Brazilian Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa is the first sporting figure to have joined the Richard Mille family. A long-time test driver for Richard Mille watches, it was he who enabled the brand to initiate and accomplish astonishing feats in watchmaking development. Such triumphs included the manufacture of a carbon nanofiber baseplate, first tested with the RM 006 FM then used in a number of other models, as well as the processing of new materials such the Alusic cases on the RM 009 FM.
This collaboration, which became a deep friendship, is now approaching its 10th anniversary. To mark the occasion, Richard Mille has dedicated a special collection of RM 056 and RM 011 timepieces to Felipe Massa, appropriately named ‘10th Anniversary’. Today we are introducing the first model: the RM 056.
Renowned by experts for its uncompromising technicality, at the very core of the RM 056 tourbillon caliber is a synthesis of the brand’s most exciting innovations. Comprised of more than 500 individual components, the grade 5 titanium RMCC1 caliber plays host to one of horology’s most exquisite complications: a split-seconds chronograph. This tourbillon movement also boasts indicators for the power reserve and torque, and a function selector. As meticulous in their craft as Felipe Massa in his own sphere, the engineers at Richard Mille have optimized the movement, finetuning its time-keeping precision and improving the operation of its split-seconds by reducing friction, and ensuring the long-term reliability of the caliber.
These mechanics are presented to perfection by their case, produced using sapphire cut from a single block, in a process that required several years of research and testing in order to meet the highest standards of comfort and resistance. Often imitated, but never equaled, this tour de force of style and engineering represented a considerable challenge: machining sapphire is an exceedingly complex procedure, requiring no less than 1000 hours of work for each case, including 430 hours of filing and 350 hours of polishing for the bezel, case middle and case-back ensemble.
The RM 056 from the ‘10th Anniversary’ collection is inspired by the driver’s racing colors. So the flanges, transfers, push-pieces, and crowns are bedecked in blue and yellow, whilst Felipe’s logo is subtly placed at 1 o’clock.
Exclusivity defines this ‘10th Anniversary’ collection as just ten of the RM 056 will be produced.