The latest Richard Mille creation is the fruit of the collaboration of the brand with Alain Prost, the four-time Formula 1 World Champion and co-founder of the Renault e.dams team.
Prost is also a passionate and experienced cyclist so the design inspiration for this innovative model comes from cycling which, just like the aeronautics and automotive industries, is rapidly evolving from a technical perspective.
The new Richard Mille RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost features a hand-wound tourbillon movement with hours, minutes, power-reserve indicator and an unprecedented mechanical odometer, a totaliser which displays the overall distance travelled in a given season or period.
The pusher at 2 o’clock can select any of the 5 rollers of the odometer, whose readout is visible in a titanium window. Once a roller selected, pressing the pusher located at 10 o’clock advances the roller by one. The only effort required of the user is to add the day’s distance to the prior total.
The mechanism itself, however, is much more complicated. The first pusher activates selection of a roller, one of the five. Execution is confirmed by perfect alignment of the two yellow arrows. The second pusher incrementally rotates the roller, which automatically blocks, thanks to the carry mechanism. To avoid accidental manipulations, the complication has been fitted with a neutral position (N). Thanks to a spring-lock, the selection fork will be lined up straight, with an arrow at 2 o’clock pointing to N as visual confirmation that the mechanism is locked.
This mechanical odometer can tally distances of up to 99,999 kilometres, but it can also serve as a reminder, as the mechanism makes it possible to specify set dates or times.
Equipped with a 70-hour power-reserve, visible at 5 o’clock thanks to an indicator powered by a planetary differential, this 3 Hz (21,600 vph) tourbillon calibre sports a baseplate and bridges in grade 5 titanium. Titanium’s extreme stiffness enables the calibre to withstand the roughest of trails with ease.
Nods to the realm of cycling abound, from the titanium Allen screws that fix the bridges, to the barrel ratchet, which recalls the design of forged wheel spokes, up to the tourbillon cage and dynamometric crown, evocative of a bicycle’s pedal.
Machined out of Carbon TPT, the 49.48 x 54.88 x 17.65 mm case combines tonneau, rectangular and asymmetrical shapes. Ensuring great comfort when worn on the right wrist, it also offers excellent when gripping a cycle’s handlebars.
Each buyer of the RM 70-01 will receive as a gift their very own bespoke road cycle. Developed by Alain Prost and Richard Mille in partnership with the prestigious Italian bikemaker Colnago, these individually numbered bicycles are made by hand and painted in the watchmaking brand’s colours.
The Richard Mille RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost is a limited edition of 30 pieces with a unit price of Swiss Francs 799,000 / US$ 815,500. richardmille.com