Blithesomely colourful, intensely complex - the Tourbillon Richard Mille RM 59-01 Yohan Blake presented to the press at SIHH 2013.
There is a a certain playfulness in the architecture of this piece. Face-on it is, perhaps suggestive of a particularly vibrant printed circuit board - but those "claws" are not simply striking cosmetic paraphernalia, but are in fact the bridges which wrap around the skeletonised manually wound movement of the RM 59-01.
Designed for, and with Yohan Blake, this is a wristwatch made for wearing on the track whilst sprinting and as such it had to meet a few demanding requirements - that of durability, lightness and comfort.
Size/weight ratio is a Richard Mille speciality, as is the use of cutting-edge materials. For this piece the bridges are made from anticorodal aluminium obtained from a combination of aluminium, magnesium, silicon and lead and the baseplate is made from grade 5 titanium. Case design and construction at Richard Mille is becoming ever-more technically advanced and this piece, in order to serve its namesake would need to hug the wrist without chafing. The solution was a re-designed case which extends and tapers on the crown-side and, through the use of translucent composite a new lucidity is achieved. Such experimental application cannot fail to impress - these are concept watches for public consumption and I feel that without the combination of chemistry and drama that a new Richard Mille watch brings, the industry would be somewhat lacking.
The Tourbillon Richard Mille RM 59-01 Yohan Blake will be a limited edition of 50 pieces more information at Richard Mille.
More wonderfully technical Richard Mille stuff from The Watch Press here.