While many brands experienced a decline in sales in 2016, Richard Mille actually saw an uptick globally, and for a lot of consumers, the reason is simple. Regardless of your take on their designs, Richard Mille has poured their heart and soul into R&D to work with some of the most innovative and high-tech materials in the industry – and that makes their products special and worthwhile for those watch-happy one-percenters. For 2017, the brand has announced the Richard Mille RM 035 Ultimate Edition dedicated, this time, to skiing rather than tennis.
The Richard Mille RM 035 Ultimate Edition honors the brand’s partner Alexis Pinturault, an alpine ski racer that now has a whopping 19 World Cup victories under his belt. Pinturault recently skidded past legend Jean-Claude Killy for the record of most Cup wins. He has been wearing a Richard Mille RM 035 since 2014, and now it’s being replaced with this “Ultimate Edition.”
The now classic tonneau-shaped case of the Richard Mille RM 035 Ultimate Edition watch is crafted from Carbon TPT and features the sleek, almost grain-like sheen that RMs are known for. You’ll notice just a hint of red for a splash of color among otherwise monochromatic tones, including around the crown, red minute markers, and a matching red-accented second hand. Richard Mille’s use of these colors and materials feels somehow familiar… It’s an established look, for sure, and you can see our hands-on with the Richard Mille RM 35-01 Rafael Nadal NTPT Carbon watch here for one example.
Of course, you get a skeletonized movement on display and the little details here certainly matter, as with any Richard Mille watch. It is cool to see the carbon’s textured grain as the backdrop to the movement – though this, of course, means that there will be no view of the movement from the caseback. The brand uses grade 5 titanium spline screws on the bridge and the case as well, with the argument being that these high-grade materials won’t degrade or diminish in property during manufacture or use. And as always, shock resistance is a big factor for a watch supposedly designed for use in professional sports, or it is at least a selling point. Skiers may benefit from such resistance just as much as, say, I don’t know, a certain tennis player known for sporting a custom RM on the court. Either way, construction is exquisite and well-executed, and with Richard Mille you shouldn’t expect any less.
The movement offers a healthy 55-hour power reserve and houses a free sprung balance with variable inertia, and the base plate and bridges inside are also crafted from the same grade 5 titanium for increased durability and strength. For Richard Mille, this piece isn’t quite as colorful as some we’ve seen recently, and that’s ok. The brand has shown a strong design language and the more monochromatic pieces like this show that they don’t need to be colorful and flashy to be bold.
Pricing has not yet been announced for the Richard Mille RM 035 Ultimate Edition watch, but we will update when the brand confirms. Richard Mille delivers yet another powerhouse of a watch designed to withstand the rigors of professional sports. The watch is paired with an understated black polyurethane strap that will be able to handle a little bit of snow here and there. With availability beginning exclusively at Richard Mille boutiques this March, the Richard Mille RM 035 Ultimate Edition is a special run limited to just 35 pieces. richardmille.com