Richard Mille has done it again. Its newest creation is birthed from the heart of creativity that underpins the driving force and DNA of the avant-garde watch brand.
Making its mark upon introduction, the RM 72-01 Lifestyle In-House Chronograph is encapsulated by movement, poised at the intersection of Haute Horlogerie, dance and music.
Featuring the first flyback chronograph entirely developed and designed by the brand, the exceptional in-house creation entailed no less than 30 months of full-time work to bring it into fruition.
At its core is the Calibre CRMC1, at a slim 6.05 mm with 425 different components, featuring a double oscillating pinion mechanism developed and patented by Richard Mille, along with a pending patent for its double-clutch chronograph.
The twin oscillating pinion, one each for minutes and seconds, allows the transfers from minutes to hours to be isolated from the seconds wheel in this flyback chronograph. The beauty of this is that the chronograph function can be activated without depleting the power reserve—a tremendous horological achievement.
Furthermore, the chronograph is not limited to timing only short periods being fitted with 24-hour and 60-minute counters positioned at 5 o’clock and 2 o’clock respectively.
Significantly, what defines the new RM 72-01 is the way it keeps time: three beats to a measure that is timed to a rhythm revolving around the numbers three, eight and eleven. As the hands of each counter tick, their movements are harmonised by three beats for each of the three counters in a stylised, hypnotic dance within their three respective timescales—blue for seconds, orange for minutes, green for hours—conducted by a six-column wheel.
Fully imagined, manufactured and assembled at the brand’s Les Breuleux facilities, the mechanism and its peerless precision can be seen through the openwork caseback of the RM 72-01 Lifestyle In-House Chronograph.
Available in four iterations of 5N red gold, titanium and black or white ceramic, the striking architectural model embodying pure mechanics and hand finishing, is equipped with an automatic winding movement, with a 50-hour power reserve irrespective of how much the chronograph is activated.
In celebration of its latest launch and to mirror the unique character of the new RM 72-01, Richard Mille roped in two friends of the brand, choreographer Benjamin Millepied and composer Thomas Roussel, to collaborate on a short film that evokes the style, substance and spirit of the RM 72-01 Lifestyle In-House Chronograph.
The hybrid contemporary creators—masters of fashioning singular works that marry tradition with modernity in sync with the creations of Richard Mille—presents WITHIN, as they envisioned the perfect timing and harmonious movement of the new RM 72-01 from the perspective of technicity and artistry, and science and emotion.
At the Joshua Tree, the backdrop of sand and stone is one that has been forged by time and space, as much as it is the perfect foil for the noble and beautiful materials employed in the watches of Richard Mille. The scene was thus set for the dancers to unleash a choreography of pas-de-deux moves that were fluid yet spontaneous and unstructured, nuanced yet intense and full of raw vitality.
“My role as a producer—the choice of locations, their photographic quality, the camera’s ability to take everything in—all this comes from the landscapes themselves... Everything is thought out in response to the chosen environment,” said Millepied, creator of the ballets for the film Black Swan, and former head of the Paris Opera, as well as founder of the L.A. Dance Project.
“I work, at all times and piece after piece, to perfect the art of choreography. It is this relationship to precision that unites us with the art of haute horlogerie. Dancers and musicians are like watchmakers, craftsmen all, because we all perfect our art with discipline,” he added.
Roussel was inspired by the mysterious setting, and together with the watch’s chronometer function, he constructed a musical masterpiece that matched the movements of the dancers, recorded in the studio at St. Luke’s church in London and performed by the fifty musicians of the distinguished London Symphony Orchestra.
Sampling from the watch’s stopwatch function, the composer injected a musical tempo echoing the energy of the dancers. He then weaved in repetitive and mysterious primordial music around a tourbillon of vitality while keeping the beat as though counting seconds.
“I started composing from Benjamin’s shots to find the right rhythm and tempo for the choreography. I wanted to give him the widest possible field of expression. It’s the role of a composer for film to enhance and serve the film,” said Roussel.
“Watches, immutable as objects and through their precision, are also creations that convey emotions. Like orchestral music, Haute Horlogerie feeds on its own traditions, respecting very strict and precise rules. Based on this guidance, it is up to us to break down the codes and offer works that are singular.”
“Any watch is by definition linked to the rhythm of time, but thanks to its improvements and complications, this chronograph is even more so than others. And time is one of the phenomena that inspires me most,” Roussel added.