Going fast is Alain Prost’s thing. Not coincidentally, it’s also Richard Mille’s thing — the watchmaker has been coming up with special editions and A-list collaborations quicker than we can keep track of — not that we’re complaining. Its latest mash-up sees the legendary Formula One hero join the family for the RM70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost, but it’s not for what you think it is.
The RM70-01 isn’t inspired by Prost’s scandal-filled, bad boy image, nor is it influenced by his record-breaking Grand Prix career with McLaren, Ferrari, and Williams. It’s actually inspired by cycling, an activity he kept busy with during his sabbatical following Ferrari’s termination in 1991. Prost simply took his need for speed somewhere else.
As such, the RM70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost is a curious contraption. Machined out of a solid block of naturally-grained carbon TPT, it is asymmetric in design with compound curves that taper off in a theatrical (but still palatable) manner. The unspoken rule of wearing watches on the left arm is also challenged — Richard Mille wants you to wear it on your right arm instead to keep the crown wheel away from the wrist, preventing it from digging in over long hours.
Having worked closely with Richard Mille throughout its development, Prost also requested a mechanical odometer to display the overall distance travelled by a rider. You might be a millionaire cyclist, but you’ll have to manually clock in the distance travelled to the prior total. Up to 99,999 kilometres can be input into the timepiece, and figures are adjusted by selecting any of the five rollers via a pusher at two o’clock.
Despite an odometer and tourbillon, the movement within the RM70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost remains razor-thin and with a 70-hour power reserve. All its base plates and bridges are milled from grade 5 titanium, and the watch in its entirety is extremely light. The cycling theme permeates the design with allen screws and pedal-inspired tourbillon cage, ratchet wheel and crown.
For best results, this watch comes with its own carbon fibre Colnago C-60 bicycle, a gift from Richard Mille to each of its 30 owners. Because if you’re cycling with a watch that costs close to S$1.1 million, better hope that good ol’ rusty two-wheeler doesn’t mess up on you.
(All images: Richard Mille)