August 8, 2018
by Ariel Adams
As obnoxious at is, I love this Richard Mille “Tourbillon Adventure” uber-luxury wristwatch toy. Sure, only the likes of Sylvester Stallone and anyone else able to afford its $983,000 USD price tag will be able to own one… but it’s fun to imagine. Though, I won’t stay up at night lusting for the chance to own one as I know better than to put myself up there with John Rambo. In fact, the title character of the Rambo movie franchise is who Sylvester Stallone was thinking to equip when he and Richard Mille himself spent four years “slowly” going back and forth on design iterations and concepts. Finally, and with all the budget in the watch world, the Richard Mille RM 25-01 Tourbillon Adventure Sylvester Stallone Watch was born.
As a child whose favorite movie memories include action films from the 1980s, this type of emo-bait artistic horology is exactly what lures me into thinking that a lovingly over-engineered macho-fantasy hand-crafted wrist gadget will help make me more complete inside. I will tell you what it will make yet more complete – any well-rounded superwatch collection. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Stallone several years ago – eye-to-eye, as watch guys. He is among the few Hollywood royalty who isn’t a schmuck and clearly has worked hard to get where is he and maintain it. Stallone is intelligent and was blessed with good taste in a town that has a bad reputation for enabling people with bad taste to regularly splurge. Stallone knows a nice watch and is perhaps most recognized among watch collectors for more or less single-handedly making Panerai a style icon and popular brand. Richemont has no doubt thanked him more than once for helping to creating something very successful to invest in.
Working with Richard Mille in this public manner is new for Sylvester Stallone, but he hasn’t been shy about putting his name on watches in the past. He famously had Panerai put “Slytech” on the dial of a few watches he reportedly gave to members of a movie crew during the shooting of the film Daylight. Though I will say with confidence that no watch from Stallone will ever be more expensive than one with “Richard Mille” on the dial. The 25-page (long even for Richard Mille) press release debuting the watch is unlike most I’ve seen from the brand. Much of it is a long essay legitimizing Sylvester Stallone as not just an action hero movie star strong man who still likes being in the spotlight, but as an artist, sensitive creator, and worldly man with broad and refined tastes. It even includes a small forward written by Richard Mille himself which reads:
An iconic actor of 1980s Hollywood, Sylvester Stallone is a man of many, sometimes contradictory, facets. When John Simonian, my American partner, introduced us, I was struck by how nice he was, by his sense of humour and his wry wit. His persona is serene and endearing, authentic and sincere. He is also an artist, whose deeply personal work is rooted in his passion for great painting and sculpture. He doesn’t cheat. Stallone assumes sole responsibility for his creations. I see that as strength, as powerful. We became friends, and discovered that we were passionate about similar things and had similar desires. He is a fan of all things
mechanical, something that comes through in his sculpture works. Of course, he also loves watches, and enjoys wearing them, particularly rather imposing models. So naturally, it occurred to us one day that we ought to do something together. The RM 25-01 is like no watch that has ever existed before. Like Sylvester Stallone himself, it is completely unfettered. Its development was especially slow and painstaking, and as an object it is completely in sync with the brand: extreme, designed for extreme conditions, useful, sophisticated and complex, yet unbelievably tough—the ultimate timepiece!
Read into this statement and you’ll get a good understanding of what the Richard Mille brand really is – which is a pure form of mechanical fun for those wealthy enough to pay for insane engineering and development times despite selling very few of those products. Richard Mille has created a system where he and his friends can play with watches like boys with a manufacturing lab at their disposal. It’s not uncommon to feel a bit jealous. Anyhow, now that many of the readers feel that I am pandering to Richard Mille (just simply enthusiasm for the brand speaking), let’s discuss what the RM 25-01 Tourbillon Adventure Sylvester Stallone watch is all about.
With a round case (still unusual, albeit increasingly more often used for Richard Mille), the RM 25-01 builds upon the brand’s tradition of adding functional complications to mechanical wrist watches with tourbillon-based movements. The manually-wound movement Caliber RM25-01 is pretty Richard-Mille-standard, beating at 3Hz (21,600 bph) with 72 hours of power reserve – but, of course, highly skeletonized for your viewing pleasure. This movement has a “competition chronograph” (I assume that means it is very accurate or precise) along with a movement torque indicator function for the mainspring’s tension, as well as a power reserve indicator. None of this is new for the brand, but the dial design is fresh and pretty neat looking. Yes, it would be more legible and tool-style with a solid dial – but it wouldn’t be a Richard Mille without a view to the movement inside of the case.
Now comes the survivalist stuff. Remember, this watch was meant for John Rambo to go with his survival knife. For the first time that I know of, Richard Mille is including an analog compass in a watch, and for the RM 25-01 it is detachable. The watch comes with two bezel options with one of them having a folding titanium and carbon TPT hood over the dial. This is the compass bezel and it includes a magnetic compass needle that is positioned right over the dial. Other features include a spirit level (bubble level behind “night vision” green glass as well as a small watertight chamber that holds five water purification capsules. Run out of water purification capsules (each is good for one liter of water) and you now have a small stash for stimulants, poisons, or small diamonds that fell out of jewelry on the dance floor at the parties John Rambo will be wearing this watch to.