The back of a metal watch
The back of a metal watch

Every watch collector knows you can’t just walk into a luxury boutique and expect to buy an in-demand timepiece, any more than you can walk into a gallery and pick up the latest Richard Prince. The space between demand and supply can be acute, and some watches acquire a status beyond value or taste. Here are six of the best compiled by James Gurney

 

A metal watch with a red face

An icon returns: Demand for Zenith’s heritage re-issues such as this Defy Revival is intense. It’s easy to see why. The faceted octagonal case and 14-sided bezel combined with the steel ladder bracelet, gives the £6,100 Defy a character as unique today as it was radical at its 1969 launch.

zenith-watches.com

A black watch with a tech style silver face

Go faster: If ever a watchmaker could adopt the ad slogan “reassuringly expensive”, it is motor-racing favourite Richard Mille. The 1.75mm RM UP-01 Ferrari, created with Ferrari, is the thinnest watch ever designed. All 150 watches to be made are reportedly reserved, at £1.88m.

richard-mille.com

a blue watch with a blue face and strap

Blue blood: François-Paul Journe set up as a watchmaker nearly 25 years ago, after restoring antique clocks. That tradition, combined with a modern aesthetic, has collectors content to wait for years, even for the simplest creations such as the Chronomètre Bleu, which retails for just under $40K, but resells for upwards of $50K.

fpjourne.com

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A blue strap watch with a silver face with a hint of blue

What is the world: Greubel Forsey raises watchmaking to an art form by preserving and reviving craft skills. That the brand is looking to bring prices down to below £200,000 (the covetable GMT Balancier Convexe is around $400,000) and reduce waiting times to under two years tells you all about demand.

greubelforsey.com

A silver metal watch with three black dots in the face

Classic cool: The value of the most sought-after vintage Rolex watches can reach absurd extremes. With others, such as the 1971 pandadial Daytona, the perfection of the design was enough to justify an estimate of up to €500,000 euros at Sotheby’s March 2023 Fine Watches sale.

rolex.com

A silver watch with a blue square face

Dreaming on: Demand for key Patek Philippe designs exceeds supply, reaches fever pitch for Nautilus variations and is beyond reason ($6.5m in 2021) for the Tiffany blue-dialled 5711/1A-018. For a white gold 5811/1G (£58,391), you might have a chance in a few generations.

patek.com

This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of LUX

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A painting of a devil with red, green and black paint dripping on the canvas
A painting of a devil with red, green and black paint dripping on the canvas

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (Devil), 1982. Private Collection; © 2023 Phillips Auctioneers LLC, all rights reserved; © Estate of Jean-Michel
Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York

Eight monumental works created by Jean-Michel Basquiat when he was 21 years old are brought together for the first time in an exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler, institutional partner of Swiss luxury watch brand Richard Mille. By Darius Sanai

What is it about Jean-Michel Basquiat that continues to captivate, 35 years after his death in the summer of 1988 at the age of 27? His art, for sure. Although he wasn’t quite the global superstar he would become after his death, his art was recognised at the time as being original, monumental, complex, important.

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Then there are the societal and political themes. Born to a Haitian father and a mother born to Puerto Rican parents, Basquiat was, and arguably remains, the only black artist to have achieved global superstardom. The representations of racial oppression in his works came less than 20 years after segregation – a form of apartheid – was formally abolished in the US.

A painted black canvas with bits of blue and a devil with his hands in the air wearing red

Jean-Michael Basquiat, Profit 1, 1982. Private Collection, Switzerland © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo by Robert Bayer

And then there is the social context. Although many of the themes in his work are deadly serious, Basquiat was a pioneer and a high-flier in perhaps the most exciting art scene that has ever existed in the western world, that of New York during the birth of hip- hop, punk, new wave and rap. He was friends with Andy Warhol, sold his first painting to Debbie Harry (for $200) and made music with some of the biggest names in the emerging hip-hop scene. Basquiat was friends with Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash, as well as a punk-art crowd at the Mudd Club and CBGB. He also had a good fortune, or misfortune, to shoot to fame during one of the art world’s biggest booms, which subsequently went bust not long after his death of a death heroin overdose.

