02.05.2020 - Richard Mille

One to watch: Sprint star behind Richard Mille’s latest sporty offering

A NEW timepiece from Richard Mille pays homage to yet another sports personality – Jamaican sprinter, Yohan Blake.

Blake, who is famous for running 100 and 200-metre sprint races, is the second fastest man in history.

He was the youngest man to ever win gold in the 100m at the 2011 World Championships and also bagged silver medals for the Jamican team in the 100m and 200m races at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Blake, who has been associated with the brand since 2012, wore the tourbillon RM 59-01, an older version of the RM 61-01 released in 2014.

Limited edition

Now Mille unveils the ‘RM 61-01 Ultimate Edition Yohan Blake’’ to bring a close to the six-year history of the earlier model. 

But fans of the striking watch will be lucky to get their hands on it as manufacture has been limited to just 150 pieces.

Hi-tech composites

The new edition features hi-tech materials ideal for athletes – Quartz TPT® and Carbon TPT®.

TPT, which stands for thin ply technology, is a method for making ultra-thin unidirectional strand sheets of either carbon or quartz fibres pre-impregnated with resin ‘glue’ for more accurate use.

Heated at 120 degrees and bar 6 pressure, the resin flows between all the fibres before hardening create a solid material. The TPT sheets used by Richard Mille are only 45 microns thin – that’s an unbelievable two-thousandths of an inch.

The two materials are interlaced and stacked to change the orientation of the fibres by 45 degrees between each of the layers.

And because of the nature of the random patterns that are created during this process,  each piece is completely unique. 

Carbon TPT® is used alongside Quartz TPT in the bezel and caseback, while carbon is also used for the caseband. 

Elongations between 2 and 5 o’clock mean that there is no possibility of friction occurring between the athlete’s wrist and watch – so no burns when you need them least… in a 100m world final!

Outstanding features

A crown protector made of Carbon TPT® ensures the crown is kept safe during any sporting activity, while the timepiece has undergone loads of impact tests – and the 55-hour power reserve is not to be sniffed at either.

The calibre is made from grade 5 titanium while the traversing balance bridges are in black-galvanised and hand-painted grade 5 titanium. The balance wheel features variable inertia oscillating at a frequency of 4 Hz, offering outstanding performance. 

Other sports fans

Richard Mille has previously created a timepiece for tennis ace, Rafa Nadal, who won the French Open in 2018 against Dominic Thiem wearing the RM27-03, one of the most expensive watches ever seen on the court, valued at £555,000.

Last year, the brand teamed up with Alfa Romeo Racing to create the new limited-edition RM 50-04 Tourbillon Split-seconds Chronograph Kimi Räikkönen. The former Formula One world champion has tallied over 1800 points in his career and taken a place on over 100 podiums.