March 26, 2017
In honor of French motor sport executive and close personal friend, Richard Mille has now dedicated three models to Jean Todt, in celebration of his 50 year career mark. But what really interests me about the RM 11-03, RM 050 and RM 056 Jean Todt 50th Anniversary watches (limited edition of 150, 50, and 3 pieces, respectively) are the new blue (and white) Quartz TPT™ cases, a first (the first Quartz TPT by Mille were red and white). Extremely resistant and light, Quartz TPT™ composite is obtained by stacking 600 layers of silica only 45 microns thick, which are then impregnated with an exclusive Richard Mille blue resin. The assembly is then heated to 120 °C before being machined in Mille’s factory.
The RM11-03 anniversary edition is based off of Mille’s RM 11-03 flyback chronogrph which he unveiled last September. The Blue Quartz TPT™ is very powerful, and it will be interesting to see how its looks in person.
Blue Quartz TPT™ is also used for the case of the RM 050 Jean Todt 50th Anniversary. This calibre houses a split-seconds chronograph regulated by a tourbillon. The extreme skeletonisation of the bridges and baseplate, combined with the use of titanium and carbon nanofibre made it possible to obtain a particularly light movement, weighing only 9.5 grams.
The final piece of the Jean Todt collection, the RM 056, goes full sapphire. Which explains in part why it is limited to just 3 pieces. Its construction and curvature require both human ingenuity and very long machining times, essential to achieving this level of ergonomics and finish, unique even in fine watchmaking. This case required no less than 1,000 hours of machining per case, including 430 hours devoted to grinding and 350 hours of polishing.