It is well known to all watchmaking enthusiasts that Richard Mille has a very strong bond with the world of motoring. In our articles we have had the opportunity to deepen this relationship, as in the case of the recent sponsorship agreement for the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team, but we have not yet focused on the link with the Le Mans Classic, or the biennial race of historic cars that has been running since 2002 and of which Richard Mille was one of the founders.
As evidence of this report, a new model was presented in July 2021 that pays homage to this important car race: the RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic.
Le Mans Classic
The Le Mans Classic is a historic car race held every two years in July on the same French circuit where the 24 Hours is also run. Only cars produced before 1979 can participate, divided into 6 different classes based on the age of the cars. The drivers and gentlemen drivers who compete must have an FIA license in order to guarantee high professionalism and an excellent level of racing.
The event gathers 700 cars and an audience of over 100.000 people making it a real milestone for all car enthusiasts. After the last two years of silence due to the COVID pandemic, it has been made official that the engines will return to animate the historic Circuit de la Sarthe both in 2022 and exceptionally in 2023 to celebrate the centenary of the first 24 hours of LeMans.
As mentioned at the beginning, Richard Mille was one of the founders of the Le Mans Classic and dedicated 8 models to this event, starting with the RM 011 passing through the RM 11-03 to arrive at the latest RM 029.
RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic
The RM 029 is a watch with automatic caliber and date born in 2011 to evolve the “entry level” collection started with the RM 005 (2004) and continued with the RM 010 (2006). To celebrate the LeMans Classic this model has been appropriately customized making it very interesting both from a technical and a collector's point of view. First of all, the dimensions have been increased by a few tenths of a millimeter (40.10 x 48.15 x 13.10 mm) due, in all probability, to the material used.
From metallic materials (gold and titanium), in fact, we move on to the use of Quartz TPT® in different colors: white for the case and green for the back and bezel. The latter then presents two white Quartz TPT® strips suitably carved inside, which represents a real novelty never attempted on any other model.
Continuing the technical analysis, the RMAS7 automatic and skeletonized caliber, already mounted on the RM 010-016-028-029, has been slightly modified to add the 2-hour indication to 24 o'clock. In order to thankfully pay homage to the Le Mans Classic and make it easier for him to wear the watch during the race, a small blue-tipped arrow has been added at 16 o'clock, which is the time when the race begins.
Finally, from an aesthetic point of view, the watch features the characteristic colors of the French race, white and green, with some details in orange (date, crown, tip of the seconds hand) making it very recognizable and with a distinctly racing spirit. thanks above all to the aforementioned double racing stripe on the bezel. Finally, at 7 o'clock there is the Le Mans Classic logo.
The RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic will be released in 150 pieces
As is always the case with Richard Mille, each model hides more unique details than you can imagine. The combination of reduced production, colors used (green is the color of the moment for watchmaking) and technical innovations (indication of the 24 hours and creation of the Quartz TPT® racing strips) is undoubtedly successful and succeeds in the undertaking of making a model that was no longer in production or in the aims of collectors very interesting.