The RL67 Ralph Lauren Safari models were introduced in 2013 as a sports-elegant, and relatively affordable, line of watches that would dovetail stylistically with Lauren’s idealized view of the safari as a vehicle not for hunting, but rather for seeing new worlds and reconnecting with nature. (The word “safari” invariably makes me think of the Hemingway story The Short Happy Life Of Francis Macomber, but I think it’s safe to say Ralph Lauren has something a little more upbeat in mind.)
Pre-aged steel cases with gunmetal finishes and the case design from the Automotive collection are signature elements for the Safari watches, as well as automotive-style dials and, usually, canvas straps. Although smaller models were introduced in recent years (and well received, at 39mm) this year Ralph Lauren’s gone the other direction, with 50mm cases.
There are two new models in 50mm and both watches use caliber RL3105. The 45mm chronometer certified Safari uses a Sellita movement designated RL300-1, and RL tells us the caliber 3105 in these 50mm models is also a Sellita base, with a big date module manufactured in Val Fleurier. There’s a 45-hour power reserve, water resistance is 10 atmospheres/100 meters, so getting them wet or even seriously dunked in the drink is a non-issue. Both watches use the Automotive-style case, with what RL calls an “aged” steel case (basically a sort of gunmetal finish) and legibility should be instantaneous given the size and general clarity of the dials.
In 50mm you’re almost obliged to use a big date display (a conventional sized date wheel would look absurdly small), but the general proportions work pretty well if you’re in the market for a 50mm wristwatch at all. The black dial version is on a distressed canvas strap and the camo on a dark olive alligator strap.
The camo dial version will retail for $5,350 and with a black dial the price will be $4,850. For big watch fans, Ralph Lauren fans, or anyone looking for a highly visible, design-forward watch around $5,000, these could be the watches you’ve been waiting for.