The 1980s are, in many ways, when the contemporary era began, and Basquiat, and graffiti poet, musician and multimedia artist, was a fresh symbol of the era, both in his works and his vivid social life, making Warhol at the time seem old and outdates to many. There is also the fact that Basquiat was making art in parts of New York that were run down to the point of abandonment – this is a city that declared bankruptcy in the 1970s – and which are now the site of the homes of wealthy art collectors, who may have been children when Basquiat’s legend was being established.

A yellow and blue painted canvas with a black painted woman and a body on the side

Jean-Michael Basquiat, Untitled (Woman with Roman Torso [Venus]), 1982. Private Collection © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo by Robert Bayer

Basquiat’s life itself seems to be out of a fictional movie so cruel it could not be made. Inspired in art and poetry by his moth, who subsequently disappeared into a universe of insanity; a poet writing on walls with a sharpness of words and perceptiveness that could shock society; a socialite and charmer so handsome he was asked to work as a catwalk model and who counted himself as Madonna‘s first boyfriend; an artist of such originality and brilliance that his work s have grown with time; and a young man with countless pressures pressing down on him who died of a drug overdose in new York’s 1980s peak.

Ultimately, it’s all about the art, as this monumental exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland, demonstrates. “Basquiat: The Modena Paintings” showcases eight huge canvases, all over two metres by four metres, created by the artist when he was invited to create works in the Italian city in 1982, at the age of 21. Already a celebrated name on the contemporary art scene, Basquiat was invited to Modena by the Italian gallerist Emilio Mazzoli, who provided Basquiat with a warehouse space to create work for an intended solo exhibition. It was not a happy time for Basquiat, who later commentated, “They set it up for me so I’d have to make eight paintings in a week”, adding that working in the warehouse made him feel like he was in a “sick factory”. He made eight paintings, before a disagreement between the artist’s representative and Mazzoli led to the cancellation of the exhibition. The gallerist paid Basquiat for his work and he returned home.

A painting of a stick man with a body and top hat in black on a pink and blue painted canvas

Jean-Michel Basquiat, The Guilt of Gold Teeth, 1982. Nahmad Collection © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo by Annik Wetter

It took time for the eight works to find homes – astonishingly, in retrospect, as they are now considered some of his greatest works, perhaps his greatest. The exhibition at the Beyeler was the first time they have ever been reunited and shown in one place, and the location is highly apposite. In 1983, a year after his unhappy trip to Modena, Basquiat was invited by Ernst Beyeler to take part in the exhibition “Expressive Painting after Picasso” at his gallery in Basel – a Basquiat work was on the cover of the exhibition catalogue. Years later, in 2010, the Fondation Beyeler, of which luxury Swiss watch brand Richard Mille is an institutional partner, held the first major museum Basquiat retrospective.

Read more: The Richard Mille Art Prize with Louvre Abu Dhabi

We can only imagine what Basquiat – who would be in his sixties now – would have produced had his life not come to such an early end; what contributions he would have made not just to the art world, but to the broader world of the arts – to poetry and to society as a whole, as perhaps the first celebrity contemporary artist. But in these canvases in Basel, his power and brilliance are compelling.

Find out more: fondationbeyeler.ch

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Two long tables in a room with a green light up sign for Richard Mille at the end of the room
Two long tables in a room with a green light up sign for Richard Mille at the end of the room

Dinner at the ceremony for the Richard Mille Art Prize, against the spectacular backdrop of
Louvre Abu Dhabi

One of the art world’s most prestigious awards, the Richard Mille Art Prize in partnership with Louvre Abu Dhabi, was this year awarded to a female artist in the Gulf. Darius Sanai visited Louvre Abu Dhabi for the big event

Under a starlit sky by the edge of the Gulf, two celebrated dancers are performing classical ballet to Beethoven‘s Moonlight Sonata. Two long tables of guests-art collectors, government officials, artists and watch collectors- look on, mesmerised.

