Richard Mille harmonises watching making with music is art forms with the creation of the colour RM52-05 watches for Pharrell Williams.
Set in a sapphire tripartite case, the RM 52-05, a manual winding tourbillon, is milled and ground from blocks of solid sapphire by the prestigious and highly specialized experts Stettler in Lyss, Switzerland, who had the difficult task of creating these movement parts and the unique, wrist hugging, ergonomically curving tripartite Richard Mille case.
The grade 5 titanium helmet resting on a structure depicting the upper part of a spacesuit, also in grade 5 titanium, connects the dial to the movement beneath it. It has been painted white using an airbrush that was initially developed for street artist Cyril Kongo, who hand-painted the RM 68-01.
The projectors and cameras, represented by two diamonds and a black sapphire set on either side of the helmet, required particular care and attention. The stones are showcased by a moderate gem-setting depth, reflectors that have been polished and bevelled using watchmaking techniques and the alignment of their tables, all of which are facing the same way to ensure a uniform reflection.
“Watches are 100% an art form: you’re mimicking time. They keep time but ‘two weeks ago’ is gone, you can’t show me where it is. So is ‘two weeks from now’, you can’t show me that either. What Richard does is build something that lets you take the metric of what time looks like. That’s a wizard-level art form. I’m a producer, I know how to stand next to the guy, even in this instant: Richard is the guy. I know baselines and chords and harmonies. That’s it. I’m harmonising with him,” says Pharrell Williams of the collaboration.