SIHH 2015 was a ladies year for Richard Mille. The brand introduced one of the most impressive watches for women ever seen, the Richard Mille RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur with a flying tourbillon hidden in a flower – and that appears every 5 minutes. However, in the crowd of flowers, diamonds and poetic feelings, there was another novelty at the SIHH that is more our material here, a new limited edition of Yohan Blakes’ watch, the full black edition of the Richard Mille RM 61-01, a.k.a. ‘Baby Blake‘.
Richard Mille is a real gentleman with its ambassadors. Not only he’s giving them watches but he mainly creates watches in limited editions for and with them. If some are only featuring some design clues, like the Richard Mille RM 57-01 Tourbillon Phoenix and Dragon created for Jackie Chan, most of these special watches are made with a unique purpose, being the best possible ally of the ambassadors. Take a look at some of them:
- The RM 36-01 with mechanical G-force sensor made for Sebastien Loeb, a rallye driver
- The RM 11-01 Roberto Mancini (a football manager) that comes with a specific display to time football games
- The RM 055 created for Bubba Watson (a golf champion) with its movement protected against shocks and able to resist to the strongest drives
- The RM 11-01 NTPT Lotus F1 made in extremely light and resistant carbon fiber, in order to be worn during Formula 1 races
Among all these ambassadors, there is another one, a Jamaican sprinter. No, not Usain Bolt but his compatriot and also very fast runner Yohan Blake. In 2013, Richard Mille already introduced a stunning yet totally crazy watch dedicated to him. It was a super-lightweight tourbillon with a translucent green carbon nanotubes case nicknamed RM 59-01. However, this 50-piece limited edition had two main defaults. First, the colours, even if chosen by Yohan Blake and depicting the Jamaican flag, were not the most discreet available (a green case and a yellow dial). Then, the price was quite high at 562.500 Euros – not an ordinary people timepiece. Back in 2014, Richard Mille introduced a more reasonable Yohan Blake edition, the ‘Baby Blake‘ RM 61-01 with a black case, a green inner bezel, a yellow upper flange in anodized aluminum and 2 yellow and green bridges over the movement.
For the SIHH 2015, RM chose to go for something more conventional and easier to match, a full black edition of the Richard Mille RM 61-01 Yohan Blake. The RM 61-01, just like the RM 59-01 Tourbillon, features an asymmetrical case, designed to be aerodynamic on the wrist. The left side of the watch is lower and thinner in order to allow a better coefficient of air penetration while running – take into account that Yohan Blake wears his watches on the right wrist. The bezel and the caseback are made in TPZ black ceramic – chosen for its low density, its resistance and its low thermal conductivity coefficient. This specific ceramic is matte finished on the top and features highly polished beveled angles on the sides. The caseband comes from NTPT carbon, a material composed of multiple layers of parallel filaments obtained by dividing carbon fibers – for more details about this material, you can check the RM 11-01 NTPT. As usual with Richard Mille watches, the case of the 61-01 is secured by spline screws in grade 5 titanium – for a better control of the torque when assembling / disassembling the watch.
Inside the Richard Mille RM 61-01 Yohan Blake Limited Edition ticks the calibre RMUL2 – this same movement is used in the RM 055 Bubba Waston. It is a fully skeletonized manually wound engine that boasts 55h hours of power reserve thanks to a double barrel mechanism that helps to improve torque stability by reducing pressure and friction on the gears. This movement feels really light, not to say brittle. All the bridges are very thin and opened to show every technical element of the movement (which weighs only 4.3 grams). It is held by 4 shock absorbers that create a link between the external framework and the movement itself, so it’s protected against (nearly) all vibrations.
The calibre RMUL2 features Richard Mille usual but superb finishing: bridges and baseplate made in grade 5 titanium and coated with black PVD, hand polished bevelled angles, straight grained finish on steel parts, wet sanded by hand finishing on titanium parts, burnished pivots, screw slots and screws bevelled and polished. This looks like modern and technical horology, but trust us, it uses the traditional haute horlogerie skills in a very modern interpretation.
Once on the wrist, the 50.2mm x 42.7mm is nothing but a problem. Thanks to the tonneau shape, to the curved caseback and to the flexible and soft rubber strap, the Richard Mille RM 61-01 Yohan Blake Limited Edition brings one of the best comforts ever felt – like every Richard Mille watches. Richard Mille timepieces are not only technical, impressive and expensive, they are also totally wearable in every condition. They are not objects that should be kept in a safe or a showcase. They are made to be worn and so is the RM 61-01 Yohan Blake.
The Richard Mille RM 61-01 Yohan Blake limited edition will be made in 100 pieces, sold exclusively in Richard Mille official boutiques. Price: 124.500 Euros.