He’s quite possibly the most famous and the most stylish bear in fashion history. He knows how to pair an evening jacket with a sweater tied casually around the waist. He sips gin cocktails and wears velvet slippers, yet can still walk around with his hands tucked sweetly in his sturdy jean pockets. He’s preppy, he’s nonchalant, and he’s a true classic. And now, for the fashion label’s 50th anniversary, Ralph Lauren’s iconic Polo Bear is back to make an adorable new appearance. Lo and adorably behold: the Polo Bear Watch Collection.
In keeping with the brand’s 50th anniversary celebrations taking place over the past few months, Ralph Lauren has introduced a truly charming and personal watch collection, featuring the mascot which has been part of the brand for over 25 years. The limited edition timepieces bear the same fresh Polo vibe we know and love, featuring Polo Bear in four distinct outfits and styles. It’s a fun timepiece series, not home to overly complicated complications, tourbillons, or even moon phases, but rather a heartfelt tribute to an iconic mascot.
Polo Bear first made his debut in 1991, when German toy manufacturer Steiff introduced 200 limited-edition bears dressed in mini bear-sized Polo Ralph Lauren attire. The ‘Preppy Bear’, as it was called back then, sold out at the Madison Avenue Flagship store within one weekend. From here, the bear turned into a true icon, appearing on many items — from t-shirts and jumpers to caps, dress shirts, and ties. Yes you know and recognise the famous Polo pony, but, as Ralph Lauren’s brother Jerry has famously said, “who doesn’t love a teddy bear?”
Whilst the watches are yet to be released, the American fashion label has already unveiled a sneak peek of the Polo Bear Watch models. Cutely climbing to the top of our festive wish lists, prepare for your heart strings to be temptingly tugged.
Spectator Bear encompasses Ralph Lauren’s classic nonchalant character and youthful attitude. The bear wears glasses, a camel-hair overcoat and a sweatshirt, together with saddle oxfords — perfect for a day at the polo field. Preppy Bear captures the brand’s longtime love of American Ivy League collegiate style, wearing a doeskin blazer over a shirt and tie, and a red sweater around the waist. The watches all come with interchangeable straps, with Spectator Bear’s tartan strap sweetly reminiscent of the first neckties Lauren ever designed for the brand.
Martini Bear, also known as Debonair Bear, was designed to capture the confidence of Edwardian gentlemen and 1930s movie stars. With something of a James Bond charm, the mascot is dressed to the nines in a tuxedo (complete with boutonniere) and embroidered velvet slippers, holding a Martini cocktail. Flag Bear pays homage to the all-American style, reminiscent of a 1989 Ralph Lauren runway look. The bear wears the iconic Polo flag sweater, paired with rugged jeans, a blue chambray shirt, and brown boat shoes.
As for the technical bits, all Polo Bear watch models are Swiss-made, and feature a mechanical self-winding chronometer with 25 jewels and a 42-hour power reserve. The exhibition case back also includes a commemorative 50th anniversary plaque set over the rotary. The watches are easy to wear, and are a playful addition to any look. Light-hearted and lovable, from bedroom to boardroom to ballroom, Ralph Lauren preciously ensues that there’s no reason to ever not wear the iconic bear on your wrist.
The collector’s items will be priced at approximately THB 66,075, and will be available online and in Ralph Lauren boutiques around the globe in the coming months.