One of the world’s most recognizable shirts, made of cotton petit piqué and embossed with its trademark green crocodile, is now a sporty watch brand.
Created by seven-time Grand Slam tennis legend René Lacoste in 1927, the L.12.12 polo shirt—“L” is for Lacoste, the number 1 signifies the “petit piqué” material used, 2 means short sleeves, and 12 is the number of prototypes made before the final product—is one of the most enduring designs of all time, still coveted by younger generations.
So, when the company decided to create a watch that reflects the brand’s heritage, the daunting task was left in the hands of a select team from New York and Paris.
“We’ve been working on this project for a number of years to really capture the essence of the L.12.12 polo shirt. We wanted to get the details
right. And this one here right now is just perfect,” said Julian Addison, president of Movado Group Inc. (MGI) for Asia-Pacific, at the launch last week. MGI is the company that designs, manufactures and distributes worldwide the Lacoste watches.
Called the Lacoste.12.12 Watch, it comes in design palettes that also match the polo shirts: green, white, red, blue, gray and black.
The strap, made of silicon rubber, has the classic petit piqué design that runs around the case’s sides, wrapping the metal case inside. This petit piqué look is adopted into the metal crown, as well.
The Lacoste label at the back of the polo shirt is interpreted at the back of the strap. And the classic croc is seen at 3 o’clock.
“The Lacoste.12.12 Watch is all about authenticity, heritage, movement, comfort and simplicity. We noticed people have been buying them together with the polo shirt, in matching colors most of the time,” Addison said.
This is not the first time the L.12.12 polo shirt has inspired a creation of sister products. Years ago, Lacoste came out with the L.12.12 fragrance, and then the colorful sporty bags made of the same petit piqué fabric.
The watch is a tribute to Lacoste, said Addison, as it embodies the values of the French tennis champ. Lacoste, he added, was not just a
great sportsman, but was also an amazing inventor who once designed a metal tennis racket for former World No. 1 Jimmy Connors.
The L.12.12 was designed by Lacoste at a time when the pros wore long-sleeved shirts on the court. Addison said that Lacoste wanted a breathable fabric that did not restrict movement. He came out with a white, loosely knit piqué in 1926 and, a year later, stitched the crocodile logo on the shirt’s left breast.
Lacoste watches are available at L Timestudio, Wristpod, select Chronos Boutique shops, SM Department Stores, The Landmark and Robinsons Department Stores. It retails at P7,550.