Earlier this week Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille announced their newest reference, the RM 52-05 Pharrell Williams. The second of their collaborations is a manual winding tourbillon movement with hours and minutes.
Pharrell Williams is a musician, producer, designer and all-around renaissance man. I first became aware of him through N*E*R*D music in the early 00s. In Search of… is one my favorite albums of all time. He produced so many hit singles in the last 20 years it would be difficult to find a top ten list of any rap or pop chart without a Pharrell / Neptunes produced track.
The case color is a great match for the dial and strap combination. You can find pictures of the astronaut being made from gold, then enameled in the grand feu tradition. The exposed movement is equally impressive. I’m always shocked when a watch like this only has water resistance to 50m.
On the other hand… unlike the timeless man who it represents, this watch feels dated already. The literal materials will outlast all of us but the astronaut helmet can only be tied to a period of time in the past. The only reason I bring this is up is Pharrell Williams doesn’t age. Somewhere, there is a painting of him a la Dorian Gray, sitting in a safe guaranteeing Pharrell’s youthful appearance and appeal. We will all continue to grow old and age, he will be producing songs for Miley Cyrus’ grand daughter.
- Movement dimensions: 32.80 x 30.90 mm
- Thickness: 6.40 mm
- Tourbillon diameter: 10.90 mm
- Balance wheel diameter: 9.12 mm
- Jewels: 19
- Balance wheel: Glucydur®, 2 arms and 4 setting screws
- Moment of inertia: 11.50 mg.cm2, angle of lift: 53°
- Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
- Balance spring: elinvar by Nivarox®
- Shock protection: KIF ELASTOR KE 160 B28
- Barrel shaft: in nickel-free Chronifer® (DIN x 46 Cr 13 + S) with the following characteristics: stainless – antimagnetic – suitable for tempering
I’ll be the first admit I don’t know what any of those materials are. They sure sound cool, and expensive. Therein lies part of the value in a Richard Mille. They develop these crazy materials and the methods to work with them.