The performance is choreographed and led by Benjamin Millepied, the renowned director, dancer, and choreographer (including of the film, Black Swan), and husband of film star Natalie Portman. His accompanying danseuse is Caroline Osmont, of the Paris Opera Ballet. The dance is short, but beautiful. When I ask Millepied afterwards how it is to create and then perform a routine to the Moonlight, which was not written to be danced to, he simply smiles, and says, “I liked it!”

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Memorable as it was, the dance at the gala outdoor dinner was just a warm-up for the main act: the announcement of the winner of one of the most significant art prize in the world-and quite possibly the most financially rewarding: the Richard Mille, art prize in partnership with Louvre Abu Dhabi. Worth $60,000 to the winning artist, the Prize, awarded by the uber-luxury, high-tech watch brand, also sees it ten shortlisted regional candidates display that works at Louvre Abu Dhabi, the local iteration of the fabled, Paris museum, whose collection sweeps from ancient Persia to Cy Twombly.

A white building by the sea

Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by Jean Nouvel

Louvre Abu Dhabi is the cornerstone of an impressive, new cultural district in the Emirate, which will soon house further significant museums, including a Guggenheim, and which is already home to the astonishing Abrahamic Family House, an interfaith complex, comprising a mosque, cathedral and synagogue (plus an education centre), devoted to the three major Abrahamic faiths and nurturing mutual understanding.

Earlier that day, we’d had a private tour of the new Louvre (which was closed to the public, as it is every Monday). The “Art Here, 2022” exhibition, housing, the shortlisted works, had pride of place in the museums Forum. The theme in this, the Prize’s second year, was “Icon. Iconic.“, a suitably art-world-gnomic concept allowing artists to exercise their full creative imaginations. Eight of the ten artists on the shortlist were female, and encouraging affirmation for women in these times.

A white room with light coming through a window

Between Desert Seas, 2021, by Ayman Zedani

The first work is so complex it required several minutes to negotiate and understand. Ayman Zedani’s Between Desert Seas approaches you visually as white salt on an internal roof; and then aurally, as a soundtrack that you quickly realise, is about the plight of the Arabian Sea humpback whale. Listening for a couple of minutes, between whalesong, you learn that these non-migratory whales are a unique species, derived from a pod that became separated from the rest of whalekind around 70,000 years ago. They have developed the own song and culture – and they are under existential threat. Global warming has acidified and poison to the sea, and the removal of water for desalination has made it more toxic.

coloured sheets on a table

Wall House, 2022, by Vikram Divecha

Wall House, by Vikram Divecha, is a proposal by the artist to remove and retain the walls of hundreds of houses in the region that are slated for demolition, and preserve them to show a portrait of our times has created by the houses’ inhabitants. The idea is illustrated by a 1:100-scale maquette, showing what is a large scale installation of this project could look like.

There was Sidelines, a work by Saudi artist Manal AlDowayan, celebrating the intricate heritage of weaving in Saudi history, lost when oil money started flowing in the 20th century.

A brown and cream tent

Sidelines, 2016, by Manal AlDowayan

Afra Al Dhaheri, an artist from Abu Dhabi, showed Weighing The Line, a striking workers, consisting of hanging ropes, pulled down by ropes on the ground-symbolising, in the artists’ words, social conditioning and constructs.

I was particularly struck by Xylophone, a work on pyro-engraved scrap wood by Elizabeth Dorazio, a Brazilian artist, now resident in Dubai. The artist said she wanted to make a statement that wood is a “vestige of excess extractavism”- and the work is quite beautiful and engaging.

UAE-born artist and academic Shaukha Al Mazrou created A Still Life of an Ever-Changing Crop Field, in glazing ceramic, inspired by crop circles, and “natures place in the world, invaded by human imprint”, one of the several environmentally inspired, works and beautiful as an installation.

