Over the past two decades, the avant-garde watchmaker Richard Mille has built a reputation for producing complicated, expensive and experimental timepieces designed for the world of fast cars. This year, he’s still obsessed with the concept of movement, but, judging by his latest wristwatch, he’s feeling a lot more contemplative.
Despite its clunky name, the new RM 72-01 Lifestyle In-House Chronograph is a streamlined piece of timekeeping machinery. Encased in the watchmaker’s signature tonneau-shape style, the model marks the first time the company has designed, manufactured, and assembled a flyback chronograph movement in its own workshops in Les Breuleux, Switzerland.
To promote the unisex piece, the brand teamed with two French artists, the choreographer Benjamin Millepied and the composer Thomas Roussel, to create a dreamy film featuring dancers Nayomi Van Brunt and David Adrian Freeland, Jr. performing a pas-de-deux in the California desert.
Set in Joshua Tree National Park, the film, called “Within,” is designed to draw attention to the dancers’ raw human energy and the ways in which the RM 72-01 embodies their movements.
Speaking of movements, the Calibre CRMC1 represents true horological innovation. Its relative slimness—just 6.05 mm—belies its complexity. With 425 components, the automatic movement, which required more than 30 months of full-time work from the brand’s movement construction team, incorporates a double-clutch system with oscillating pinions developed and patented by Richard Mille. In short, the coupling system divorces the timekeeping functionality from the performance of the chronograph, allowing its 50 hours of power reserve to remain steady regardless of how much the timing feature is used.
The watch comes in four case executions—red gold, titanium, and black or white ceramic—and features an unconventional dial layout: A 60-minute counter resides at 2 o’clock, a 24-hour counter at 5 o’clock, and a small seconds counter at 9 o’clock.
The piece, which retails for $188,000, is available exclusively at Richard Mille boutiques worldwide.