Sylvester Stallone Designs a Wristwatch For Richard Mille

And it looks the part.
Richard Mille RM 25-01 Tourbillon Compass Stallone 6

The Richard Mille RM 25-01 Tourbillon Adventure Sylvester Stallone is a chronograph with tourbillon inside a 50.85mm watch case that’s fitted with a removable compass bezel. Priced at a shade under US$1m, the watch was designed in collaboration with Sylvester Stallone, presumably nostalgic about his outing as John Rambo in First Blood.

Notably, the RM 25-01 Tourbillon Adventure Sylvester Stallone isn’t the first watch designed by the action movie star. Mr Stallone was also responsible for a series of watches (and also pens) made by Italian pen maker Montegrappa. Covered in snakes and skulls, those objects were of a radically different school of design from Richard Mille’s latest creation.

Richard Mille RM 25-01 Tourbillon Compass Stallone 7

The enormous watch case is made of Carbon TPT, a carbon fibre composite made up of alternating layers of carbon, explaining the woodgrain surface pattern of the material. “TPT” is short for Thin Ply Technologies, the Swiss materials firm that supplies the raw material for the case.

Richard Mille RM 25-01 Tourbillon Compass Stallone 1

What sets this apart is the compass bezel, which is removable and made of titanium. Set in a bayonet mount – which means twist and push to lock or unlock – the compass has a hinged lid in Carbon TPT with a mirrored back as well as an anti-magnetic coating on its crystal to prevent the magnet on the compass from affecting the movement.

Richard Mille RM 25-01 Tourbillon Compass Stallone 4

The green capsule attached to the watch case at four o’clock is a spirit level that can be used to ensure the watch is perfectly horizontal when using the compass. And another handy accessory is a titanium frame – the detached compass can be mounted on the frame and laid flat on a map for navigation.

Richard Mille RM 25-01 Tourbillon Compass Stallone 3

The magnetic compass bezel can be removed and swap for a second manual compass bezel that’s also made of titanium and Carbon TPT. This is covered with a 24-hour and 360 degree scale, and used in conjunction with the hour hand to determine the cardinal points relative to the we are.

Based on the original RM 025 of 2009, which was a chronograph tourbillon for divers, the Stallone wristwatch relies on the same base movement supplied by Renaud & Papi. It’s a hand-wound chronograph calibre with a tourbillon regulator, finished in typical, monochromatic Richard Mille style and designed with an aggressively mechanical aesthetic.

The movement has a 72-hour power reserve, as well as a power reserve display and function indictor that reveals what position the crown is in.

Richard Mille RM 25-01 Tourbillon Compass Stallone 2

Price and availability 

The RM 25-01 Tourbillon Adventure Sylvester Stallone is limited to 20 pieces, priced at US$983,000 or SFr934,000.


 

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Introduces the Joaillerie 101, Powered by the Smallest Movement Ever

The cal. 101 is 100 years old and still the tiniest.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Joaillerie 101 Feuille 103

Developed in 1929, the Jaeger-LeCoultre cal. 101 is an incredible achievement. It is impossibly tiny, just 14mm long, 4.8mm wide and 3.4mm high. Weighing almost one gramme, it is comparable in size to a matchstick, yet contains 98 parts.

All of the components inside the cal. 101 are so tiny that the tolerances are impractically fine, meaning the parts need to be finessed by hand before assembly.

Evolved from the earlier, and almost as tiny, Duoplan movement, the cal. 101 was developed for exceptionally tiny and refined ladies’ watches, both wristwatches and even ring watches; Queen Elizabeth famously wore one during her coronation. Almost a century later it is still fit for purpose, having been installed in a pair of Joaillerie 101 watches recently unveiled at the Venice International Film Festival.

jaeger-lecoultre-duoplan-movement-evolution

The cal. 101 (extreme left), and Duoplan (third from left).

Executed in a style that is distinctly 20th century elegance and almost old fashioned today, both the Joaillerie 101 Reine and Joaillerie 101 Feuille are in 18k pink gold and set with diamonds, with the Reine being the simpler of the two. The Joaillerie 101 Reine is a bracelet centred on a tiny dial showing the time, while the Joaillerie 101 Feuille has a leaf-shaped lid hiding the watch face.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Joaillerie 101 Feuille 101

Jaeger-LeCoultre Joaillerie 101 Reine 1

As is typical for watches powered by the cal. 101, both have a tiny crown on the case back for both winding and setting the time.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Joaillerie 101 Feuille 102

Price and availability 

Prices for both the Joaillerie 101 Reine and Feuille are upon request, but expect them to start at around US$120,000.


