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Pushing The Limits: The RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost.

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Richard Mille continues to shove at the limits of mechanical watchmaking, insisting that there is truly a watch for every purpose, or at least every sport. The world-beating brand now turns its attention to cycling, with an assist from racecar driver, co-director of the Renault e.dams World Champion Formula E team and four-time Formula 1 World Champion Alain Prost, who is also a serious amateur cyclist close personal friend of Richard Mille.

The fields of horology and cycling have a major commonality: the constant push for innovation and improvement that leads to the development of new mechanical techniques and new, ever-lighter, construction materials. In discussions with Prost and other serious cyclists, Richard Mille spotted an opportunity: these serious trainers couldn't say with any real confidence how many kilometers they had covered over the season.

The main attraction on the RM 70-01 is the odometer at the top of the dial, an unprecedented complication in a high-tech titanium window that helps cyclists track the kilometers ridden over the course of the season. At the end of each day, the cyclist adds that day's kilometers to the season's total, using the pusher at 2 o'clock to individually select any of the readout's five rollers and advancing it with the pusher at 10 o'clock.


As with so much technology, the simplicity for the user belies extreme sophistication within. The first pusher selects the appropriate roller to adjust, with the correct alignment signaled by two yellow arrows. As the roller rotates in increments of one, impelled by the second pusher, the carry mechanism prevents it from going too far. When the cyclist is not entering distance into the machine, they can "lock" by sticking it in neutral, with an "N" at two o'clock providing peace of mind.

The watch's aptness for cycling permeates its entire design. The baseplate and bridges are in grade-5 titanium, a sturdy material known for its light weight that stands up to the often bumpy, unpredictable trails over which the cyclists barrel at top speeds. Aesthetic nods to the sport of cycling abound: the crown resembles a bicycle pedal, and tiny Allen screws affix the timepiece's bridges. Even the architecture of the watch face itself, with multiple opening and layers that reveal the odometer mechanism and the stunning tourbillon that dominates the lower half of the dial, calls to mind the visible simplicity of a well-made bicycle.

Even the shape of the case, unusual as it might seem, was designed to please demanding cyclists. Defying the watchmaking's conventions, the RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost combines rectangular and tonneau shapes, skewing them into an asymmetrical form best suited for the right wrist of someone who will be gripping handlebars for the next several hours.

[[nid:2599474]]This extraordinary piece is available in a limited edition of 30 pieces, with each model accompanied by a bespoke road cycle. Developed for the cyclist who expects the best of everything, these hand-built bicycles were designed in collaboration with Alain Prost, Richard Mille and Italian high-end bicycling manufacturer Colnago.


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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Oct 10, 2017
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