Richard Mille RM51-01 Tourbillon Tiger and Dragon Michelle Yeoh – Collector’s Review (by Wee Yong)
Greetings fellow horologists, readers, followers and fans of Watch-Anish. Since this is my virgin experience in writing an article, please bare with me sharing a little background information about myself. My name is Wee Yong, aka @horolojizz , 26 years young, born and bred in a tiny island called Singapore. Drawn into the world of horology 4 years ago, I recall my first ever luxury timepiece, a Rolex Daytona 116523 that I got on the 23rd of June 2011. Since then, I’ve been deeply obsessed with timepieces, especially sports watches. Over the span of 3 years, I have acquired a couple of Audemars Piguet Offshores (My personal Favorite Brand), a Panerai Luminor, a Hublot King Power, and some Rolexes (Sadly I don’t own all of them at once).
Topic of the day is Richard Mille, a brand that has caught the world of horology by storm. Over the past 10 years, Richard Mille has left a deep impact and impression in the world of luxury too. Since their entrance in watchmaking, tonneau shaped watch cases and skeletonized dials have become a worldwide icon. Any Richard Mille that is strapped on a wrist can be spotted and recognized from across a continent. As a brand, Richard Mille strongly signifies technical innovations and has been known as a symbol of high-end luxury. The status of wearing a Richard Mille is undoubtedly of equal supremacy as the brand itself.
Prior to recent years, women have been institutionalized to the concept of inferiority to men; a concept that dates back to agricultural societies. Collecting timepieces has been seen as a men’s hobby for way too long but things are about to change. Richard Mille’s Ladies collection offers equality between genders. Women can now enjoy luxury watches of high complications. An example of such would be the “Richard Mille RM51-01 Tourbillon Tiger and Dragon-Michelle Yeoh”. Unveiled earlier this year at SIHH after declaring 2014 to be the “Year of the Woman”, RM51-01 is one of the 4 new timepieces made especially for the better half of mankind. Do not be fooled by the diamond-set case, underneath those diamonds is an extremely complicated movement called “tourbillon”, a mechanical wonder that counters the effects of gravity to improve on time accuracy. The beautiful Tiger and Dragon seen on the dial are made of 3N Red Gold, carved and incised entirely by hand, before going through a painstaking micro hand-finished painting. A true example of fine watchmaking.
The price tag has yet to be confirmed, but it should be in the range of a phone number (8 numbers on a Singapore Phone). Slight exaggeration there, but you get the point. While some may remain skeptical about paying a million dollars for a wristwatch, what they fail to understand is that million dollar watches are more common than you think. And yes, there are people who buy them. Though it’s not a huge number of people, as the rest are still on the waiting list for these exclusive timepieces.
Money can’t buy class. Having said that, a huge chunk of bills can certainly buy some status. The image of a woman who wears a Richard Mille has surpassed the level of simply having deep pockets. A very good example of such, would be a local socialite from my country Singapore. Jamie Chua aka @ec24m , who has been dubbed as the woman who owns “the most number of Hermes Birkin in the world”, has also been known to be a fan of Richard Mille (She has a $800,000 RM tourbillon). After seeing a Richard Mille on her wrist, we know that it’s not just the good looks, good dress sense, sophistication, but her choice of being associated with owning certain brands that deemed her the title “the darling” of high society. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Richard Mille RM51-01 strapped onto her wrist in the near future.
Today the world of horology is in gratitude to Richard Mille for offering equality between genders. Horology is no longer an affair dominated by men. To the Alpha-Females around the world, the RM51-01 is limited to 20 pieces in Red Gold or White Gold. So, put your feet in your Louboutins, strap on your existing RM, hop into your pink supercar, and step on the accelerator till you see a Richard Mille Boutique. PS: To my future wife, in case you are reading this, and want to buy this, 3 words for you honey – Divorce is cheaper.