Richard Mille and two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso, a fan of traditional Japanese arts, came up with the idea for a samurai-inspired masterpiece during a friendly conversation.
An aesthetic tribute to Japanese culture, the RM 47 Tourbillon is the result of intense reflection and nearly four years of design work.
It is a clever watch of a new kind, incorporating an extremely compact caliber, specially designed to make room for stylized samurai armor that was entirely handcrafted.
Entirely hand-sculpted by the engraver Pierre-Alain Lozeron and painted by his wife Valérie Lozeron, Samurai armor illustrates the different aspects of ancestral Japanese culture.
Evoking the spirit of bushido, the ethics of the samurai whose values still prevail in Japanese society, the armor comes to life in 3N yellow gold, reminiscent of the gold leaf used in ancient Japan to embellish the most beautiful shrines in the country. but also some works of traditional craftsmanship.
The Asano clan, a family that symbolizes the bushido spirit, is referenced in many details. The head of the family domain in the 18th century, Asano Naganori, was also the lord of the 47 ronin who avenged his death before following him into the afterlife.
Their Kamon, or heraldic clan sign – every Samurai clan has one – is proudly displayed on the tourbillon at six o’clock.
Representing two crossed falcon feathers, expressing strength in war and the authority of the suzerain, this emblem is also very finely engraved on the wings of the warriors’ helmet.
The crown, crafted in titanium, carbon TPT and polished 3N yellow gold, bears the motif of a Japanese maple leaf, a symbol of the seasons but also of grace, beauty and the brevity of life.
Below, the two swords, sheathed in their sheaths, point the edge of their blades upwards to be drawn quickly in case of danger.
In total, this decoration required no less than 16 hours of engraving and nine hours of painting – in all, more than a whole day – to obtain the 11 components that make up the Samouraï, perfectly integrated around the movement of the RM 47 Tourbillon. .
To ensure optimal functioning of the movement, the mainplate and the skeletonized bridges are made of grade 5 titanium, a biocompatible alloy often used in the aerospace industry, with a black PVD treatment. This combination offers high corrosion resistance, remarkable rigidity and perfectly flat surfaces.
The movement, case and decoration of the watch show a design approach intended to ensure the harmonious and efficient integration of all the different elements. The tonneau-shaped case comprises three parts with a middle part in 3N yellow gold receiving a bezel and a back in black TZP ceramic.
The RM 47 Tourbillon, limited to 75 pieces, evokes the spirituality and values of bushido, while embodying a determined quest for perfection and respect for tradition.