Regular readers will remember that I was fortunate enough to travel to Doha last year to the 2019 World Athletics Championships. Whilst there I had the opportunity to sit down with Yohan Blake to discuss his career, what drives him and his watches (you can read the article here). During our chat he mentioned that he had been working with Richard Mille on a new model, which would be available in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. In fact, the summer Olympics this year will be Blake’s last professional Olympics and so the new watch is important to him. Blake and Richard Mille have been working on this new watch for two years and RM fans won’t be disappointed by the collaboration. The result? The RM 61-01 Ultimate Edition Yohan Blake in a limited edition of 150 pieces.
In Richard Mille’s words, the RM61-01 is the younger sibling of the RM59-01 as worn by Yohan Blake and developed as his signature model. The RM59-01 Yohan Blake is a striking watch, finished in livery that is representative of his home country with the iconic ‘Beast Bridges’ that echo the runner’s unique hands position when he runs. The manually wound tourbillon was produced in a limited edition of 50 pieces.
The new model is based on the RM61-01 that was released in 2014. The Ultimate Edition Yohan Blake will be the last ever iteration of the RM61-01, which seems fitting as this year will mark the last Olympics in which Blake will run. Where in previous versions the case was manufactured from TZP ceramic, the Ultimate Edition boasts a Quartz TPT case and Carbon TPT bezel and caseback with a caseband crafted out of Carbon TPT. The science behind these composites is serious! The material for the bezel and caseback is produced by interweaving 600 layers of Quartz TPT and Carbon TPT. Each layer is 45 microns think and each layer has its orientation changed by 45 degrees, the result being that when the components are milled in the factory, the different layers produce a unique pattern on each component.
The watch houses a highly skeletonised caliber constructed from PVD-treated titanium and has a power reserve of 55 hours. And my favorite part – it’s tested to withstand forces of up to 5000 g’s! That’s a lot. An astronaut will experience a force of up to 3 g’s when his space shuttle launches and a Formula 1 driver will experience the most g’s when cornering his car – 5 to 6 g’s. Blake is fast – really fast. But I think even he will struggle to break this barrier!
RM61-01 caliber with hours, minutes and seconds. 55-hour power reserve
50.2mm Quartz TPT and Carbon TPT bezel and caseback and with Carbon TPT caseband