Space Invader - the RM52-05 designed by Pharrell Williams

Musician and entrepreneur looks to the heavens for Richard Mille limited edition

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Richard Mille

This new collaboration between Richard Mille and music mogul Pharrell Williams presents an interesting scenario. If Richard Mille, whose eponymous brand has little in the way of watchmaking or manufacturing limits, handed you a blank sheet of paper and asked you to propose an original watch design, what would you create?

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Richard Mille

We’d probably explore what a Richard Mille perpetual calendar would look like.

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Richard Mille

But Williams, the singer, producer and entrepreneur, a long-time friend of the brand and customer has cast an eye to the heavens for his own design, saying: “What could be more inspiring than all that ever was and all that ever will be?”

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Richard Mille

His concept of the Earth reflected in the visor of an astronaut on Mars required a combination of high tech manufacturing techniques and traditional metiers d’art to produce.

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Richard Mille

The baseplate is machined from Grade 5 Titanium and inset with panes of dark blue Adventurine glass, evoking the depths of space. Covering the 3Hz RM52-05 hour and minute tourbillon calibre is an astronaut’s helmet (both movement bridges and the helmet are also Grade 5 Titanium) airbrushed white.

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The Fondant layer of enamel, which acts as a varnish, ready to be fired.
Richard Mille

The visor is formed from 18ct 5N rose gold which required 15 hours of engraving to depict the 7km cliffs of Valles Marineris by artisan Pierre-Alain Lozeron. Rather than the traditional approach of mixing enamel pigments, the high contrast required to depict the Martian landscape saw Lozeron apply colours separately in individual layers, dramatically increasing the number of firings needed, meaning each dial requires a full day of enamelling.

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Richard Mille

Either side of the visor are two diamonds and a black sapphire, representing the lights and camera built-in to an astronaut’s helmet.

But this wouldn’t be Richard Mille without at least one advanced material, so the front and rear of the RM52-05’s case is made of brown Cermat, a metallic zirconium matrix combined with high tech ceramic, while the caseband is Carbon TPT, the aerospace composite Mille introduced to the world of watchmaking. The shade of the finished watch is a rich bronze, thanks to its metallic iridescence and fitting match for its orange rubber strap.

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Richard Mille

Of course, you could appreciate the skeletonised hands and bridges that represent ‘rocket launch platforms’, the crown based on a rocket capsule or its rubber surround with a tread pattern taken from a Martian rover tyre or you could just admire the unique aesthetic of a product created by two mavericks in their own fields. It certainly makes us Happy (sorry couldn’t resist).

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Richard Mille

Just 30 pieces of the RM52-05 will be made priced £897,500.


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