Associating art and spirituality. Creating a new masterpiece designed as an aesthetic tribute to Japanese culture by Richard Mille. The RM 47 Tourbillon is the fruit of intense reflection and nearly four years of design work. The model was born of a friendly conversation between Richard Mille and the twice Formula 1 world champion and brand partner Fernando Alonso, a passionate enthusiast of Japanese traditional arts and the Samurai principles.
It is not without reason that the samurai armour at the heart of the RM 47 Tourbillon sports the crest of the Asano clan.
Originating from Hiroshima, this family is without doubt the finest embodiment of the Bushido spirit, the Samurai code of ethics whose values still prevail in Japanese society. Asano Naganori, the daimyo, or chief, of the family fiefdom at the turn of the eighteenth century, was the lord of the 47 rōnin who avenged his death before following him into the afterworld. The Asano family’s kamon is featured on the tourbillon at 6 o’clock.
THE ESSENCE OF SYMBOLISM
This new model transcends creative limits and takes its place in the prestigious lineage of ‘ornamental’ watches typical of the brand. Entirely hand-carved by the engraver Pierre-Alain Lozeron and painted by his wife Valérie Lozeron, the Samurai armour illustrates the different aspects of ancestral Japanese culture. It comes to life in 3N yellow gold, recalling the gold leaf used in ancient Japan to embellish the country’s finest shrines and also certain works of traditional craftsmanship.
ARTISTIC PROFESSION AT THE SERVICE OF BUSHIDO
In total, it takes no less than 16 hours of engraving and 9 hours of painting – in all, more than a whole day – to obtain the 11 components that make up the Samurai, perfectly integrated, front and back, around the movement of the RM 47 Tourbillon.
Like a guard, the samurai of the RM 47 Tourbillon comprises various elements that provide precious protection for the manually wound Calibre RM47. From either side of the case, the tourbillon carriage is discreetly visible, along with certain components of the gear train, giving substance to this remarkable warrior. With its engraved and painted decoration, the movement acquires a rare depth, a clear indication of the attention paid to details and finishes.
To ensure optimal functioning of the movement, the baseplate and skeletonised bridges are made of grade 5 titanium, a biocompatible alloy often used in the aerospace sector, with a black PVD coating. This combination offers high corrosion resistance, and yields remarkable rigidity and perfectly flat surfaces. While deliberately discreet, the workmanship on the bridges and baseplate is nonetheless exceptional. Their complex lines and the effect of the hand-finishing are truly representative of Richard Mille’s technical demands.
PATIENCE, METICULOUSNESS, DEXTERITY AND PASSION
The RM 47’s movement, case and decoration all bear witness to a design approach intended to guarantee the harmonious and effective integration of all the various elements. The tonneau-shaped case comprises three parts with a caseband in 3N yellow gold receiving a bezel and a caseback in black TZP ceramic.
The crown, crafted of titanium, Carbon TPT® and polished 3N yellow gold, has a Japanese maple leaf for its motif. An allegory of beauty, grace and the brevity of life, it is the autumnal equivalent of the cherry blossom, symbol of rebirth during spring. Every year in November, the maple leaves take on flamboyant colours before detaching from the boughs to fall in a tourbillon-like movement. As early as the Heian period, over a thousand years ago, the aristocracy already perceived this spectacle – later popularised under the name momijigari – as a significant motif of Japanese aesthetics.
more information: richardmille.com