Only Watch 2021: Richard Mille At Full Speed With The RM 67-02 Charles Leclerc Prototype
Richard Mille pays tribute to the roots of next month’s charity auction by donating its lightweight, race-ready model created for the Monaco-born Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc.
Next month sees the return of the Only Watch charity auction, one of the most anticipated dates in the watchmaking calendar. The ninth edition of this biennial event – which takes place in Geneva on Saturday, November 6th at 2 pm local time – will bring together 54 watch brands offering 53 lots. Plus, the auction’s proceeds will go to research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy. One of those brands is, of course, Richard Mille.
The innovative Swiss watchmaker has decided to donate an eye-catching timepiece that pays tribute to the auction’s Monégasque roots. After all, the event is patronized by Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and Luc Pettavino, Founder of Only Watch, is also president of the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies, the Monaco-based charity that has benefitted from the 70 million euros raised at the previous eight auctions.
Flying the Flag
For this year’s auction, the Les Breuleux-based brand is donating the RM 67-02 Charles Leclerc Prototype, an ultra-lightweight timepiece created for the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 driver who hails from the Côte d’Azur principality.
The time-only watch stands out for its skeletonized dial, hands, and movement, with the X-shaped, 0.4mm thin titanium dial hand-painted in the red and white colors of Leclerc’s national flag.
The dial’s lines echo those of the extra-flat, automatic CRMA7 calibre beneath, whose mainplate and bridges are equally machined from grade five titanium and given stealthy black and grey DLC treatments.
The skeletonized winding rotor, visible through the display caseback, is made from a mixture of Carbon TPT and white gold. And it employs the brand’s OneWay winding system with ceramic ball bearings to efficiently wind the fast-rotating, high-performance mainspring barrel.
The 47mm x 39mm case is made in white and red Quartz TPT. Cutting-edge and boasting high shock resistance, these cutting-edge composites are exclusive to Richard Mille and have a dynamic veined appearance thanks to the stacked layers of quartz fibers molded with resin at high temperature and pressure.
Additionally, in furtherance of the color scheme, the RM 67-02 Charles Leclerc Prototype comes on an elastic, seamless “comfort strap” that features an upper layer of red textile. Designed to fit the contours of any wrist, it is the lightest strap made by the brand.
The presence of the strap, the use of TPT composite materials, and the fact that the dial, mainplate, and bridges are made of grade five titanium all contribute to why this watch only weighs a mere 32 grams.
Richard Mille has supported Leclerc for over a decade, watching him progress from junior karting all the way to Formula 1 in 2018. According to the brand, Leclerc wearing the RM 67-02 prototype even helped the brand test new technical solutions for subsequent models.
Only Watch has high hopes for this piece, estimating that it will fetch between CHF 270,000 and CHF 330,000. What’s more, the winning bidder will also receive two passes to next May’s Monaco Grand Prix. As VIP Guests of Scuderia Ferrari, they will be able to watch the race at the heart of the team paddock and meet Leclerc. For more information, please visit the Only Watch website.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)