Every true watch enthusiast would want to own a Richard Mille timepiece. Each new piece introduced has new ideas behind it and the creativity in the making of it tells an amazing story of the determination to give the wearer the best in the world.
The Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix could be considered the perfect occasion for Richard Mille to present the RM 50-04 Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph Kimi Raikkonen. The outstanding piece pays homage to Kimi Raikkonen, F1 world champion in 2007 and also his team, the Alfa Romeo Racing team which is a legendary manufacturer inseparable from car racing.
Kimi clearly took pride in wearing the RM 50-04 which has his name to it. It looked great on his wrist when he came wearing it for the interview with the press at Capella Hotel in Singapore’s Sentosa Island. It’s such a stunning piece that it would stand out wherever it is seen. Red, white and black were the main colour combination and it was an immediate hit with those who had the privilege to see it.
This extremely technical calibre is fitted with a split-seconds chronograph tourbillon and a grade-5 titanium and Carbon PT movement that weighs just seven grams.
Combining these complications within a single mechanism could be considered a Herculean task as it required perfect transmission of energy to ensure faultless operation.
The research team improved the profile of the teeth on the barrel and the second wheel pinion due to the need to reduce friction. The latter led to an excellent distribution of torque and an optimised output. The combination of the tourbillon escapement and the chronograph paired with the unprecedented fine skeletonisation make this extremely innovative watch the absolute chronograph perfection.
Elaborating more on the hues, the colours used on the C38 single-seater are showcased on the bezel and case back in white Quartz TPT. This is achieved by interlaying 600 layers of silicon, each 45 microns thick and impregnating them with a white matrix before heating them to 120 degrees celsius in an autoclave. This process gives the material a very high resistance/weight ratio, non-allergenic properties, and excellent resistance to UV rays.
Developed by North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT), the technique is also used on the Carbon TPT middle, but this time using carbon fibres. Red echoes can also be seen within the movement, particularly on the Carbon TPT flange, the chronograph counters, and the power-reserve, torque and function indicators. The grade-5 titanium dial also includes the number 7, which is worn by Kimi in competition. Exceptional resistance is the result of these technical solutions, tested in-house with impacts of 5,000 g’s.
Would you want this on your wrist? We certainly would think so as it is a limited edition of just 30 pieces. The one that Kimi has is set to accompany him on all his major grand prix races.
Kimi’s reserved disposition and indomitable way of keeping his cool under any circumstances which helped to earn him his nickname of “Iceman”, is well deserved.
He says, “We in Finland are known for our “guts” and determination. We even have a word for it - sisu. However, in my sport sisu is not enough. I have to rely on high-performance technology and teamwork but most of all, though, there has to be sheer passion! Richard Mille has powered his own engine for years with all three of these — guts, technological prowess an above all, fun. That’s why I am more than happy to be at the wheel with the ground-breaking RM 50-04 on my wrist.”
Kimi is a respected seasoned veteran on the F1 circuit at present. He has made 103 podium finishes, coming first on 21 occasions and having been appointed Sports Ambassador in 2017 in Finland, he is currently Finland’s most decorated Formula 1 driver.
Presently 39 years of age, his exceptional longevity at the races is clear and after 18 years in this career, he has developed a different approach to Formula 1 which is more focused on the pleasure of driving. He has confided that he considers F1 to be a hobby. “I no longer feel the same pressure and can just have fun at the wheel. That’s what I enjoy doing, even if I’m still concentrated on doing my best to achieve the result that the car deserves. “
At the interview in Singapore recently, prior to the grand launch and the big race, when asked what excited him most about the F1 race in Singapore, he said, “I don’t know. To me they are similar... obviously different places, different countries and tracks but in many ways they are very similar... how it works for us... because this is an evening race but if you don’t think that it’s an evening race, for us, it looks like a normal race when you’re travelling. It’s going to be a long run race on Sunday, so it’s always a big challenge here as it is hot and humid, different from Europe. So... interesting!”
To another question from the press, he also spoke about wearing the watch while driving the C38 single-seater. “I’ve never really been the guy to wear a watch because it was uncomfortable and it never appealed to me.
“So, I was a bit skeptical when we signed the deal and I knew it was another watch brand, but once I got my watch, I was so surprised. I never really did use a watch in the past, but now, I don’t even notice it. It’s a completely different philosophy that drives Richard Mille. Now I don’t even notice when I’m wearing it and it’s a great looking watch and it doesn’t weigh anything. It suits me completely.”
Timothée Malachard of Richard Mille explained, “That’s exactly what we want in our partnerships. This watch musn’t hinder the day to day activity of our partner sportspersons. Ergonomics and lightweight materials are the tools we use to achieve that performance. We want the watch to be comfortable and not get in the way.”
It is from childhood that Richard Mille’s passion for automobiles dates back to. Cars and watches may differ in terms of size but they are both high-precision machines.
Richard Mille’s relationship with F1 has been proven again and again these past few years and Richard Mille watches emulate the world of Formula One. Both have the same quest for performance, lightness and high-quality components.
The global launch of the latest Formula 1 inspired tourbillon calibre by Richard Mille was a grand event. What was also wonderful is that Richard Mille also gave a huge amount of money to a charitable fund called “Save The Children” by playing fun games with the guests who were invited to the glamorous evening event. This non-profit organisation improves the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities. It also provides aid in times of crisis, such as natural disasters.
The programme of the global launch was also enhanced for the guests as many were also invited to the Richard Mille VIP Sky Suites which were indeed impressive. From the comfort of this lovely space, watching the race became even more exciting, fun and memorable.
The RM50-04 is another feather in the cap for the brand which stands for all that a leader in the world of watchmaking should be.