Richard Mille’s latest innovative timepiece, developed in partnership with film star Sylvester Stallone, is a watch that could be found on the wrist of John Rambo or one of Stallone’s other cinematic action heroes. What makes the new RM 25-01 Adventure Sylvester Stallone, a limited edition of just 20 pieces, so ideally suited to surviving and thriving in all kinds of adverse conditions? Read on.
The RM 25-01 is a watch designed to be, as Sly himself puts it, “Ready for action.” The case is round — like that of the RM 032 that the actor and longtime watch enthusiast wore in 2010’s The Expendables — and constructed of titanium and Carbon TPT, a material whose distinctive look and properties have become a hallmark of the Richard Mille brand. The lightweight, highly resistant material is comprised of 600 layers of parallel carbon filaments, each of them no more than 30 microns in thickness, that are impregnated with a super-charged resin and compiled by a CNC machine that shifts the orientation of the fibers by 45° between layers. This composite material is then heated to 120º Celsius, at 6 bar of pressure, to solidify it. The result is an undulating, damascne appearance to the surface and a significant reduction in weight of the case, which measures a titanic 50.85 mm x 23.65 mm and resists water pressure down to 100 meters.
What really distinguishes the watch’s case are its two interchangeable bezels — one an actual compass, in DLC-coated grade 5 titanium with both a fixed and rotatable setting, the other a bidirectionally rotating ring in titanium and Carbon TPT, marked with both a 24-hour and 360º scale and the cardinal directions. The compass’s bayonet mount makes it easy to affix to the case, while its Carbon TPT-coated top surface (with mirrored back) has just one round aperture at 12 o’clock through which the wearer can view the compass needle under a multilayered, nonreflective sapphire crystal, which also bears an antimagnetic coating to protect both the compass’s precision and the workings of the watch’s movement. To use the other bezel for direction finding, the wearer simply needs to point the dial’s hour hand toward the sun and turn the bezel so the local 24-hour time is indicated, thus enabling the wearer to distinguish North, South, East, and West. The compass was specifically requested by Stallone as “a crucial piece of equipment no adventurer should be without,” according to the brand.
So how does the wearer know that he’s getting the most precise compass reading? The watch ensures this with a small bubble level at 4 o’clock, which indicates whether or not the wrist is perfectly horizontal while using the function. At 2 o’clock is another feature that you won’t find on any other outdoor-adventure-focused watch: a hermetic compartment, made of titanium, to store water purification tablets that can make a liter of polluted water safe to drink as quickly as 30 minutes.
The movement combines a tourbillon with a specially developed “competition” chronograph function, along with a 70-hour power reserve, displayed by coupling and function indicators, and an unusual 24-hour time display meant to help wearers deprived of sunlight distinguish between AM and PM. Richard Mille’s watchmakers needed several months to optimize this manual-winding caliber for both reduced weight and increased timekeeping precision and chronometeric reliability. With a baseplate and bridges machined from grade 5 titanium, the movement boasts reduced inertia and a 50 percent lower energy consumption than its predecessors.
Stallone’s input is also evident on the RM 25-01’s sculptural, natural rubber strap, which has a camouflage motif and closes securely with a titanium pin buckle. Targeted at 20 well-heeled, would-be Rambos, the watch is available exclusively at Richard Mille boutiques worldwide and priced at $983,000.