Richard Mille’s standing collaboration with legendary Formula One driver Alain Prost stems from the watchmaker’s affinity for racing — and F1-inspired timepieces — but for its newest release, the RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost, cycling provided the inspiration. Much like the aeronautics and automotive industries — both of which directly inspire Richard Mille watches — cycling is constantly evolving from a technical perspective, so this focus is a natural fit for the innovative watchmaker. Prost himself is an avid cyclist, and after discussions with him and other cyclists, Richard Mille realised there was a need for a wristwatch to help cyclists track the total distance travelled in a given season, with the addition of an unprecedented odometer.
Limited to a production of only 30 pieces, the RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost incorporates a mechanical odometer that can tally distances of up to 99,999 kilometres. (Quite handily, it can also be used as a reminder, since the mechanism makes it possible to specify set dates and times.) A pair of pushers controls the mechanism: the one at 2 o’clock selects the rollers on the odometer, and the other at 10 o’clock advances the rollers one number at a time. Thus, the wearer only need add the day’s distance to the prior total. Though it may sound relatively simple, the mechanism is quite complicated, featuring a neutral setting which allows for prevention of accidental manipulations.
Simultaneously tonneau-shaped, rectangular and asymmetrical, the RM 70-01’s case is designed to ensure optimal comfort when worn on the right wrist, as well as enhanced legibility of the dial whilst out riding. The tripartite case utilises Carbon TPT, a remarkable material with a unique finish obtained by layering hundreds of sheets of carbon fibre. Inside, the watch is equipped with a 70-hour power-reserve and a manual winding tourbillon calibre sports a baseplate and bridges in grade 5 titanium, an extremely stiff and durable material. Design-wise, nods to the world of cycling are evident, from the titanium Allen screws that dot the bridges, to the barrel ratchet, which recalls the design of forged wheel spokes; there’s also the tourbillon cage and dynamometric crown, evocative of a bicycle’s pedal.
As a special bonus, each RM 70-01 buyer will receive their very own bespoke bicycle as a gift, so that they may fully enjoy the dynamic and mechanical aspects of this technical marvel. Developed by Alain Prost and Richard Mille in partnership with the prestigious Italian bikemaker Colnago, these individually numbered bicycles are made by hand and painted in the watchmaking brand’s colours.
For pricing and availability, contact your local Richard Mille boutique.