 

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Hands-On with the Laurent Ferrier Galet Minute Repeater Montre École

Laurent Ferrier's ultimate complication?
Laurent-Ferrier-Galet-Minute-Repeater 1

Not long after the introduction of its newly developed annual calendar, Lauent Ferrier unveiled the brand’s first ever minute repeater at Baselworld 2018. The Galet Minute Repeater is, and it almost goes without saying, sensuously and classically beautiful.

The repeater sports a 40mm bassiné case (which translates as “basin”), a style that has been dubbed Montre École, or “school watch”, as it was based on the watch Mr Ferrier had to complete for his graduation from watchmaking school.

That’s matched with a warm, salmon dial, which intriguingly features subtle glints of copper, achieved by plating the dial blank with 6N red gold and then brushing it to remove some of the plating while leaving a vertical, linear finish. Stylistically the look is quintessential Laurent Ferrier, with white-gold Assegai hands and markers, named after a slender African spear, while the seconds sit in a recessed, silvered subdial at six that stands in stark contrast (perhaps too much) to the dial.

But the great subtlety lies in the text on the dial. The company logo is printed in muted grey, while the complication name is finely etched above the seconds, leaving it almost invisible. Laurent Ferrier has made the near-invisible complication labelling a tradition, starting with its tourbillon wristwatch.

Laurent-Ferrier-Galet-Minute-Repeater-5-1

Laurent Ferrier has sensibly stuck to steel for the case material. The best sounding repeaters are often cased in steel (or sometimes titanium) as it is less dense than precious metals like gold or platinum. That means the metal transmits the chimes with greater brightness and clarity, resulting in a sound that is incredibly clean and crisp.

Laurent-Ferrier-Galet-Minute-Repeater 4

Captured in video below, the movement uses two gongs: a D-sharp note for the hours, F-sharp for the minutes, and a combination double strike for the quarters.

Made up of 300 parts, the calibre LF 707.01 was developed by La Fabrique du Temps (LFDT), a Geneva complications specialist now owned by Louis Vuitton. It’s a company that helped establish Laurent Ferrier, having helped develop the movements in both the Tourbillon Double Hairspring and then the Micro-Rotor Automatic. LFDT founders Enrico Barbasini and Michel Navas, like Mr Ferrier, are former employees of Patek Philippe, which is where the trio first met; Messers Barbasini and Navas also hold a minority share in Laurent Ferrier today.

Consequently the movement layout is familiar, since versions of the same calibre have been used by Girard-Perregaux, Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren. But unlike other versions of the movement that are open-worked (in the case of Louis Vuitton), or pocket watch-inspired (Ralph Lauren), the Laurent Ferrier calibre is straightforward, in contrast to the elaborately constructed, earlier Laurent Ferrier movements.

One large bridge secures the barrel and wheel train, and another for the striking mechanism, while the balance cock sits in a round aperture. The base plate is decorated with circular graining while the bridges are adorned with broad, hand-applied Côtes de Genève. Though the bridges are large, they have elegantly formed outlines that emphasise the polished, bevelled edges. The bridge for the striking mechanism in particular features several inward and outward corners – a reassuring detail for an haute horlogerie watch.

Laurent Ferrier Galet Minute Repeater 2

Most of the moving parts are covered, but the two hammers and the governor of the chiming mechanism are visible on the right side of the movement. However, Laurent Ferrier has integrated a few signature touches found in earlier calibres, elements that give the movement a touch of old school Geneva watchmaking. These include the long, blade-shaped winding pawl and the sharply formed bridge – which takes the form of a quaver – for the inertial flywheel of the governor.

Laurent-Ferrier-Galet-Minute-Repeater 3

As with the recent Galet Annual Calendar, the watch has a simple and traditional Swiss lever escapement with a free-sprung, screwed balance. This contrasts with the more exotic double-wheel Natural Escapement of the Galet Automatic and the double hairspring of the tourbillon. As with most Laurent Ferrier movements, the movement has an 80-hour power reserve.

Price and Availability

The Laurent Ferrier Galet Minute Repeater Montre École is priced at SFr260,000. Only five pieces will be produced over the course of the next two years.


 

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