If you're ever likely to get lost in the woods and have about a million dollars to spare, then the Richard Mille RM 25-01 Adventure wristwatch might be up your alley. Designed in collaboration with actor/director Sylvester Stallone, the Ramboesque timepiece is not only a tourbillon chronograph, it also boasts such survival aids as a compass, spirit level, and water purification tablet storage compartment.
In the world of haute chronologie, watches can be divided into three main categories. There are the dress watches that are for fashion and show, tool watches intended to be rugged and perform a practical function, and the show pieces that are for demonstrating craftsmanship and technical prowess.
To these might be added the more oddball variety – watches that don't exactly seem to be one thing or another, but have a distinct over-the-top quality that seems to timekeeping into some kind of artistic statement. Such is the case with the RM 25-01. At first glance, it seems to be a tool watch, but with its 50.85 mm diameter and 23.65 mm thickness, it's like a hockey puck on a camouflage rubber strap.
Then there are the survivalist functions that, like the price tag of US$983,000, are so exaggerated. There's no way to pretend that this is in any way practical. However, practicality is scarcely the point. Like the Rambo action film character that inspired it, this is a fantasy watch that combines a wry sense of humor with some serious mechanical watchmaking skills.
According to Richard Mille, the company's engineers spent months working on getting the technical side of the RM 25-01 right. By using titanium parts, they were able to reduce the 35-jewel, 21,600 vph (3 Hz), manually-wound movement's weight and cut energy consumption by half. In addition, the Glucydur balance wheel, stainless-steel barrel shaft, and 12.30 mm tourbillon are visible front and reverse inside the high skeletonized design.
All of this is set in a case made of Carbon TPT composed of many layers of parallel filaments and titanium sealed with two Nitrile O-rings that give it a water resistance of 100 m (330 ft). At the 8 o'clock position is the pusher to activate the chronograph function, with the reset at 10 o'clock. There's also a torque and power-reserve indicator. And speaking of torque, there's a torque-limiting crown to prevent accidental overwinding
But all of this can get a bit lost behind the upfront features. Along with the chronograph, the RM 25-01 has a 24-hr display and two interchangeable bezels. The standard is a bidirectional navigation bezel held on by a bayonet mount. A press of the lever releases it and it can be swapped out for a mirror compass made of grade 5 titanium.
The compass bezel can be used either on the watch or mounted on a special plate like an orienteering compass. However, on the watch it definitely stands out because the compass includes a mirrored cover with a sighting slot. When this is closed, you can't use the watch, but the RM 25-01 looks like a semi-serious bit of paramilitary hardware. And as an added touch, there's a spirit level included in the watch case to make sure the compass is level for sightings.
To top all this off, the RM 25-01 even has a water-tight compartment to hold five water purification tablets. Whether these are included in the price is unclear.
The RM 25-01 is available in a limited edition of 20 pieces.
Source: Richard Mille/New Atlas.