Debut in-house flyback chronograph for arty Richard Mille offering
We were under no illusion that Richard Mille’s latest creation would be any less than ludicrously extravagant. But this time the Swiss horology brand has really pushed the cruiseliner out with its luxurious new unisex offering.
Despite the chunky name, the RM 72-01 Lifestyle In-House Chronograph is slick and embraces intricate craftsmanship with art and music, to unveil a true technical masterpiece that is really something to admire, whatever your taste.
French composer Thomas Roussel and choreographer Benjamin Millepied were invited to help launch the watch alongside Richard Mille, creating a film called WITHIN that featured a couple performing a pas-de-deux in a desert. It was designed to draw attention to the dancers’ energy and how the RM 72-01 embodies those movements.
This new timepiece takes inspiration from the accelerations and repetitive motions of clocks and rhythmic dances to create a hybrid timepiece where art meets technology.
In the watchmaker’s telltale signature tonneau-shaped style, this is the first time Richard Mille has designed and manufactured a flyback chronograph that is produced entirely in-house in Les Breuleux, Switzerland. It has a patented skeletonised mechanism made of grade 5 titanium.
So what makes the automatic movement so special? Well, it took a pain-staking 30 months of full-time work to incorporate a double-clutch system with oscillating pinions. This allows the 50-hour power reserve to remain steady regardless of how much the timing feature is used, as the timekeeping and coupling systems are separated.
The RM 72-01 also offers a free-sprung balance with variable inertia (easier to adjust and more resistant to shock), a handy function indicator for the crown and a fast-rotating barrel.
The case is slim at just 6.05mm thick, despite being created from 425 different components. Visible industrial screws can be seen around the bezel and there are 39 jewels dotted around the piece.
The dial has a rather unconventional layout with a 60-minute counter at 2 o’clock, a 24-hour counter at 5 o’clock, and a little seconds counter at 9 o’clock.
We really like the colourful hands which dance in harmony with their three respective timescales — blue for seconds, orange for minutes, green for hours —, orchestrated by a six-column wheel mechanism.
There are four case colours available including rose gold, grade 5 titanium and black or white ceramic. With all of them, the pushers are black ceramic and rose gold.
Retailing at around £157,000 the piece, which is waterproof to 30 metres, is currently only available from Richard Mille boutiques.
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