This Throwback Thursday we go not as far back in time as we normally would. Instead, we take a closer look at an icon of more recent making, yet an icon it is. We are talking here about the Richard Mille RM 011. Introduced in 2007, it became not only one of the pillars of the brand, but also broke the mold of high-end sports watches. Now almost a decade in existence it is time to look back at some of the most memorable versions of this watch.
Felipe Massa Titanium
Richard Mille dedicated several watches to Brazilian Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa and among them this Titanium RM 011. Compared to some of the other watches of this model, the watch looks quite sober. What makes the watch stands out among its peers is the titanium bracelet, which was a first for a Richard Mille men’s model. The bracelet alone cost $65.000,- making it the world’s most expensive watch bracelet that is not made from precious metal or set with gemstones.
NTPT Lotus F1 Team Romain Grosjean
Highlighting its connection with the world of Formula 1 was the NTPT Lotus F1 Team, dedicated to its driver Romain Grosjean. What makes this watch stand out is not only the layered carbon case but its combination with the red gold and red details on the dial, pushers, and crown. It is high-tech, and beautiful because of this. This has always been one of the strengths of the RM 011: no matter how technical or complicated they get, they remain an object of beauty, even elegance. Key to this is not only the tonneau case but also the eye for detail.
A huge surprise at last year’s SIHH was the Red QTPT version of the RM 011. Limited to 50 pieces and a boutique special, the case of this watch is made out of silicon layers treated with a special red resin, developed exclusively for Richard Mille. The result is a vibrant, red colored watch, which perfectly highlights the details in the dial. This also became the canvas for the astonishing light tourbillon split-second chronograph that Richard Mille launched this year.
Another colorful limited edition is the RM 011 Last Edition. With this watch, Richard Mille celebrated not only all that this model has become in almost a decade but also the departure to a new version of this iconic watch. Its pale blue ceramic case offers a nice contrast with the white and orange details. With this watch, the legacy of the original design of the RM 011 ends. The baton is passed to the new RM 011, featuring a new case, with an updated movement, to continue its journey as a sportive revolutionist.
What’s next for Richard Mille?Our formula for success has been working flawlessly since the start, so I have no plans to alter anything really. That means several exciting and new timepieces being created each year, more new materials being developed and implemented in watches, more novel high flat complications, more showstoppers for the women as well as the guys, and more versions to match every occasion and every want you might have to get a timepiece.Can we have a hint of what we can expect to see at SIHH 2017? My lips are sealed shut on that topic. All I will say is, there will be a lot more fabulous Richard Mille creations introduced that will drive people mad with desire.September 2016 marks our 10-year anniversary for A&E, what was a goal you’ve place if you celebrated the brand’s 10th anniversary? And what do you still expect to achieve?When the brand was 10, I recognized the fact that we had ‘came’ into a particular degree of ‘adulthood’. That’s to say, neither the watch business nor the opinion public could bagatellize us, we had been recognized as a remarkable young brand that triumphed against all odds. We were known to be serious and no-one could afford to ignore us or what we were performing. The years after are the years of growth and consolidation. All I want to do is slightly raise production by a few hundred units each year, at precisely the exact same time maintaining the brand absolutely exclusive, and focusing on opening more flagship boutiques around the world to make sure the Richard Mille brand gets stronger and more powerful.