By Jovan Krstevski
Bikers rejoice for Richard Mille has something new up their sleeve – their very first watch designed specifically for cycling and should you buy it (read on for the price), you also get a free bike. This offer is quite hard to pass particularly if you are into the sport. Richard Mille practically uses the fantastic skeletonized design of the watch to lure the fans into generating buzz about the product (maybe in the future there will be demand for this), this is good for publicity you know, and we all like to talk about the latest and greatest toys coming from the super watch brands. While some may like the overall design of the watch, others might opt for more traditional timepieces (considering the price too), since come to think of it, every watch can be a cycling watch, nothing really matters except of course for diving watches.
Now moving on, the Richard Mille RM 70–01 Tourbillon Alain Prost comes only in 30 pieces making them very rare and really pricey. This is also a tourbillon for cycling, a first of its kind actually. The curved case is made from Carbon TPT giving off a Damascus steel-like organic layered look. Unlike steel, this is layered carbon, so you can really appreciate the ingenuity of the design. At 49.48 mm wide, 54.88mm tall, and 17.65mm thick, the case looks and feels large and it also implies that it gets the most attention courtesy of its compelling aura.
On the watch face, the time elements are cleanly presented resulting to a superb legibility. The dark carbon looks impressive with red and yellow highlights. What really catches our attention is the incremental digital counter at 12 o’clock which Richard Mille relates to being like a manual odometer. Now if you think that this is a horological odometer, well you are wrong. Its purpose is for manually entering the miles after the fact, the reference of which could be learned from a digital device that measures the miles traveled. Well, as such it’s still a very hand tool and say us, a real toy for the big boys. It’s a cool eye candy, especially that the rollers align very precisely and that the system uses a locking mechanism to ensure perfect stability thus preventing any accidental manipulations, after all, those miles were well worth the calories burned. The pleasurable feel of the tactile mechanical button for adjusting the numbers are just too good to ignore.
Powering the Richard Mille RM 70–01 Tourbillon Alain Prost watch is the manually-wound 3Hz tourbillon-escapement caliber RM07–01 movement with 70 hours of power reserve and it indicates only the time. Titanium is used for most of the movement which is not surprising as it comes from a prestigious high-end lifestyle sports watch maker’s first foray into the world of cycling. The movement as seen on the skeletonized dial and exhibition caseback, also took inspiration from bike pedals. Although the movement indicates time only, it does include a subtle power reserve indicator on the dial near the tourbillon at 6 o’clock. The “Mechanical Odometer” is its own system and measures up to 99,999 Km which can literally represent anything say body count if you’re a hired gun.
Finally, it’s worth noting that lifestyle watches are getting some variety, not only racing-inspired watches but now also cycling. As for the price point, it’s a whopping 815,500 USD but it comes with a limited edition Colnago C60 road bike in matte black carbon fiber, now that’s quite a nice gift. For more info, please visit richardmille.com