A large wooden and tin pole

Camouflage: The Fourth Pillar, 2022, by Zeinab Alhashemi

Perhaps the most visually arresting work, Break of the Atom and Vegetal Life (after Zeid), is by Abu Dhabi-based artist, Simrin Mehra-Agarwal. It is a complex work that appears on first sight to be a tapestry. It is, in fact, made of graphite, charcoal, ink, primer, plaster, gypsum powder, stucco, acrylic, gesso, glue, sand, fibreglass, vellum, Mylar and paper on wooden panels. The artist says it “questions nature and its various states of bloom and decay within the context of the histories of war or neglect, as well as the contemporary issue of climate change”. Powerful, complex, at first sight, it looked like a maelstrom of clouds viewed from a satellite.

A woman in a floral dress standing between two men

Peter Harrison, CEO of Richard Mille EMEA,
and Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre
Abu Dhabi, present the 2022 Richard Mille Art Prize in partnership with Louvre Abu Dhabi to Rand Abdul Jabbar

Zeinab Alhashemi, an artist, based in Dubai, submitted the fourth pillar, from her camouflage series that featured at the celebrated DesertX AlUla. The pillar mimics the pillars at the gallery and, made of camel hides over metal rods, tones with the surrounding desert.

Standing by the ruins, the work of mosaic clay tiles by Dana Awartani, an artist based in Jeddah with Saudi and Palestinian roots, was visually striking on the lower floor. Awartani says she deliberately did not use the straw traditionally utilise in the region is tiles, thus allowing them to crack naturally overtime.

an artwork on the floor

Installation view of Standing By the Ruins, 2022, by Dana Awartani

Next to this work was a long plinth on which was displayed 100 of exquisite, intricate little glazed stoneware figures. In a panoply of colours and sizes, earthly wonders, celestial beings, featured, plays, on jugs, cups, human, and natural figures, that related directly as a modern take on Mesopotamian stoneware, including some in the new recollection. The artist, Iraqi-born Rand Abdul Jabbar, is based in Abu Dhabi.

people sitting having dinner in a room lit up with orange and yellow lights

Dinner in stunning surroundings

One of the most valuable art prizes in the world (if not the most back valuable); eight out of ten artist, shortlisted female; powerful themes of environmental loss; significant pedigree from all the artists and support and an exhibition at a Louvre. Why isn’t the Richard Mille Prize even better known, I pondered, while on my way to the prize giving event that evening?

A man and woman dancing on a stage

The ceremony, Benjamin Millepied and Caroline Osmont perform a
ballet choreographed by Millepied to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata

Perhaps because the Middle East and Gulf region is relatively new to the contemporary art scene (they’re not the ancient art scene, in which it predates the West by millennia); or perhaps, because the Western eye does not yet quite respect this part of the East and its culture as it should. In any case, credit to the powerful French brand, the Louvre and iconic Swiss brand Richard Mille for making it happen.

The evening after the dance and a performance by Dutch singer, Davina Michelle, the winner was announced: Rand Abdul Jabbar is Earthly Wonders, Celestial Beings. The artist was presented with the award and generous check.

ceramic coloured art pieces on a white table

Earthly Wonders, Celestial Beings, 2019-ongoing, by Rand Abdul Jabbar

“Rand Abdul Jabbar delivered outstanding works at push the boundaries of contemporary creativity,” said Peter Harrison, CEO of Richard Mille EMEA. “This is a celebration of our tenure partnership with Louvre, Abu Dhabi, and 10 incredible artist from the region, whose work was inspired by their cultural roots.”

Read more: Deutsche Bank: The Art Collection You Didn’t Know About

The originality, power and scope of a generation of artist, based in the Gulf that had been made clear. This is a region that is artistically, on fire.

Find out more: richardmille.com/louvre-abu-dhabi

This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of LUX

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dancers
dancers in the desert

Still from Within, directed and choreographed by Benjamin Millepied with music by Thomas Roussel. Photograph by Melissa Roldan

To celebrate the launch of their latest timepiece, Richard Mille invited choreographer Benjamin Millepied and composer Thomas Roussel to create a short film incorporating original dance and music. Here, Abigail Hodges takes a closer look at the performance and watch design
silver watch

RM72-01

The Richard Mille 72-01 Lifestyle In-House Chronograph is the brand’s first flyback chronograph made entirely in-house, and through its design it aims to weave together tradition and modernity – a concept which is also at the heart of WITHIN, a short film created by Benjamin Millepied and Thomas Roussel, set in the desert landscape of southern California.

