Richard Mille and the 2010 Le Mans Classic
Few could ignore the familiar white-on-black logo which featured so strikingly at last weekend's event. And on the track was the very man himself: Richard Mille, behind the wheel of a 1970 Lola T70.
The company behind some of the world’s most painstakingly created ‘technical’ timepieces has been involved with the Le Mans Classic since its inception in 2002. As the event’s official timekeeper, and in celebration of the Classic’s fifth anniversary, the company has launched a brand new watch: the RM 010 Le Mans Classic.
Like all Richard Mille watches (which can take years to develop, and up to three months to make each one), the latest watch is heavily ‘skeletonised’, with a seemingly ‘floating’ clear dial.
Although Mille’s (and business partner Dominique Guenat, who was also racing, a Matra 670 and a Porsche 935) passion is for the older cars, all the company’s watches are conceived and constructed to modern F1 standards. The materials included in the latest RM 010 include high-palladium-content white gold, grade 5 titanium, tungsten/cobalt alloy, copper-nickel-zinc alloy and Nitril (for the O-ring seals). Green and white carbonfibre is used inside the bezel.
Many of the elements in the watch’s construction are so tough that the machining process (which can involve 202 separate operations for the case alone) actually wears out the hi-tech cutting and milling tools.
The result is a watch almost unique in its level of technology; light, yet tough enough to survive Felipe Massa’s accident last year. World number one Rafa Nadal has won both the French Open and Wimbledon with a Richard Mille RM 027 tourbillon - the lightest mechanical watch in the world – on his wrist.
The latest RM 010 Le Mans Classic is limited to just 150 pieces and is available in titanium, white gold and red gold. For further information, see www.richard-mille.com.
Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Classic Driver / Richard Mille / Ella Ling for Richard Mille
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