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In Focus: Richard Mille RM61-01 Manual Winding Yohan Blake

Debuting his brand in 2001, Richard Mille took the watch world by storm, challenging the very concept of luxury with lightweight watches, crafted from new materials, designed to withstand huge shocks and keep ticking. His sturdy engineering shifted the paradigm for even the most delicate of complications— with his first tourbillon caliber, RM001, he created a watch that could perform in any circumstance. 

Although the visionary thinking was all his own, he couldn’t do it alone. Inspired by his devout love of Le mans and Formula 1 racing, Mille sought to build watches the way Formula 1 teams build cars. A formula 1 team splits the build amongst groups of engineers, with one group build the chassis, one group building the aerodynamics, another building the engine, and so forth. When it came to his watches Mille enlisted  one team to make the movement, another the case, another the strap, and together, they would work together towards his goal: comfort, shock-resistance, accuracy, and incredible light weight. This vision helped Richard Mille build famous their slogan: “a racing machine on the wrist.”

Richard Mille is not only a mega-fan of auto racing; he is an avid fan of many sports, working closely with athlete ambassadors to create watches that they can wear in training and in their given sport. For the RM059-01 and RM061-01, Milled teamed up with Jamaican Sprinter Yohan Blake to develop a watch specific to the demand of the world’s second fastest man over 100 and 200 meters. Blake and Mille created the RM59-01 Tourbillon Yohan Blake and the brand then released the non-tourbillon version, RM061-01 Manual Winding Yohan Blake, which embodies the same goal: a watch Blake could wear not only to train and race, but to win. 

The case takes the tonneau shape that Richard Mille revived and adds an asymmetric band to the right-hand side between the two and five o’clock positions. This prevents the crown from rubbing on the sprinter’s wrist while running, with titanium crown guards for additional protection. The bezel and caseback are made from black TZP, a ceramic that is highly scratch resistant and has low thermal conductivity. The caseband is made from Carbon TPT and is held together with the classic RM grade 5 titanium screws, providing the watch with a 50-meter water resistance. This case shape also allows the left side of the watch to be lower and thinner than the right side, aiding with aerodynamics while running, as Yohan Blake would wear the watch on his right wrist while racing. 

The RM061-01 uses the Richard Mille ultralight calibre RMUL2, the same movement featured in the RM055 Bubba Watson, to create a lightweight, completely skeletonized movement capable of withstanding 5000g accelerations. Its shock resistance is accomplished by attaching the movement to the case by four shock absorbers, which eliminate nearly all shock to the movement.

The RMUL2 caliber is made from grade 5 titanium and treated with PVD and Titalyt, with a combination of polished finishes and beveled edges. This finishing makes the movement feel deeper than its scant 3.15mm. The twin-barrel system that powers the RMUL2 caliber even torque across the gear train, while delivering 55 hours of power reserve. 

The signature green and yellow of the watch represent the colors of the Jamaican flag and Yohan Blake. A green inner bezel aids legibility, popping against the black bezel, while yellow and green bridges over the movement provides additional legibility, helping the hands to stand out against the skeletonized movement ticking away below. 

The combination of black, green, yellow, and white across the watch opens up opportunities for multiple strap colors. It’s a watch that looks fast on the wrist and has all day comfort thanks to the strap and case design. From the exceptional lightweight, to the advanced materials and construction, you can tell this was a watch that was designed without compromise to win races. The RM 61-01 lives up to the Richard Mille ideal of a racing machine for the wrist.  

The Specs

Model Name: RM 061 Manual Winding Yohan Blake
Reference Number: RM061-01
Case Size + Material: 50mm, TZP Ceramic and Carbon TPT
Caseback: Exhibition
Movement Caliber: RMUL2, Manual Winding
Complications/Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds
Strap/Bracelet: Rubber
Limited Edition: Yes

The post In Focus: Richard Mille RM61-01 Manual Winding Yohan Blake appeared first on WatchBox.



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