Architectural Digest (UAE)

Hero Piece

- – A.B.

Richard Mille is known for timepieces that break new ground in decorative brilliance. The latest is the RM47 Tourbillon, a limited edition of 75, which began life as a conversati­on between Richard Mille and Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso. Both are aficionado­s of Japanese crafts and of Samurai culture, with its fastidious code of ethics known as bushido. The RM47 is a symbolic tribute to both and, thanks to its complex workmanshi­p, has taken four years to develop.

At the heart of the RM47 is a compact tourbillon movement, protected by a case with 11 separate components, which together represent the sacred symbols of the 18th-century Samurai chief Asano Naganori and his clan of 47 ronin warriors. The legend is honoured using finishes that evoke Japanese craft: yellow gold which recalls traditiona­l kinpaku, or gold-leaf artwork, and enamels reminiscen­t of lacquerwar­e. These bring to life the Kabuto, or Samurai helmet, which surmounts the watch face: Master engraver Pierre-Alain Lozeron and his painter wife Valérie create the decoration by hand, with each watch taking 25 hours to complete. richardmil­

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