TOUGHER THAN TOUGH
Richard Mille’s latest watch for polo star Pablo MacDonough has returned to more traditional principles, but its new highly resistant material is miles ahead of its time
RICHARD MILLE AND Pablo MacDonough’s partnership dates back to 2012, when the watchmaker presented its first polo-inspired timepiece, the RM 053, to the Argentinian star player. Its armour of titanium carbide functioned as a shield from the potentially punishing impacts of polo, like a crushing hit from a mallet, while time was displayed via two tiny, strategically angled portholes to lower its chances of destruction. Its small, manualwinding tourbillon movement also served as a demonstration of the watch’s strength.
Indeed, more than half a decade on and the RM 053 has survived with only a few scratches. “Every time I felt like something hit the watch, I’d think, I shouldn’t check it because I’m sure the watch is destroyed this time. But then
I’d look at the watch and it was still intact,” MacDonough reveals.
Gone is the porthole design. Instead,
Richard Mille has flipped the tables with the more traditional-looking RM 53-01, created in partnership with MacDonough. Unlike its titanium carbide-encased predecessor, this new model’s RM53-01 manual-winding tourbillon calibre is displayed in its full glory. A complex cable and pulley suspension system, also seen in the highly shock-resistant RM 27-01 for Rafael Nadal, holds the openworked movement within the case.
Issued in a limited edition of 30, the new RM 53-01 is protected by an ultra light but extremely robust carbon TPT case, a material known for its high resistance to micro cracks and splits.
The watch also features a uniquely laminated sapphire glass, designed to withstand up to
5,000 grams, with a patent-pending lamination to hold broken shards in place, should the glass actually encounter a force strong enough to crack it. Finally, the cherry on top of this remarkable timepiece is, of course, a “classically designed” tourbillon movement as a testament to watchmaking flair and the RM 53-01’s high tolerance to the dangers of the polo arena.