richard mille - RM11 Mancini
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
richard mille - RM11 Mancini

RM11 Mancini

richard mille

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See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

RM11 Mancini Titanium

The former footballer Roberto Mancini has an impressive list of titles to his credit. As a player, he won the Italian championships six times, was voted Player of the Year in the Italian league twice, was twice part of the winning European Cup Winners’ Cup team and also lifted the UEFA Super Cup. Given this exceptional career, it was only natural for Roberto Mancini to turn manager and, in 2009, he took the mighty Manchester City team under his wing, guiding them to victory in this year’s Premier League.
Roberto Mancini’s personality won Richard Mille over immediately: an unrivalled tactician, he shines with his inventiveness and elegance on the pitch. A true gentleman of football, he is the very image of the brand: refined, technically brilliant and creative. The RM 11-01 was designed especially for this new Richard Mille partner.
During a football match, both halves, extra time and stoppage time are all nerve-wracking periods for a manager. Tactics are decided according to the remaining match time, and strategies can lead to either victory or defeat. Roberto Mancini was looking for an ultra-technical instrument to assist him not only during matches, but especially during extra time, when the remaining minutes are no longer displayed to the players or their manager. It is a moment of intense anxiety for the latter, who no longer has any match-specific temporal reference points.
Richard Mille chose to collaborate with Roberto Mancini on the creation of the RM 11-01. Equipped with the caliber RMAC1, this timepiece offers an annual calendar, a flyback chronograph with central minutes counter and a dial divided into periods of play. Although its operation appears extremely simple, in reality it is unique in watchmaking. The dial displays match time on the basis of two 45-minute halves and up to 15 minutes of stoppage time. Pressing the pusher at 4 o’clock once actuates the flyback function and repositions the hand at 12 o’clock, ready to start the second half. If extra time is awarded, the flyback function can be reactuated so that the watch shows the 15 minutes of extra match time and up to 5 minutes of stoppage time.
The case of the RM 11-01 reproduces the celebrated design of the RM 011. It is tonneau shaped and made in three parts from grade 5 titanium and has Nitril O-ring seals that make it water-resistant to 50 metres. It is assembled using 20 spline screws, also in grade 5 titanium, and with wear-resistant 316L steel washers. Completing this extremely ergonomic case required 420 hours of design work and over 200 machining operations.
For the Manchester City manager, the RM 11-01 Roberto Mancini is the ideal instrument for following a match and choosing the best strategies for victory.
 
 

Technical specifications

 
 
CALIBER RMAC1:
 
  • automatic winding movement with hours, minutes, seconds
  • flyback chronograph
  • central minutes
  • counter, 12-hour totalizer
  • annual calendar
  • adjustable rotor geometry.
  • Dimensions: 50.00 x 42.70 x 16.15 mm
  • power reserve of Circa 50 hours (±10%).
  • Actual power reserve results will depend on the period of time the chronograph is utilized.
 
How to use it for football : 
 
  • The flyback chronograph equipping the RM 11-01 Mancini was designed for a football match. The dial displays match time based on each 45-minute half and can take up to 15 minutes of stoppage time into account. During each half, a single press on the push-piece at 4 o’clock activates the flyback function and sends the hand back to 12 o’clock, ready to start timing the second half. If extra time is awarded, the watch displays an additional 15 minutes and up to 5 minutes of stoppage time.
 

Who's who

When he talks about Richard Mille, Laurent Picciotto doesn’t say “I” and “he”, but “we”. Just two letters say it all – well, almost. As far as Chronopassion is concerned, this is not about any old brand, but a shared history: that of two men who originally met in Rue Saint Honoré “to chat together for a couple of hours a week – then, five, ten, twenty or thirty hours,” before bringing out the first RM001 one year later. Be that as it may, the friendship between Laurent Picciotto and Richard Mille doesn’t stretch back for decades, to their schooldays, or anything like that. “We first came across each other at the time when Richard was working at Mauboussin, on the first tourbillons developed by the brand,” recalls the owner of Chronopassion. When – as yet unaware of the fact that he was to become “RM” for the world at large – Mille left Mauboussin to launch his own brand, he consulted Laurent Picciotto. Not only did he consult him, he took on board his thinking, and ultimately enlisted Picciotto as a partner when he set up his company. The brand spirit was already in their minds – an uncompromising timepiece, featuring a completely new design, outstanding materials and a brand new assembly technique. Once the specifications had been established, the two men contacted Renaud & Papi to implement production. They were to become RM’s third partner; today, some fifteen years later, they are still crafting its collections. The line taken ahead of presentation of the first timepiece was equally hard-nosed. “Nobody knew Richard, we didn’t really want to make a big thing out of Renaud & Papi and we ourselves had no story to tell at all. In other words, we were swimming completely against the tide,” recalls Laurent Picciotto. “We first attended BaselWorld in 2000. We placed the watch on the table and said ‘There you are, that’s all we’ve got to say, it’s an RM001, yours for €176,000.’ And it worked.” Indeed, the pricing policy was the subject of much debate, right from the outset. “Looking back, it’s easy to say that the approach was the right one,” explains Laurent Picciotto. “But twelve years ago, we’d sometimes break out in a cold sweat thinking about it. Richard and I were both completely focussed on the watch, scarcely paying attention to the final bill until the first one was finished. When we totted it up and it came to over 170,000 euros, there was a bit of a hush. The silence between us was far more eloquent than any number of words could have been. For a while we wondered whether we had overreached ourselves. But it wasn’t long before we were right back with our initial motives – an RM should brook no compromise.” Richard Mille did not hesitate to take this radical approach right to the limit. “When he met a client who had doubts about how sturdy the RM was – whereas that had always been a strong point in its design – Richard would take off his own and throw it on the floor. That was his way of saying ‘I’ve said as much, and now I’m proving it’”, recalls Laurent Picciotto with a smile. “It would certainly make quite an impression!” Looking back, the Richard Mille brand has surpassed even its own designers’ expectations. Having emerged at a time when the market was not yet offering a new brand or revival every couple of months, it surprised everybody. Later on, a lot of independent watchmakers took a similar direction, saying to themselves “If Richard has managed, I can too.” RMs are still as radical as ever, though. Laurent Picciotto sums it up. “Some signs never lie. We’ve never yet seen a client pick up an RM whose first words were ‘it reminds me of a...’ Some fifteen years on from the RM001, nobody’s got anywhere near finishing that sentence.” 
 
Journalist : Olivier Müller (11/2012)
 
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