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The film brings together the physical wonder of a ballet performance and the powerful sound of orchestral music to celebrate the precise art of watchmaking and Richard Mille’s bold, contemporary design aesthetic.

dancer in the desert

dancers

Both images: stills from Within. Photography by Melissa Roldan

While Millepied’s choreography – performed by two dancers – reflects how classical structure and form may be artistically reinvented, Thomas Roussel’s composition blends orchestral and electronic elements to create a dramatic, vibrant soundtrack which was performed by the 50 musicians of the London Symphony Orchestra and recorded at St. Luke’s Church in London.

Read more: Philanthropist Keith Breslauer on combining business & charity

The watch itself aligns with Richard Mille’s avant-garde approach to time-keeping and design (the watch face, for example, features only the numbers three, eight and eleven), but it is also one of the brand’s subtler and more elegant models. Worn on the wrists of both dancers in the film, it pairs perfectly with their formal costumes and the stark, dramatic landscape.

Watch the film below:

For more information visit: richardmille.com

 

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White convertible supercar on road
White convertible supercar on road

Bentley’s third generation Continental has the lot – power, handling, looks, and even a rotating display next to the dashboard

In the third and final of our supercar reviews, LUX sits at the cockpit of another super fast convertible: the Bentley Continental GTC W12

It used to be said that sitting in a Bentley was like sitting in the drawing room of a Downton Abbey-style British country house. Wood panelling, tastefully muted colours, and probably a butler with a silver tray of slightly stale sherry lurking on the back seat.

That market for Bentleys has largely died out, and, under the aegis of its German owners (the Volkswagen group), the august British company has undergone one of the most successful brand transformations in the history of the luxury industry.

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If you doubt that, just sit in the cockpit of the new Bentley Continental GTC. I did, and found myself clutching a thick, two-tone steering wheel in black and cream. All around me were acres of quilted leather, more trapezoids than I could care to count, on the seats, and inside the doors. Above the leather on the doors, black lacquered piano would give it an oriental feel, above which was beautifully burnished British walnut wood. The fusion of colours and textures extended across the whole interior, and in between me and my passenger was the most lavish centre console I have ever come across, bursting with polished buttons, dials, and traditional looking air vents; all is as beautifully put together as a Swiss watch.

The positioning of this car is perfect: to the new generation of young, swanky drivers, as likely to be wearing a Hublot or Richard Mille as a Patek Philippe the previous generation has taken care of for you, it looks contemporary, super chic, but still has a nod to its heritage.

And to those who have always driven Bentleys – hey, what’s not to like?

Red interiors of a sports car convertible

We drove the top-of-the-range 12-cylinder convertible version, and the roof zips down in a few seconds leaving you and up to three passengers exposed to the sea breeze in Malibu, Monaco, Mayfair, Macau or wherever. The car sounds wonderful, in a deep, long, slightly rheumy way: it’s somewhere in between being fierce, like a Ferrari, and silent, like a Mercedes.

Click the switch into comfort mode and it lopes along happily, but move the dial into sport mode and the car tightens up and feels like it really wants to go and play. This is a big, heavy, powerful car, not a sports car, but it is immensely fun to drive. It changes direction faithfully – better than its predecessors, which always felt a little bit heavy – communicates well, flies along as it gets going, and is generally a hoot.

Along very tight, twisty country lanes – ironically, down which many traditional Bentley owners will live – you do start to feel its size, and width. But that’s part of the Bentley experience, as you imperiously wave at other vehicles to get out of your road.

