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May 30, 2024

Richard Mille: RM 72-01 Le Mans Classic

Richard Mille celebrates the centenary of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans with the RM 72-01 Le Mans Classic, the latest timepiece dedicated to the 2023 edition.

Richard Mille RM 72-01 Le Mans Classic

Live your passion and go beyond your limits to then cross the finish line after an unrivalled technical and sporting performance! These are just a few of the similarities shared by Richard Mille and the legendary biennial Le Mans Classic since they first joined forces in 2002. Richard Mille embodies many motor sport values in the quest for ultimate performance. In fact, the brand’s commitment to the sport will be demonstrated once again with a significant presence at this year’s 11th edition of Le Mans Classic, which will also be a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, one of the world’s most prestigious races. 

From June 29 to July 2, a huge gathering of vintage cars will return to the legendary Le Mans circuit. Some 800 racing cars will be on the track, with a further 8,500 club cars on display in the general enclosure, along with 150 exhibitors and 1,000 drivers representing 30 different countries and more than 200,000 expected visitors, an unprecedented number since the event was created in 2002! Many cars that have either won the famous endurance race or made their mark on its history will be present. An entire century of history makes it an unmissable event. 

As in previous editions, competition vehicles will be divided into six grids, one for each of the six flagship eras from 1923 to 1981. Competitors will take to the track in a vintage format start – for the oldest cars – or a rolling start.  

In addition to the main event, there will also be four support races: one for Group C cars, two races dedicated to Bentley and Porsche, the Endurance Racing Legends, featuring cars that competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans until 2010, such as the Audi R8, Bentley Speed 8, 1997 Porsche 911 GT1 Evo and McLaren F1. 

Among the attractions not to be missed are the traditional Little Big Mans race for children and a special exhibition in the museum of the greatest cars from the 24 Hours. Brought from private collections and museums around the world, a total of 90 cars that were either victorious in the race or emblematic of its history will also be on display. 

Furthermore, the Fédération française des véhicules d’époque (the French Federation of Vintage Cars) has assembled 24 cars that competed in the very first edition of the endurance race, offering visitors a journey back in time with such famous manufacturers as Amilcar, Bentley, Delage, Lorraine-Dietrich and Salmson, to name but a few. 

RICHARD MILLE AND RACING

Richard Mille’s involvement in the automotive world is well-established. With a strong commitment to racing circuits, supporting teams and drivers and particularly women in the sport, it was only natural for the brand to be involved with Le Mans Classic at every level from the very beginning. Watches have been specifically developed for every edition since 2008, each one in the event’s colours. This edition is no exception in joining all the previous editions that have all become collectables. 

RM 72-01 LE MANS CLASSIC: AN EXCLUSIVE MODEL TO CELEBRATE THE CENTENARY

Limited to 150 pieces, the RM 72-01 LMC is suited for the occasion with a green and white case (38,40 x 47,34 x 11,68 mm) in Quartz TPT. 

Richard Mille RM 72-01 Le Mans Classic
Richard Mille RM 72-01 Le Mans Classic

Echoing the performance of the cars that will compete during a double lap of the dial on the 13.626 kilometres of the Le Mans circuit, the hands of the flyback chronograph are coordinated. The 16 on the hour counter is underlined in red, a nod to the traditional start time of the endurance race. Performance achieved, victory celebrated: jubilation overcomes every competitor as they cross the chequered flag, the pattern of which is featured on the titanium dial. 

A celebration of technology and elegance, the RM 72-01 LMC boasts the company’s first flyback chronograph, featuring a patented double oscillating pinion clutch mechanism for optimum performance.

Richard Mille RM 72-01 Le Mans Classic

This new type of flyback chronograph, splitting the torque generated across the chronograph’s various counters. The display and the connection to the minutes and hours are disengaged from the chronograph’s seconds wheel. 

The performance of this chronograph is superlative. Drawing power directly from the barrel to supply the chronograph’s three counters, this heightened energy is transmitted to the chronograph train by a coupling system consisting of two oscillating pinions mounted on rockers. Controlling the start, stop, flyback and reset functions, the rockers are activated by a 6-column wheel whose construction optimises the simultanity of actions and the proper latching of functions, whilst ensuring the longevity of the settings. 

Richard Mille RM 72-01 Le Mans Classic
Richard Mille RM 72-01 Le Mans Classic

Using the pusher located at 4 o’clock, the running chronograph hand can be reset without first having to stop the mechanism. This system was originally developed for driver to avoid losing time (and accuracy) due to stopping, resetting and restarting their chronographs when passing through waypoints.

When the chronograph function is active, the hours (24-hour counter) and minutes (60-minute counter) are visible via the two counters located at 5 o’clock and 2 o’clock, the elapsed seconds being indicated by the central seconds

Richard Mille RM 72-01 Le Mans Classic

But that’s not all, in addition to the indication of hours, minutes, small seconds and semi-instantaneous date, the RM 72-01 also features a function indicator in a manner similar to a car’s gearbox. In fact, by pulling out the crown it is possible to select one of the 3 functions indicated via a hand at 3 o’clock: W (winding) – D (Date Adjusting) – H (Hand Setting).

An ideal watch developed for everyday wear, built with pure mechanical precision, an ambassador of a legendary event that has become internationally renowned. (Price CHF 295,000 + Tax)