The Negroni can be traced back to a Florentine Count in 1919. According to reliable lore, the crimson drink was first
concocted in Caffè Casoni by legendary barman Fosco Scarselli. Count Negroni – a patron of the bar, lived partly in
Florence and London and travelled extensively. He had penchant for strong liquor which it was rumoured, stemmed from
his time working as a rodeo clown in the American Wild West. Back in Florence always drinking Americanos: bitters,
vermouth and soda, the Count required a stiffener and after drinking gin previously in London, the barman obliged
and the rest is history.
In the last decade its acceleration of popularity has eclipsed many of its rivals of traditional ilk – and it’s not
just because it’s a liquid stakeholder in the recent cocktail boom, but more by coincidence. This ubiquity is due to
the boom in botanical magic; gin’s popularity in the last decade has seen many drinks proprietors old and new
relishing in its renaissance. The second of the drink’s flavours and the one it’s most famous for – its bitter taste
has also been elevated up the hierarchy of drinks crazes. In the US for example, which is one of the main markets
for alcohol in the world, what you get is a lot of bitter, amaro and vermouth. With all of this in mind, the Negroni
is the best combination that you can use to glorify the trio of flavours.
Cultural events had already dictated the rapid rise of the Negroni, but what it didn’t foresee is its spiritual role
in lifting us out of the dark times that we find ourselves in. Along with one of the most famous Bears on the planet
(the Ralph Lauren Polo Bear) who for many of us has become a symbol of hope and optimism and resembles the same
connotations in this time as the Negroni, The Rake’s Founder, Wei Koh, was overjoyed to learn of Mr. Lauren’s
personal assent at the idea of creating a Rake Bear timepiece with Ralph Lauren in recognition of the launch of the
new Ralph Lauren Polo watch collection.
The Rake community and I’m sure many others across the globe have been turning to the Negroni for solace. It has
become a symbol of resistance against this woeful interval of life. Its distinct orange hue burns brightly against
the darkness and with its romance and of course its ingredient of alcohol, it sweeps away the misery and opens up
happiness – at least for a short while. Without hesitation The Rake x Ralph Lauren ‘Negroni Bear’ Polo Bear Watch
was born. It reinterprets the iconic Polo Bear motif on the watch with a Tuxedo Bear holding a Negroni. To
incorporate some mild old humour the dial of the watch features hands as well as the 5 o’clock index in distinct
Negroni orange. Why the number five? Well, because it is always 5 o’clock somewhere…
The Rake x Ralph Lauren ‘Negroni Bear’ Polo Bear Watch which is limited edition is now available. The watch is a 42mm
edition, made in Switzerland and is limited to 200 pieces. He comes with a black calf strap as well as a
Negroni-orange grosgrain strap. Like his brothers that have come before him, we hope The Rake’s Negroni
Bear achieves his defining mission in life, which is to put a huge smile on the face of each and every one of his
owners. Please raise a glass to the newest member of the team.
The Rake x Ralph Lauren ‘Negroni Bear’ Polo Bear Watch is launching Thursday 12th November 2020. Register your
interest at firstname.lastname@example.org.