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Richard Mille  - A Celebration Of Bushido

Richard Mille A Celebration Of Bushido

Introducing The New RM 47 Tourbillon

Richard Mille has often delved into Asian arts and crafts. But so far, these very exclusive and high-end creations had mostly drawn upon a classic repertoire of tigers and dragons. The RM47 is a departure from these previous iterations on many counts. First and foremost, the theme is typical of Japanese culture and artefacts. It is a rare occurrence when a brand opts out of pure allegory and adds literal ingredients to the story told by a timepiece. Yet the symbolic dimension of the RM47 is of significant substance, as the entire piece is rooted in the celebration of the Samurai code of conduct, the Bushido, and inspired by a legendary episode of Samurai rectitude.

THE 47 SYMBOL

The craft material covers the entire movement. It represents Samurai armor, or at least the uppermost part of it, with a pair of sheathed swords. As in watchmaking, everything in armor-making has a name. So let’s pay homage to Richard Mille’s sense of accuracy and verisimilitude by using the proper terms. The sculpture represents a Kabuto (helmet) complete with Maedate (crest) and Menpo (face mask). Richard Mille has accounted for the fact that watch fans look at watches from all angles, so the RM47’s back is also adorned with the reverse side of the armor, including the Shikoro (nape guard). On top of the 3D piece of craftsmanship sits a flange bearing a pair of golden-scabbard Katana (long curved swords). They can be recognized by the knotted fabric wrap designed to suspend them from the warrior’s side. But the most significant part of this décor is one that might go unnoticed. The Kamon (medallion emblem) at 6 o’clock represents a pair of crossed falcon feathers. This is the crest of Asano Naganori, known as “Lord of the 47 Ronin”, whose faithful warriors avenged his death before following him in it, as the famed story goes. 

A Celebration of Bushido

RM 47 Tourbillon © Richard Mille

MINIATURE ARMOR

The work that lies behind each RM47’s decorative dial is staggering. It entails casting, engraving, painting and applying gold leaf to numerous components, all of which is done by hand. This includes a yellow gold crown engraved with a Japanese maple leaf. Starting with raw materials, the crafting process for each timepiece requires no less than three entire days of work by a pair of artisans accustomed to these high-end creations. Richard Mille has limited production to a total of 75 watches, which gives an idea of when the last of them will be delivered. That’s after the manufacturing of a Richard Mille skeleton movement with a tourbillon, the latter being almost completely hidden from view by the Kamon. It may be that, for once, the main attraction in a Richard Mille won’t be its openworked movement, or the tonneau-shape case made of yellow gold, titanium and black, scratch-proof ceramics, but instead this impressive tribute to Samurai culture, stories and gear.

A Celebration of Bushido

© RM 47 tourbillon © Richard Mille

A celebration of everything car-related

It was a long time coming back. After a two-year hiatus, on September 25th, the Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille car festival is bringing back its unique format. A celebration of all things automobile, it’s also a family-oriented event that showcases the French art-de-vivre in the most prestigious surroundings of the Château de Chantilly. It’s no secret to anyone anymore that Richard Mille, the man, is a petrol-head, a racer, a car collector and a car buff. He built Richard Mille, the brand, on the premise that automobile in general and race cars in particular are more than just a watch-adjacent universe. They’re a source of design, technological and spiritual inspiration.

A Celebration of Bushido

The Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille Car Festival © Richard Mille

FOUR-WHEEL WONDERS

There’s a versatility in the relationship Richard Mille established with the automotive world. The brand is associated with vintage cars, contemporary cars, F1 cars and pilots, Hypercar vehicles and pilots, as well as champions of the past and czars of the sector, such as Jean Alesi, Sebastien Loeb or Jean Todt. The event impeccably reflects the eclectic taste of the brand: a Concours d’Elegance, exhibitions of collectors’ clubs, vintage cars of all walks of life will shine next to an exhibition dedicated to the cars having belonged to famed French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo. Not far from there, official booths of famed manufacturers will harbor marvels from the past and future. That includes two official partners of Richard Mille’s, McLaren and Ferrari, no less.

 
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Twenty years young

20th Edition of the GMT XXL © GMT Magazine

 

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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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