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Since the founding of his eponymous brand in 2001, Richard Mille has been synonymous with high-tech watchmaking. The sublime pieces that come out of this luxury manufacture are overall a testament to the brand’s extreme devotion to research and innovation, where the timepiece pieces are a pleasure to look at as it is a technical marvel.
The watch brand has captured the hearts of many over the years and is a favourite among celebrities and sportsmen. The appeal is simple, Richard Mille’s timepieces are distinctive: skeletonised with a tonneau-shaped case that sits snuggly on the wrist; on average a watch only weighs 40 grams.
Aside from performing its function as a timekeeper on the wrist, watchmakers often take its job to a greater proportion. Just like how Rolex has been the official timekeeper for the F1 and Omege for the Olympics, Richard Mille has been a long-time partner of Le Mans Classic since its creation in 2002. The eponymous founder is a notable car enthusiast, especially classic racing cars and it made total sense that he was one half of the duo that established the Le Mans Classic. At the annual event, drivers from all over the world would gather and the site features over 700 racing cars on track and 8,500 classic cars on display.
To champion the values of motorsport, Richard Mille has even developed seven watches dedicated to the event and the latest model is called “RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic”, which is limited to only 150 pieces. The limited series celebrates excellence in performance, sturdiness and reliability, and is a befitting tribute to the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The 49mm x 40mm case comprises a white Quartz TPT (Thin Ply Technology) mid-case with green Quartz TPT bezels on the front and back. Richard Mille’s signature TPT uses ultra-thin unidirectional sheets of carbon fibres fused with quartz fibres. The significance of carbon fibres used in motorsports is telegraph on the RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic, where it exemplifies the sporty side of the brand.
The front bezel features a white inlay, double stripes in a classic Le Mans style at the top and bottom. These clean lines perfectly match with the white rubber straps and the material makes a comfortable wear on the wrist as drivers speed their 1960s Ferrari or Ford around the North-Western circuit of Le Mans.
The Richard Mille 029 Le Mans Classic watch has sapphire crystals both on the front and back. The front tells the time and the back showcases the mesmerising calibre RMSA7 movement. The movement’s automatic winding system supplies two barrels with energy and together they provide a power reserve of approximately 55 hours. Meanwhile, the rotor can be calibrated to the wearer’s level of activity providing ultimate accuracy like a race car ought to have.
10th Edition of Le Mans Classic & Centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
The 10th edition of Le Mans Classic took place from 30 June to 3 July 2022 after a four-year suspense and the motorsports event once again breathed life into the Sarthe region of France. Basked under the balmy summer days, 750 race cars having previously distinguished themselves at Le Mans between the 1920s and 1980s were divided into six grids and conquered the renowned routes.
Seen at the events are some of the iconic cars of the past such as the Bugatti T35, Jaguar Type D, Lotus 15, Ford GT 40, Lola T70 or Chevron B31. These are the mechanical beasts that won in their respective age-group classes.
Also seen during the event are other supporting races like the Group C category, where a field comprising some 50 cars that raced between 1982 and 1993 demonstrated its prowess in a demonstration grid. Also, the Endurance Racing Legends brought Le Mans Classics into a new era with a spectacular qualifying event featuring cars that appeal to young spectators. Including these two grids, the event now covers the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours from 1923 to 2010.
Apart from celebrating the 10th edition of the Le Mans Classic, come summer 2023, it will be the centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and no doubt. The success of this year’s Le Mans Classic once again confirms its status as the world’s largest gathering of classic cars and a classic motorsport event that just cannot be missed
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