Richard Mille - Racing Pulse New York Saturday, December 12, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Richard Mille
    Year: Circa 2013
    Reference No: RM52-01 AN CA-TZP
    Case No: No. 13/50
    Model Name: Skull
    Material: TZP Nano-Ceramic, pink gold
    Calibre: Mechanical, RM-52-01, 19 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Black rubber Richard Mille strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Titanium Richard Mille deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 42.7mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Richard Mille presentation box with outer packaging, and handwritten note from Sylvester Stallone.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Richard Mille launched his first watch, the RM001 Tourbillon, in 2000. Mille sought to create wristwatches that were 21st century masterpieces, employing cutting edge materials and techniques, but remaining steeped in traditional Swiss watchmaking. His earliest watches were developed together with Audemars Piguet’s complication specialist, Renaud et Papi, and found immediate success both for their sleek aerodynamic designs and case and movement aesthetics that were reminiscent of a Formula One race car engines. Since then, the tourbillon has remained an important complication in the Mille oeuvre, and in 2012 the brand released their first “Skull”model, the RM52, a “memento mori” motif that found great success.

    Released in 2013, the RM52-01 has an innovative TZP ceramic and carbon nanotubes case, with pink gold “Skull”, made in a limited edition of just 30 examples. The classic Mille tonneau-shaped case design is highlighted by the “Skull” front and center on the dial. Imagery of the skull has long been used in art as a convention for death, and the idea of memento mori, a reminder of one’s mortality, and the inevitability of death. In the field of horology, the skull theme became popular in the 16th century with skull-shaped pocket watches, and later appeared in clocks and automatons during the 18th and 19th centuries. Mille returned to the skull in the 21st century as a symbol for vanitas vanitatum, or the promise of eternity, and a representation of the brand’s expression of liberty and nonconformity, which are keystones of their philosophy. The signature case and bezel are made from TZP, a low density material that is highly scratch resistant with a low thermal conductivity coefficient. The case middle features carbon nanotubes bonded to a black polymer that is lightweight yet extremely rigid, adding protection to the movement and its tourbillon-equipped escapement.The case is water resistant to 50 meters, and assembled with grade 5 titainum spline screws used to better control torque.

    Frequently photographed wearing this exact watch, the present watch, no. 13, was consigned directly by Sylvester Stallone. Preserved in superb condition, Phillips is thrilled to offer the watch together with a letter personally handwritten and signed by Mr. Stallone on his private stationary describing the watch. With its superb provenance, outstanding state of preservation, and exceptional quality, the present lot is a rare opportunity to own a very special, limited edition, Richard Mille “Skull” wristwatch.

    Consigned by the Original Owner

  • Artist Biography

    Richard Mille

    Swiss • 1999

    Established in 1999, Richard Mille's ultra-modern timepieces combine cutting-edge materials from high performance worlds such as Formula 1 racecars with high-end traditional watchmaking. The brand's revolutionary designs, technical breakthroughs and exceptional hand-finishing excite even the most discriminating collectors, and have positioned Richard Mille alongside the top makers of the modern luxury watch world.

    Innovative watches, such as the RM 027 Tourbillon, which was the world’s lightest mechanical watch when introduced in 2011, have helped the brand invert the concept of the luxury watch. Key models include the RM 009 Tourbillon cased in Aluminum Silicon Carbide (AlSiC), the RM 027-02 Tourbillon made for tennis star Rafael Nadal with a case made from quartz and carbon fiber and the RM 008 split seconds chronograph.

    View More Works


Ref. RM52-01 AN CA-TZP
A rare and highly attractive limited edition nano-ceramic and pink gold skeletonized tonneau-shaped tourbillon wristwatch with presentation box, numbered 13 of 30, accompanied by a hand-written note from Sylvester Stallone

Circa 2013
42.7mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

$350,000 - 700,000 

Sold for $998,000

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas & International Strategy Advisor
Senior Vice President
+1 212 940 1293

Racing Pulse

New York Auction 12 December 2020