.5mm square case. If you look at the brand’s website today, however, the RL867 is only available in a rather large 35mm size. So that’s probably why Ralph Lauren is also adding not one but two smaller options to the lineup in 28mm and 32mm cases. Both will be available in sterling silver and 18K rose gold. Let’s take a look.
Just like Nacho, I wasn’t too aware of the watches that Ralph Lauren had to offer. Of course, I have seen the ones with the Polo bear on the dial, but it wasn’t until we had the Vintage 67 from the more sporty Polo line in the office that I got more interested. So I’m glad I get the chance to look at another one of the brand’s watches. Today, it’s the RL867, which falls under the brand’s more sophisticated line of timepieces. And “sophisticated” is precisely the word that comes to mind when you see the Art Deco-inspired square case for the first time.
Not much has changed
If you’re familiar with the earlier versions of the RL867, then there are not that many surprises here for you. Minus the lugs, the curved and fully polished case is still perfectly square, and the bezel sits proudly on top with two slight steps. The lugs still appear very straight from above, but they also curve downward to hug the wrist. Furthermore, the dial still features a playful combination of Breguet hands, Roman numerals at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, and Arabic numerals for the rest of the hours. I suppose the designers didn’t think they had to change all that much about the overall feel of the RL867. And I guess they were right because, in the end, it’s a very classic-looking square watch. Why would you try and make it any fancier than that?
Nothing has changed inside the RL867 either. Ralph Lauren still uses the RL430, which is a hand-wound movement provided by Piaget. That brand actually uses it in the ultra-thin Altiplano line. That’s why Ralph Lauren was also able to keep the RL867’s thickness just below 6mm — 5.7mm slim, to be exact. The movement runs at 3Hz and is advertised to have a power reserve of about 40 hours. It’s finished using both Côtes de Genève and perlage techniques. Furthermore, the watch is water resistant to 30 meters, and the curved sapphire crystal is treated with an anti-reflective coating on the inside.
Size does matter
So what is new here, then? Well, as I said in the introduction, alongside the current 35mm version, Ralph Lauren is introducing two new smaller sizes and two new materials for the RL867 today. As of April 1st, both the 28mm and 32mm versions will be available in sterling silver or 18K rose gold. As someone who likes smaller square watches, I applaud that decision, especially because square watches tend to wear much larger than their circular counterparts.
I haven’t had a chance to try the current RL867, but I expect the 35mm size to wear quite large on my 17cm (6.7″) wrist. I’d rather go for the 32mm version as I know from my Cartier Santos Galbée XL that this size works a lot better for me. And if you have thinner wrists than mine, then the 28mm size might be a good option. What I am curious about is how the lug spacing — 28mm for the 32mm version, and 24mm for the 28mm size — feels on the wrist. Both straps taper heavily towards 16mm, but their width at the case might make the watches feel a little bulkier than they should.
Looking at the RL867’s square design, I can guess why Nacho assigned me the task of writing the introduction for it. I own two rectangular watches. One is the Cartier Santos Galbée XL ref. 2823 with a perfectly square bezel and dial featuring Roman numerals. The other is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Medium Duoface with a rectangular case and dial featuring Arabic numerals. The RL867 is also square like the Santos, but its case reminds me a bit more of the earlier square Tank Chinoise.
And that’s part of the problem that I have here in general: the RL867 reminds me of several things. Don’t get me wrong, I think it looks rather handsome, and I do like how the different numerals have been combined. But when I compare it to the classics from Cartier and JLC, it’s no competition at all. That said, if you’re a diehard fan of Ralph Lauren, then this is a very elegant watch with a respectable movement inside.
As mentioned, the RL867 in both 28mm and 32mm sizes will be available as of April 1st. Those in sterling silver will be priced at €8,500 for the smaller model and €8,600 for the larger size. The 18K gold models will cost you either €15,900 for the smaller version or €17,400 for the larger size. For more information about Ralph Lauren watches, visit the brand’s official website.