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Richard Mille - Is a million-dollar tourbillon the perfect watch for the adventurer?

Richard Mille Is a million-dollar tourbillon the perfect watch for the adventurer?

Sylvester Stallone teams up with Richard Mille to produce an incredible watch capable of getting you out of some improbably sticky situations.

Imagine you have just escaped from kidnappers. You find yourself in unfamiliar and hostile territory. What is the ultimate watch that you would want to have strapped on your wrist? Richard Mille thinks he has the answer with an unbelievable timepiece developed with Sylvester Stallone, who personified the role of Rambo in the film adaptations of David Morrell’s series of books.

Un tourbillon à un million de dollar est-il la montre idéale pour les aventuriers ?

Richard Mille and Sylvester Stallone © Richard Mille

It’s clear from this co-development that Sylvester Stallone believes no self-respecting adventure hero should leave home without his million-dollar tourbillon. Those who find themselves in regular life-or-death scenarios also need a torque indicator, power reserve indicator and a “competition” chronograph as well, apparently. Much more practical are the interchangeable bezels: the compass bezel can be attached using a bayonet fitting (like that on an SLR camera) and has a protective flip top with a mirrored back and aperture at 12 o’clock that makes it perfect for taking precise bearings and reading maps. A spirit level in a titanium housing attached to the case at 4 o’clock helps to ensure that the watch is flat for taking accurate readings. An anti-magnetic coating ensures that there is no magnetic interference between the compass and the watch movement, which could affect the accuracy of both. The compass can be removed and attached to a separate plate in CarbonTPTTM to make it the perfect navigational tool.

Un tourbillon à un million de dollar est-il la montre idéale pour les aventuriers ?

The RM 25-01, compass configuration © Richard Mille

When the compass is being used in this case, the bezel on the watch can be replaced with a “daylight” version that can still be used for orientation. Most survivalists know that any analogue watch can be used as a compass simply by pointing the hour hand at the sun and taking a line between the hour hand and 12 o’clock to give true south in the northern hemisphere and true north in the southern hemisphere. Richard Mille makes the task a lot easier with dedicated scales on the bi-directional bezel, meaning that you just have to line up the hour hand with the sun and turn the bezel to align the local time. The four cardinal points will then be in the right position.

Un tourbillon à un million de dollar est-il la montre idéale pour les aventuriers ?

The RM 25-01, “daylight” configuration © Richard Mille

If you like the idea of the spirit level, then you’ll love the other titanium protrusion on the case at 2 o’clock. It’s a hermetically sealed capsule that can store water purification tablets. Richard Mille claims that the tablets could purify a litre of water in anything from 30 minutes to 2 hours, “depending on the level of pollution”. Some brief research on the internet throws up some different figures and a range of different purification tablets (some of which are individually wrapped). Maybe this particular container has been designed to house Sylvester Stallone’s preferred brand. How you are supposed to determine the level of pollution of the water, however, remains a mystery, but at least you have that competition chronograph to time the full two hours needed to purify it (just to be on the safe side).

Un tourbillon à un million de dollar est-il la montre idéale pour les aventuriers ?

© Richard Mille

In addition to the unusual adventure features that dominate this watch, there are a number of horological characteristics worthy of note. The mainplate and movement bridges, for example, are machined in grade 5 titanium, which is lightweight yet robust. The chronograph gets its “competition” designation as the result of months of research and development to optimize its operation, which has included the development of new titanium parts that have led to a 50% reduction in energy consumption and significantly reduced friction in the chronograph.

Un tourbillon à un million de dollar est-il la montre idéale pour les aventuriers ?

Caliber RM25-01: manual winding tourbillon movement with 24-hour display, minutes and chronograph function, power reserve, torque and function indicators. © Richard Mille

With its robust and rugged design, plus its camouflage pattern rubber strap, the RM 25-01 is undoubtedly built for adventure. Measuring 50.85 by 23.65mm it is just a balance spring’s breadth away from being an inch high, so it certainly won’t slide elegantly under any long-sleeved shirt or sweater. But the 20 people who buy this watch do not care about such details. They will be buying the RM 25-01 because it is a very big toy for very big boys. Boys who also happen to be millionaires and who are as likely to find themselves lost in the wilderness as they are to take an Uber or fly economy class. They are buying a genuine talking piece, because anyone who wears this watch is going to have to talk about it at some point, either to explain the spirit level, the water purification tablet holder or indeed why the watch is showing the “wrong” time, since it has an unusual 24-hour display.

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Richard Mille did not simply try to find his place in the watchmaking world – he carved one out for himself, constantly striving not to take anything for granted, and to make innovation and extreme technical prowess his driving forces.

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