The circuit at Le Mans is world famous for its 24-hour endurance race—this year’s edition concluded on June 11—but did you know that the track also plays host to the biannual Le Mans Classic, open to cars that participated in the 24 hours race in past decades?
Created in 2002 by Peter Auto, in association with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the Le Mans Classic is celebrating the centenary of the 24-hour race at this year’s retrospective event, scheduled for June 29 to July 1.
Touted as the largest gathering of classic cars with over 800 racing cars on the track and 8,500 classic cars displayed in the specially designed enclosures, the 2023 event, which is expected to draw more than 200,000 visitors, has inspired a new Richard Mille wristwatch, the RM 72-01 Le Mans Classic.
A partner of the classic race since its inception, Richard Mille has created a special edition for every Le Mans Classic since 2008. Limited to 150 pieces, the RM 72-01, like all the special RM editions that preceded it, borrows its green and white color scheme from the event.
Other details of the flyback chronograph pay tribute to the racing spirit: For example, the 16 on the hour counter is underlined in red, a nod to the traditional start time of the endurance race, and the titanium dial features a checkered flag, a symbol of victory.
The watch houses the brand’s first flyback chronograph incorporating a patented double oscillating pinion clutch mechanism for optimum performance. The redesigned automatic movement features hours, minutes, small seconds, date, and a function indicator has a 50-hour power reserve, whether or not the chronograph is in use.
A love of motor sport is a recurring theme for Richard Mille, whose bonafides in the automotive world are well established. The brand’s partners include the Formula 1 racing team McLaren Automotive, the Brazilian Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa, and Ferrari, with whom it signed a multiyear sponsorship that includes motor racing in Formula 1 as well as WEC endurance programs, Competizioni GT, Ferrari Challenge, Ferrari Driver Academy and the Esports category.
Not for nothing the brand’s tagline is, “A racing machine for the wrist.”