The Richard Mille Kongo Tourbillon is haute horology at its best

You may think that graffiti and fine Swiss watchmaking do not go hand in hand, but Richard Mille thinks otherwise. After a chance meeting, it has entrusted famous graffiti artist Cyril Kongo to ‘tag’ one of its Tourbillon timepieces, and the result is stunning…

Chalk and cheese?

The French-Vietnamese artist Cyril ‘Kongo’ Phan is renowned for his vibrant and colourful graffiti, which originated on the streets of Paris over 20 years ago. But scaling down his work to apply to one of Richard Mille’s intricate movements was no mean feat. In fact, he had to develop new tooling and techniques especially for the task. “It took over a year of experimentation,” says Kongo. “Certain pieces were barely a few millimetres long, and I had to put the lettering directly on them, enough for visual effect but without using much paint so as to avoid throwing off the balance of the movement.”

To complement the artwork, Richard Mille stylistically adapted the movement itself, with components such as the colourful arcing bridges resembling an explosion of paint. Just 30 RM68-01 Kongo Tourbillons have been hand-painted, each of which is unique. 

Photos: Richard Mille

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