Richard Mille The Richard Mille Ski Clinic
It doesn’t get more exclusive than this
Arriving in the French ski resort of Courchevel after a week of Watches and Wonders madness was pure bliss. Tired and exhausted after several days of running around the Geneva watch fair, I now had three days to immerse myself in the world of Richard Mille.
Since leaving the watch fair scene two years ago, Richard Mille decided that it wanted to meet journalists and clients in a more qualitative way, and one of these ways is the exclusive Richard Mille Ski Clinic.
Only the Finest Ski Instructors
As the name suggests, the Richard Mille Ski Clinic, took us onto the slopes to improve our style in the presence of two of the brand’s partners – French ski world champion Alexis Pinturault and Olympic Norwegian biathlete Johannes Thingnes Bø.
Our small group of journalists was divided into two groups and I joined Alexis Pinturault, who led us up, down, and over the mountains around Courchevel. Pinturault grew up here and his family owns the Annapurna Hotel, where we had the pleasure of staying. A true gentleman, he held back on his speed to accommodate the differing skiing levels of the group – much to my relief – although it was a little like watching a Ferrari in first gear! When one of our skiers took a wrong turn, however, he sped after him, leaving the rest of us with our chins on our chests in awe.
Johannes Thingnes Bø - Alexis Pinturault © Richard Mille
Alexis Pinturault has been a Richard Mille partner since 2014. Much more than a simple partner, he also tests the watches, like many of Richard Mille’s partners (such as Rafael Nadal, Bubba Watson, and Sébastien Loeb, to name just a few). He also admits to breaking a few in the R&D process!
Alexis Pinturault © Richard Mille
The RM 67-02
Poking out of his ski jacket we can see his RM 67-02 Automatic Alexis Pinturault. “When we are doing so much sport, the watch has to disappear from your mind,” he shares. “At the beginning of our relationship seven years ago, I was wearing the RM 035 Rafael Nadal, which was the first Chronofiable® certified timepiece. Then they worked on this watch (pointing to the RM 67-02 on his wrist), which is a little bit lighter and really convenient to wear,” he notes. “After working on the weight (only 32g) and the thickness, we discussed the colour and chose the white Quartz TPT® with the colours of the French flag. Altogether it is a number of details that make it the best watch for me and for other athletes too,” he says.
RM 67-02 © Richard Mille
Johannes Thingnes Bø
After four hours of solid skiing, we stop for lunch where I have the pleasure of sitting next to Olympic Norwegian biathlete Johannes Thingnes Bø, who is as pleasurable and easy to talk to as his French counterpart. We discuss everything from how he became a Richard Mille partner, to family life, staying at the top, and the challenges of the biathlon as a sport. He is also wearing an RM 67-02 Automatic with the colours of the Norwegian flag and his initials, which he loves.
Johannes Thingnes Bø © Richard Mille
After lunch, we have a go at shooting a biathlon-style rifle, and it seems pretty easy until our teacher gets us sprinting back and forth and doing burpees to get our hearts going, to simulate real shooting conditions. Needless to say, this was a whole different story. We also learn that the Olympic target is 10 times smaller, leaving us in even more admiration for Thingnes Bø’s talents!
The following day, Pinturault and Thingnes Bø are back on the slopes, this time with a select group of Richard Mille owners who have joined the brand for the weekend. I smile as I watch them leave, knowing in advance the fun they are going to have.
I spend the morning relaxing in the spa of the Hotel Annapurna watching the snow fall softly outside from the warmth and comfort of the hot tub. There is something about “exclusivity” that I could really get used to!
Johannes Thingnes Bø, Biathlon © Richard Mille
Discover full interviews with Alexis Pinturault and Johannes Thingnes Bø coming soon.
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.Find out more >
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