In typical Richard Mille style, an intimate group of journalists and videographers was flown up to to Circuit Paul Ricard in Marseille, France to indulge in the watchmaker’s three most favourite hobbies – racing, cycling and socialising. Blended into the festivities was the launch of Richard Mille‘s newest creation: the RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost.
Limited to 30 pieces worldwide, the timepiece took three years to design, according to Richard. “Normally, it’ll take us seven to eight years to conceptualise and design our watches but for the RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost, we borrowed engineering and design elements from our previous timepieces and blended them together for this watch.”
The idea for the RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost came about after Richard chatted with some of the world’s top cyclists and realised that they didn’t track the amount of kilometres they accumulated during training. So, the watchmaker went into his workshop and created a special odometer on the tourbillon. Unfortunately, the process is not automated. The cyclist has to manually add the distance into the watch after each training session although it is a rather fuss-free procedure.
Richard sought the help of personal friend and four-time Formula One world champion Alain Prost while creating the watch (hence the name), and one of the suggestions that Prost gave was to design the watch such that it could only be worn on the right wrist. This was purely an ergonomic decision. While riding his bicycle, Prost was quite irritated with how the crown on his watches would dig into the flesh of his left hand as he was gripping the handlebars. Hence, by wearing it on the right wrist, the crown faces towards the wearer instead of away and into the hand.
The odd-shaped Carbon TPT case is also a design, function-follows-form triumph. Ergonomically designed for riding, the case is unlike any we’ve seen before, and we’ve seen a lot of watch cases. The best way to describe it would be if a tonneau and a rectangle made a baby.
Underneath the hood, the RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost bears all the features of a typical Richard Mille timepiece. It’s shock- and water-resistant, incredibly lightweight, made with the most advanced of materials such as titanium and carbon fibre, and filled with a lengthy power reserve of 70 hours. When you purchase a Richard Mille, you know that your watch will last generations. There’s a reason why it’s called the secret billionaire’s handshake.
The Richard Mille RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost is CHF799,000 before taxes, or about S$1.1 million