Revolution’s own, Ken Kessler once wrote, describing Alain Prost, the racer, saying: “All I need to do to put him into context, if F1 history isn’t your thing, is to cite two numbers: 51 career wins and four championship titles, a record bettered only by Michael Schumacher, with Juan Manuel Fangio having one more championship to his credit. This makes Prost genuine F1 royalty, and — still young at 61 [then, 62 now] — he remains passionate about the sport.”
When you begin to comprehend the weight of Ken’s words and that of the accomplishments that Prost has managed in one lifetime — and the fact that he is today a key player in giving Formula One what is highly likely to be its future, Formula E — you know that as a key partner in honoring Prost’s legacy and his recent pursuits, Richard Mille was going to collaborate with the man to create yet another extreme timepiece, before you knew it.
With that in mind, meet the RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost. And immediately you’re thinking, “What the hell is up with that case?
Remember now that if there’s one thing you can be sure of with Richard Mille, it is to always expect, the unexpected. Because where the world would’ve had Mille pegged to create a Formula 1 inspired wristwatch for Prost, in celebrating his racing career, Mille has, instead, chosen to create a watch that would be relevant to Prost in his present-day life. Let’s have Prost’s on words shed some light on the matter.
Shedding light on the matter, Prost says, “I ultimately turned to cycling through circumstances that took place during my sabbatical from F1 driving in 1992. My physical therapist at the time, Pierre Baleydier, was crazy about cycling. A former racer himself, he convinced me that the sport could be an especially worthwhile alternative to my training method because I was having problems with my knees and back. Since I didn’t quite know how to improve myself physically for my return in 1993, I began with mountain biking and decided to take on the challenge.”
Prost says that when he is training he tries to clock in, at least, 20 hours on the road with his bike per week. This year it’s gone down a little, to 12 hours per week, as result of his professional obligations and travel schedules picking up pace.
When Mille learned of this little personal aspect of Prost’s life, this is where he decided was the best opportunity to create a timepiece that would be truly personally relevant to Prost. And why wouldn’t Mille want to bear such personal impact on Prost’s life? The two gents are, after all, friends first rather than simply in an ambassador-brand marketing relationship.
So, the Carbon TPT® RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost has this crazy, dynamic evolution of Mille’s tonneau case, such that it curves away from the wrist when worn on the right hand. Consider it a strictly “destro” Richard Mille watch. Therefore, when worn for long hours while riding the bike, you won’t have the side of the watch dig into the back of your hand while you grabbing onto the handle bars for long rides. Also, so that the watch is readable while in the riding position, the case has a variable width from its left to its right side (thickest side), in the same way the Yohan Blake watch cases are shaped. Coincidentally, the perfect watch for motorbike riders, too.
But look, Mille wasn’t simply going to create a radically evolved case shape and try to fit in one of his existing movements into that. Talk about square peg in a round hole. The calibre RM70-01, forged largely out of Grade-5 titanium, follows the shape of the case through all of its curves. And keeping in mind that the watch is meant for cyclists, Mille’s even worked in a mechanical odometer into the movement.
Using the pusher at 2 o’clock, you select the digit you’d like to change. Then using the pusher at 11 o’clock, you change the number on the roller. And in this manner, you’re able to keep track of the distance you’ve clocked over the progress of your rides.
Just 30 pieces of the RM 70-01 will be produced and to sweeten the deal, Richard Mille will gift each buyer with a C-6 bike, a bicycle entirely hand-crafted in Cambagio by the artisans of Colnago, a Maison founded in 1954 by the former cyclist Ernesto Colnago.
Technical Specifications: RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost
Manual winding calibre RM70-01 made largely out of Grade-5 titanium; hours and minutes; mechanical odometer; tourbillon; power reserve indicator; 70-hour power reserve
54.88 x 49.48 x 17.65mm Carbon TPT® case; water-resistant to 50m
Performance sports strap
Price: CHF 799,000 (excluding VAT), limited to 30 pieces