Read more: Behind the wheel of the world’s most powerful supercars part two

On more open roads, it feels perfect, wailing its way up through its revs, always smooth, never harsh or unsettled. Its four-wheel drive ensures you always feel safe, and can power out the roundabouts, even wet ones, at comical speeds. And in a straight line, it never slows down. With a top speed of over 200mph, this is the fastest convertible in the world. Just warn your passenger not to get an expensive hair makeover before you try that.

But like any Bentley, its beauty is that it is not just here to be driven hard. You can spend your life pootling around and still enjoy the car’s many assets, most notably its beautifully appointed interior, its general presence and feel. It’s as easy to drive in town as it is down the highway – particularly if you don’t live in a town with very narrow streets. The only minor flaw we could find was that very wide centre console with all its gadgets impinged slightly on knee room for the driver and the passenger. But that just made it feel even more like sitting in the first-class seat of an international airline. Not that most owners would know what that feels like – and the Continental’s interior quality is certainly up to private jet level. We like. A lot.

LUX Rating: 18.5/20

Find out more: bentleymotors.com

This article was originally published in the Spring 2020 Issue.

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Reading time: 3 min
Man walking across stadium wearing watch
Blue sports watch with mechanical face

The RM 11-04 Automatic Flyback Chronograph Roberto Mancini has been designed to celebrate the heritage of Italian football

Richard Mille’s latest timepiece has been designed in collaboration with Italy’s football team manager Roberto Mancini to celebrate the sport’s heritage. Here, Chloe Frost-Smith marvels at the timepiece’s unique design features

Designed with football fanatics in mind by the Italian national team’s manager, the RM 11-04 Automatic Flyback Chronograph Roberto Mancini makes complicated look cool, with a dedicated dial for tracking half-time, extra time and overtime.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

Set in the  patriotic colour palette of Il Tricolore alongside the recognisable blue belonging to the Squadra Azzurra, there are hints of Italian footballing heritage throughout the design. The timepiece uses a rotor with variable geometry, allowing it to be easily adapted to suit the wearer’s activity levels – you simply adjust the setting of the rib’s placement for the rotor to either speed up when worn at leisure, or slow down in moments of the highest movement.

Man walking across stadium wearing watch

Roberto Mancini wearing the RM 11-04 Automatic Flyback Chronograph

Displaying match time on the basis of two 45-minute halves and up to 15 minutes of stoppage time, the pusher can be pressed at 4 o’clock to actuate the fly-back function which repositions the hand at 12 o’clock, ready to start the second half. Should extra time be awarded, the fly-back can also be reactivated to reflect these additional minutes ensuring the wearer never loses track.

Back shot of a blue watch with exposed mechanics

The watch can be easily adapted to suit the wearer’s activity levels

But the watch isn’t just for football fans. Encased in the almost indestructible Carbon TPT and water-resistant to 50 metres, the RM 11-04 is set for the most extreme of adventures.

For more information visit: richardmille.com

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Man on ski slope wearing a red fleece with skis on his shoulder
Man on ski slope wearing a red fleece with skis on his shoulder

Olympian skier Alexis Pinturault, who was involved in designing the red, white and blue RM 67-02 Automatic

Irene Bellucci meets World-Cup-winning Alpine ski racer Alexis Pinturault and super-G skiing and giant slalom snowboarding Olympic gold medallist Ester Ledecká on the powdery slopes of Courchevel to talk winning, the thrill of the race and their roles as ambassadors for luxury watchmaker Richard Mille

Alexis Pinturault is France’s most successful skier, notching up 23 World Cup victories and representing his country in five World Championships and two Winter Olympics, most recently winning four bronze medals in the giant slalom event.

LUX: What does skiing mean to you?
Alexis Pinturault: Doing any kind of sport is a kind of mindset. It brings you education, respect, confidence. It is a way of life.

