To commemorate this year’s Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix, Richard Mille will be releasing the limited-edition RM 50-04 Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph Kimi Räikkönen released in partnership with the famed F1 world champion it’s named for. This new watch, limited to 30 editions, pays homage both to the legacy of Kimi “Iceman” Räikkönen as the 39-year-old racing veteran enters his 307th race, and also to the Alfa Romeo Racing Team that has helped make his success possible.
The new watch is cased in white Quartz TPT and takes the shape of a familiar Richard Mille construction in its 44.5-mm size. Quartz TPT is a material pioneered by North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT), produced by interlaying 600 layers of 45 microns thick silicon with a white matrix, then heating it to 120 °C. The black middle part of the case, as well as the pushers and crown, are produced using a similar material dubbed Carbon TPT, which is differentiated in its use carbon fibers instead of silicon. Altogether, these processes produce a highly durable and lightweight case material common in many of the brand’s watches.
The skeletonized dial of the piece utilizes grade-5 titanium as its base, featuring an outer red tachymetric scale, a tourbillon/running seconds display toward the bottom of the dial, and a 30-minute chronograph subdial toward 6 o’clock. The dial also features yellow-and red-tipped hands for the split-seconds chronograph, a 70-hour power reserve indicator, and indicators for the function and torque of the movement. It’s stylized with a small “7” towards the bottom of the dial signifying the 7 worn by Räikkönen in competition.
Inside the piece and visible through a sapphire caseback is the hand-wound, skeletonized RM 50-03 movement, which like the rest of the model is constructed using Carbon TPT and titanium. This ultra-light movement weighs just 7 grams (for reference, an American quarter weighs a bit under 6 grams), and in combination with the case is shock resistant to 5,000 Gs.
This new model will be limited to 30 pieces and is priced at $1,063,000. As other writers have commented, the new RM 50-04 is an exercise by the brand in what can be done — both in terms of bringing together technologies, and also in terms of the marketing power Richard Mille uses to build excitement around such an expensive piece. Whether all of these models will be sold remains to be seen, but it’s nonetheless an interesting work in experimentation by the historically forward-thinking watch manufacturer.
Räikkönen (above) will wear the new RM 50-04 during the upcoming Singapore race, and during all major grand prix events to come. The Finnish driver, who over the course of his 18-year career has made 103 podium finishes, commented he’s excited to be wearing the new Richard Mille model for its ability to bring together “guts, technological prowess, and above all fun,” three unmistakably important features to have in Formula 1 racing.