A veritable ‘work of art for the wrist’, the new RM 68-01 Tourbillon Cyril Kongo watch will make horological history. For the first time ever, an artist has transferred his universe of the tremendously large to the heart of a watch movement.
The RM 68-01 is the outcome of Richard Mille’s desire to introduce contemporary art within haute horlogerie in an unprecedented manner. Indeed, this tourbillon calibre is more than a watch, insofar as it also serves as a canvas for the inspiration and creativity of street artist Cyril Kongo. Never before has a work of art thus taken shape on the bridges and baseplate of a watch, becoming a truly integral part of the timepiece. Richard Mille and Kongo succeeded in taking an art essentially associated with large-scale urban murals and translating it for the horological world of micromechanics and precision, thereby making a leap from city walls to bridges, baseplates and sapphire dials of watchmaking.
It took more than a year to develop the painting technique used by Kongo. A special airbrush was developed to allow the artist to spray his colours with the utmost delicacy, one droplet at a time. To avoid jeopardising the calibre’s equilibrium, essential to its functioning, the weight of the paint had to be strictly determined beforehand. This significant challenge involving all the teams collaborating on the RM 68-01 project resulted in the creation of a unique palette of brightly coloured indelible paints that adhere perfectly to the titanium components and can endure assembly and dismantling.
This production technique made it possible to draw lines barely visible to the naked eye and impossible to create directly by hand, even if certain motifs were sketched using pens with especially fine nibs. Regardless of the technique, every component of each watch was painted in the hues of the man known as Mr Colourful.
Both Richard Mille Watches China Replica RM 67-02 watches weigh only 32g each, which makes them Richard Mille’s lightest automatic watches ever. This can be accomplished thanks to ultra lightweight materials utilized through the watch. The brightly colored top and back sections of the case are made from super light but strong Quartz TPT, as we’ve seen earlier in watches such as this RM 35-02 watch for Rafael Nadal, while the case middle is made from Carbon TPT. But that is not all. The screws used to secure the situation are created out of Grade 5 titanium and so will be the foundation plates and bridges used in the movement.It also helps that the RM 67-02’s instance is quite tiny (for a Richard Mille, at least). Case diameter is 38.7mm and 47.5millimeter lug to lug. Thickness is a scant 7.8mm, making it among Richard Mille’s thinner watches. Water resistance is simply 30m, therefore it needs to be able to withstand sweaty athletes – if not much more liquid than that.The two watches are in reality identical and only differ in terms of colors, which – even though they may seem similar to flavors of ice cream – represent the flags of these athletes’ countries. The Richard Mille RM 67-02 Sprint, that was made for Wayne van Niekerk, is decorated with the colors of the South African flag and includes a vivid green case with yellow beams. On the flip side, the Richard Mille RM 67-02 High Jump, created for Mutaz Essa Barshim, is decorated with the colors of the Qatari flag and comes with a deep crimson case with white bands.Powering the 2 watches is the grade CRMA7, a skeletonized self-winding movement that is made mostly from titanium. The rotor is made from Carbon TPT to decrease weight, however, the endings are made from white gold to ensure winding efficiency. The movement has a very specialized and somewhat industrial look, but it is really very highly completed with micro-blasted sinks and anglage, gray and black electro-plasma treatment for the baseplate and bridges, circular finishing on the wheels, and much more as is to be expected from Richard Mille.