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Richard Mille’s Undying Passion for Classic Cars

By T: The New York Times Style Magazine Singapore

 
 

When Richard Mille founded his eponymous watch brand in 1999, he had a simple vision: “to make watches that are engineered in a comparable way to a Formula One car”. That conviction essentially meant that Mille had to create watches that were high-performance with highly shock-resistant movements, and, at the same time, complete beauties to behold. 

It is an ethos that has been echoed throughout the watch manufacturer, and has seen watch releases such as the RM 009 — a tourbillon wristwatch developed in conjunction with Formula One race car driver Felipe Massa —, and the RM 11-03 McLaren — a collaborative project with the Design Director of McLaren, Rob Melville — that was launched in March.

 
 

This year, Richard Mille celebrated its 16-year partnership with Le Mans Classic. The shuffling of frenzied mechanics; the smell of burnt fuel and tyres; the sound of infernal roaring of 6-cylinders, Le Mans Classic is the largest gathering of vintage car owners and enthusiasts who flock to France every two years to enter their vehicles in the parade, swap spare parts and stories and, ultimately, participate or spectate the 24 Hours of Le Mans — the world’s oldest active endurance racing event.

 

To celebrate the partnership with Le Mans Classic, Richard Mille has released the RM 11-03 LMC. Designed exclusively for the event, Richard Mille RM 11-03 LMC is the first model to combine the RM 11-03 family with white ceramic and British racing green details. The automatic Flyback chronograph model features a large date display and month indicator, as well a 24-hour chronograph sub-counter at 6 o’clock, which also tributes to the 24 hours of Le Mans that has traditionally taken place over an entire day/night cycle.

 

“I am a die-hard fan of classic cars. They are genuine works of art in my eyes,” Mille says. “Some of them embody the greatest mechanical and aesthetic challenges of their age. Just like our watches, they are objects that elicit emotion.”