Award-winning singer, song-writer and producer Pharrell Williams has collaborated with the iconic watchmaker Richard Mille to create a new timepiece that is truly out of this world.
The world-famous, multi-award winning singer/song-writer/producer, who is a long-time friend of the brand, has collaborated with Richard Mille to create the limited edition RM 52-05 Tourbillon Pharrell Williams, the first watch to bare the artist's name and one is totally inspired by his childhood. Taking inspiration also from the Earth and the solar-system, the watch reflects Pharrell Williams artistic world that is all about shifting focus, looking for new perspectives in unexpected partnerships.
The watch face has been created in such a way that when staring at the watch’s face, what we are peering at, through the vastness of space is actually ourselves. Earth as seen from Mars. A distant and beautiful reflection trapped in the helmet of an astronaut. How is it possible to capture this feeling and the sheer vastness within the confines of a watch face? The RM 52-05 ultimately rises to this artistic and technical challenge with the kind of ground-breaking ideas devotees of the brand expect from the Richard Mille Creative Development team. High-tech materials handled in miniature, using state of the art Richard Mille technology and honed by the partnership of an engraver, an enameller and a painter.
The technical innovations of the RM 52-05 Tourbillon calibre are mind-bendingly innovative. Equivalent to a space shuttle, the base plate that carries the movement is machined of grade 5 titanium through which it is possible to glimpse the grade 5 titanium bridges, skeletonised to evoke rocket launch platforms. It features large inserts in dazzling blue aventurine glass that evoke outer space and the confines of the universe with all its stars.
The astronaut’s helmet is sculpted in grade 5 titanium, hand painted using indestructible paint to hint at all-pervading timelessness. As for the Red Planet itself, only red gold could bring to life its unmistakable hues. We are drawn into the dramatic Valles Marineris, named for the Mariner 9 Probe, humanity’s first envoy to our distant neighbour. The engraving captures the overpowering rock face, rising a daunting 7 kilometres above the russet sandscapes below. For this it was necessary to achieve multiple colour changes in the enamel. Unlike traditional grand feu enamels, obtained by adding different pigments, the orange to red and blue to black gradients were made by superimposing multiple layers and increasing the number of firings at 850 °C.
In the helmet, two white gold elements containing a black sapphire and two diamonds evoke the floodlights that light up our immediate surroundings. Against the skin, the wearer will feel the spacesuit composed of grade 5 titanium, painted white using an airbrush. Other spectacular innovations complete this cosmic timepiece. The brown Cermet combines the lightness of titanium with the hardness of a ceramic. It consists of a metallic zirconium matrix associated with high performance ceramic that gives the material its incredible brown hue with metallic reflections.
Finally, the caseband is made of Carbon TPT®, well known in the field of aerospace. The hands and bridges on the back of the model have been skeletonised to evoke rocket launch platforms or satellite arms. The crown is based on the design of a rocket capsule. Even the rubber surrounding it sports the distinctive profile of a Martian rover tyre.