A very artful piece launched in collaboration with one of the biggest artists of modern music industry.
Richard Mille has enjoyed quite a list of celebrity endorsements throughout the years, however this particular collaboration with singer, songwriter, and producer Pharrell William still looks special for at least two reasons. Firstly, Pharrell is a renowned watch aficionado, has been previously spotted wearing Richard Mille and even featured the brand in his tracks’ lyrics (our personal favorite is Numbers performed together with Skepta). Secondly, the RM 52-05 pairs the usual crazy hi-tech stuff with something, a lot of haute horlogerie purists claim RM is naturally lacking – traditional decorative techniques like engraving, enameling and painting. And this kind of affairs certainly doesn’t happen every day.
Priced a little south of a million dollar mark, the Richard Mille RM 52-05 Tourbillon Pharrell Williams is inspired by the singer’s childhood obsession with space and particularly Mars. The center part of the open-worked dial is laid in a form of an astronaut’s helmet sculpted in a trademark titanium alloy and then hand painted. The image of a reflecting crystal revealing the Mars’ terrain and the distant Earth is engraved and enamel-painted right atop the piece of a solid red gold. Look closer, and you’ll notice two white gold elements containing a black sapphire and two diamonds imitating the helmet floodlights. Both central hands, as well as the bridges seen through the caseback, are skeletonized to mimic the rocket launch platforms or satellite arms. The crown rubber surrounding follows the profile of a Martian rover tyre. The list of tiny space references goes on and on, and of course, there’s a piece of a blue aventurine glass serving as a cosmic background.
As the name suggests, the manually-wound caliber beating inside the RM 52-05 is actually tourbillon regulated. There’s a trick here however, for the carriage is only partially visible from the both sides and is meant to stay slightly behind the monumental space-themed artwork of the piece. The other usual suspects of Richard Mille DNA include a free-sprung balance wheel with variable inertia, a faster rotating barrel and a quite bold overall movement architecture. The 42.3 mm case is produced of brown Cermet – a complex alloy combining the best attributes of titanium and ceramic, and resulting not only in extreme lightness and durability, but also in quite an interesting color. The watch is complemented with a trademark rubber strap, this time in orange. The Richard Mille RM 52-05 Tourbillon Pharrell Williams is limited to 30 pieces worldwide.
Nov. 18, 2019