As a sports fan, I have been keeping track of what’s going on at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. What has really caught my eye thus far is the fact that there have been four athletes wearing a wristwatch while competing in their various events . . . and all four are wearing Richard Mille timepieces.
Seventeen years ago the Rallye des Princesses (Princess Rally) was staged for the first time. Adding even more elegance, glamour, and performance, Richard Mille joined the event as principle sponsor in 2015.
Richard Mille invited Nola Martin and I on this year’s road trip, which took place May 28 through June 2, 2016. We were given a shiny new BMW press car with which to follow the rally, thereby gaining firsthand experience to find out what it takes to complete this beautiful journey.
I recently went to a boutique opening thrown by Richard Mille in Munich. Sounds like fun, but think about it for a minute: who opens a standalone boutique in a country filled with really, really traditionally minded collectors – in this financial atmosphere? And, there was a surprise in store, in this case it was a new ambassador. Meet world rally champion Sébastien Ogier.
Transparency fascinates, especially when it’s used in design. And what better way is there to reveal the inner workings of something than to remove the covers and reveal its very soul? At Baselworld 2016, we found five examples of the ultimate in transparency by brands as diverse as 4N, Rebellion, Hublot, MB&F, and Bell & Ross.
The RM 011 Red TPT Quartz Automatic Flyback Chronograph is the second wristwatch to use TPT Quartz after the RM 27-02 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal. Without even getting into this watch’s awesome movement and the distinctive style, it should be clear that the RM 011 Red TPT Quartz Automatic Flyback Chronograph is a standout piece among a collection of standout watches thanks to the advanced composite technology housing the movement.
Just two days shy of the unveiling of the McLaren team’s 2016 Formula 1 car that drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso will be driving, McLaren CEO Ron Dennis and his team were shielding any possible view of the automobile from the curious eyes of the small group of watch journalists invited for the introduction of new corporate sponsor Richard Mille. Luckily for us, however, Button’s wrist was not off-limits, and neither were Richard’s comments.
A live report from Woking, England as McLaren’s Ron Dennis announced that another watch brand was set to step into the big Formula 1 sponsorship shoes left behind by TAG Heuer’s departure, a brand that fits the bill perhaps even better in terms of brand messages and commonalities.
“We’re at the beginning of this partnership, both as brands and as individuals,” Dennis, who praises commitment, said during the introduction at the McLaren Technology Center.
That brand is of course Richard Mille, and the two companies now enter into a ten-year contract.
Now, please don’t take this title the wrong way: this list is not definitive. Which is why it is not entitled “The 5 Most Innovative Wristwatches Ever Made.” It is specifically entitled “5 Of The Most Innovative Wristwatches Ever Made” because there are certainly more of them out there (this list could have encompassed 15, or even 20!) and there are surely differing opinions. For me, these five timepieces largely encompass comprehensive parts of what is great about the modern world of wristwatches.
It’s not often that I come across a fountain pen that I consider mechanical art, so I was really excited when the new Richard Mille Mechanical Fountain Pen was introduced at SIHH 2016 alongside the new timepieces.
Equally thrilling was the fact that this pen was introduced as neither an add-on to the watch collection nor as an aside: it debuted front and center as it should have.
In addition to its Richard Mille-esque aesthetic, the Mechanical Fountain Pen represents a revelation in fountain pen design.
It’s already been six consecutive years that I’ve had the delightful experience of going through SIHH week with several of my closest friends. Our closing discussions centered around four questions, which were focused more tightly on SIHH itself this year due to the inclusion of nine independent watchmakers: what watch did you think was best of show at SIHH? What was the worst watch of the show? What watch displayed at the show would you buy if money were no object? What watch did you see on display that would you buy with your own money?