Richard Mille just rolled out a new timepiece to herald the return of the famed Le Mans Classic race.
The elite bi-annual automotive competition took a hiatus during the last two years of the pandemic, but will make a return in July of 2022. It will also be put on in July of 2023 to mark the centenary of the first race of the Le Mans 24 Hours Circuit. Since 2002, Richard Mille has been the sponsor of an event at the Bugatti Circuit (a smaller course within the main Circuit de la Sarthe track), which sees more than 700 historic racing cars take to the rack with 8,500 others in the club areas. To celebrate the impending return of the sporting event, the watchmaker has created its eighth limited edition model dedicated to Le Mans.
Limited to just 150 pieces, the new RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic comes dressed in a green case with white racing stripes. Measuring 40.10 x 48.15 x 13.10 mm, the case comes outfitted in Mille’s signature Quartz TPT (Thin Ply Technology which uses ultra-thin unidirectional sheets of carbon fibers fused with quartz fibers). The case middle is milled from a single block of white Quartz TPT, while the front and back bezels are dressed in a green version of the material. And in a first for the brand, the white Quartz TPT stripes have been inlaid into the green at 12 and 6 o’clock.
Inside is the ultra-lightweight skeletonized RMAS7 movement with 55 hours of power reserve and a baseplate, bridges and balance cock crafted in grade 5 titanium. It features a semi-instantaneous oversize date window in a black PVD coating at 4 o’clock and sports an 18-karat white gold variable geometry rotor driving double winding barrels. Fittingly, at 2 o’clock is a 24-hour counter driven by the hour wheel. Topping it off is a free-sprung balance wheel with variable inertia offering greater reliability when the timepiece is subjected to shocks for better chronometry over time.
Lightness and accuracy are all great things, but when it comes to design this sports watch is just as versatile behind the wheel as it is on the tennis court or teeing up on the green. But prospective clients will have to race to get their hands on one of the 150 available limited editions retailing for $176,000. For the rest, just spotting one in action on a wrist will be a rare sighting.