When Pharrell grew up, his focus was already on the stars as he watched Star Trek, at home in Virginia Beach. This invoked a deep fascination for everything that lies within the universe. It is not surprising that when Richard Mille asked Pharrell to collaborate on a watch together, he turned to these memories for inspiration. Mille gave Pharrell all the room he needed to tap into his creativity and make something extraordinairy.
Photo Credit: Pharrell Williams by Robert JasoThe result is, not surprising, a Richard Mille unlike any other, with as most prominent feature, the astronaut helmet in the middle of the dial, which is painted with indestructible paint. Finely sculpted from grade 5 titanium, it is the reflection on the vizor of this helmet that makes it such an exceptional creation. Here we see the Mars-landscape, for which Mille used red gold, with the Valles Marineris, a system of canyons that runs along the Martian surface, clearly visible. To create them in such a real-life fashion was quite challenging as it required the enamel color gradients to be made by superimposing layers and extensive firings at 850 degrees celsius. The result is very captivating and lifelike.
The tonneau case is also something special, as it is crafted from Cermet, a material that is as hard as ceramic, yet as light as titanium. It has a beautiful brown tone that under certain light conditions shows a metallic reflection, which is quite stunning and adds to the ‘outer space’ feeling of this watch. The caseband is made from Carbon TPT, a material that has become a hallmark of Richard Mille, which combined with the Cermet also makes it that the watch is tough, yet very light.
The beating heart of the RM 52-05, that Mille and Pharrell made, is caliber RM52-05, which features a baseplate and bridges from grade 5 titanium. In the baseplate are segments of blue aventurine inserted, a type of glass with copper crystal inclusions, which make it look like you are staring into the night sky. The movement also includes high-tech features such as a fast-rotating barrel and free-sprung balance with variable inertia, mechanical innovations for which Richard Mille has become well known. The brand will make only 30 pieces of the RM 52-05 Tourbillon Pharrell Williams, which will be exclusively available at Richard Mille boutiques worldwide for a retail price of $969,00,-.