Richard Mille Unveils the RM 72-01 Chronograph for the 100th Anniversary of Le Mans
Richard Mille unveils the limited edition RM 72-01 Le Mans Classic chronograph for the 100th anniversary of the iconic endurance race car event.
The thunderous roar of a high-powered sports car’s engine as it speeds around the track never fails to ignite the racing spirit within the audience. Their hearts race alongside the car, and the exhilaration they feel is akin to attending a thrilling concert or witnessing an intense match. But you know what truly stirs the emotions? It’s when retired race cars from decades, or even a century ago, resurface on the track, rejuvenated as if they’ve just taken a refreshing shower and dressed in their livery. There’s an indescribable magic in witnessing classic cars racing, seamlessly blending excitement and nostalgia. That’s precisely why hundreds of thousands of spectators eagerly flocked to the last Le Mans Classic event held in 2022.
Where do these classic cars come from, you may wonder? It turns out that the Le Mans Classic event draws its inspiration from the Le Mans, the oldest active endurance race car event in the world, which made its debut exactly a century ago in 1923. Since 2002, the biennial Le Mans Classic event has aimed to revive the glory of the past, allowing vintage sports cars to take the spotlight once again.
This year, however, is particularly special as it marks the 100th anniversary of Le Mans, prompting the Le Mans Classic organizers to make an exception and celebrate this significant milestone. In fact, this anniversary carries such immense importance that it even compelled Rolex to introduce a special edition that pays homage to the early Daytona style.
Scheduled to commence next week on June 29, this year’s event has already ignited a tremendous sense of excitement. Just the mere thought of witnessing 800 racing cars in action, along with an additional 8,500 club cars on display in the general enclosure, and a special exhibition featuring 90 historical significant cars sourced from museums or private collections, is enough to heighten the anticipation.
And as a long-standing partner of the Le Mans Classic since its inception, Richard Mille naturally brings forth its finest racing watch and creates a limited edition specifically for this event. Since 2008, the brand has been crafting special editions for the Le Mans Classic, often featuring a chronograph and designed in the race’s official colors of green and white.
This year’s limited edition holds particular significance as it marks the first time the Le Mans Classic receives a special edition in the form of the RM 72-01, Richard Mille’s inaugural in-house chronograph boasting an impressive range of features.
As expected, the new RM 72 showcases a captivating two-tone case crafted from Richard Mille’s quintessential Quartz TPT material, which combines carbon fiber sheets with silica inlays for a vivid and organic visual effect. The case band of the RM 72 is presented in a striking green while the bezel boasts a pristine white, creating a powerful contrast. This color palette extends to the dial, where an abundance of white details, particularly on the chronograph registers, evokes the imagery of vintage cars’ white wall tires.
Although the RM 72 may appear lightyears ahead of the vintage cars, there is an undeniable sense of mutual respect – a shared appreciation for the Faster, Higher, Stronger spirit of the Olympic Games that resonates with all enthusiasts passionate about healthy competition and races. Indeed, the RM72-01, launched just two years ago, represents a watch that embodies the values of being faster, higher (or, in the case of watches, lower or thinner in terms of its case height), and stronger when compared to its highly coveted predecessor, the RM 11-01.
The RM 72 distinguishes itself from the original RM 11 by incorporating an in-house movement, a notable departure from the modular chronograph movement found in its predecessor. What sets this in-house movement apart is the inclusion of several important features, including the flyback function, which allows for instantaneous restarting of the chronograph without the need to stop and reset it first.
However, what sets apart the CRMC1 inside the RM 72 is its innovative chronograph coupling mechanism, specifically the incorporation of twin oscillating pinions. These pinions efficiently transfer energy from the gear train to the chronograph train, operating similarly to a horizontal clutch but in a more compact form utilizing pinions instead of larger wheels. With dedicated oscillating pinions for the seconds and minutes counters, a balanced energy supply is ensured for both elapsed time functions. Importantly, Richard Mille highlights that this configuration preserves the power reserve of the base movement, keeping it unaffected by the chronograph’s operation. Furthermore, the RM 72 boasts an impressive slimness with a thickness of just 11.68 mm, making it even thinner than the latest Daytona, despite both being automatic chronographs.
Richard Mille RM 72-01 Le Mans Classic
Movement: CRMC1; automatic; 50 hours power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, function indicator, and flyback chronograph
Case: 38.40 x 47.34 x 11.68 mm; Quartz TPT; water resistant to 30 m
Strap: White rubber strap
Availability: Limited edition of 150 pieces
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FROM THE SHOP
|Movement||Self-winding caliber FBN 229.01 with natural escapement; 72-hour power reserve|
|Functions||Hours, minutes and small seconds|
|Case||40mm; stainless steel; water resistant to 30m|
|Dial||Verdant green, with sector track; applied, white rhodium treated gold Arabic numerals and hour markers|
|Strap||Brown calf leather with Alcantara lining, stainless steel pin buckle; additional Milanese bracelet in stainless steel|
|Limited Edition||Limited edition of 15 pieces|