LUX: Are you very competitive?
Alexis Pinturault: Yes, maybe too much, but I am getting better. It’s important to know your competitors, but on the day of the race, there is just you. I try to be more accepting about losing, but I used to find it very difficult. Alpine skiers are a bit crazy.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

Product image of watch with blue strap

RM 67-02 Automatic

LUX: Describe a typical training day for you.
Alexis Pinturault: I wake up at 6 or 6.30, warm up and have breakfast. I’ll be on the slopes by 7.30 for an inspection at 8.30, and take my first run at 9.30. Depending on the results, we might go ahead with a second inspection and run. We’ll then have a break, review progress and then I might have some physiotherapy. On the rare day that I’m not training, I’m not very patient. My wife and I are very active: we go hiking, diving, walking. Never just chilling on the beach.

LUX: What do you feel just before the start of the race?
Alexis Pinturault: I’m very focused on the moment. When I’m skiing, it’s all about instinct and I don’t have time to think about what I’m doing. If you start to think about it, the race is already over. When we are racing, we are like animals.

LUX: What do you consider “success”?
Alexis Pinturault: Success is an achievement. For a sportsman, it’s reaching a goal, like the Olympics. But even once you’ve achieved your goal, there are always other goals to reach for.

LUX: What are your other goals for the next five years?
Alexis Pinturault: I want to win the World Championship here in Courchevel in 2023, and then maybe the next Olympics in 2026.

LUX: Do you feel pressure to set an example for the next generation of skiers?
Alexis Pinturault: You do feel pressure when you spot all the kids and all the people cheering for you at the finish line, waiting for autographs and selfies and wanting to spend time with you. But it’s amazing to come back to Courchevel and ski with the kids from the ski club.

Read more: Inside Andermatt’s newly opened concert hall

LUX: Are you a watch enthusiast?
Alexis Pinturault: Yes. I got my first watch from my grandfather, and another one after I got married.

LUX: Do you wear your Richard Mille watch during competitions?
Alexis Pinturault: Yes, it’s lightweight and I wear it under gloves and a protector for slalom and giant slalom races. I was involved in designing some of the details and suggested white for snow, and red and blue to represent the French flag.

LUX: Is there a connection between the brand and your sport?
Alexis Pinturault: Yes – we are both focused on pushing the limits, always looking and trying new ideas.

Woman in ski gear and helmet on ski slopes

Olympian skier Ester Ledecká

At the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, Ester Ledecká triumphed in both the super-G Alpine skiing event and the giant slalom in snowboarding. This feat made the Czech athlete the first person to win gold in two separate disciplines at the same Winter Olympics.

LUX: Can you describe the feeling of skiing downhill?
Ester Ledecká: Pure freedom. When I ride down the hills, I can feel little fireworks inside my heart. The feeling is even stronger when I’m competing! Everyone asks me, “How are you going to celebrate after the race?” and I always reply that I have already celebrated. Nothing better can happen after the run because I’ve already experienced the best feeling in the world.

LUX: Why do you do both snowboarding and skiing?
Ester Ledecká: For me, this is an easy question to answer. It’s because I love both of them too much! I don’t want to be bored by either of them.

LUX: How do you win races across both disciplines?
Ester Ledecká: There is no tutorial for it. I worked hard, I started when I was two years old and I have trained every day for 22 years. It takes a lot of training, and you need to learn how to lose – billions of times – before you reach some kind of result.

Read more: Spring Studios Founder Francesco Costa on creative networking

LUX: What is your relationship with time?
Ester Ledecká: Actually, I am in a race with time. I don’t race with other girls, I race with time. It doesn’t matter if it’s snowboarding or skiing. It doesn’t matter who’s next to me. I just need to be fast.

Product image of a green watch against a black background

RM67-02

LUX: Does your Richard Mille watch help?
Ester Ledecká: Richard Mille gave me my first watch. The design of these watches is all about precision and details. There are no excuses; everything needs to be perfect. I love the way you can see all the details inside the dial; other brands hide the workings of the watch, but Richard Mille’s are perfect. When I met the Richard Mille ‘family’, I fell in love with the whole team. This watch is much more than a pretty thing I have on my wrist, it’s a reminder that I’m part of something very big. The company supports me not as a sponsor, but like a real family. They are with me if I win or if I lose. When I’m wearing my watch, I remember that someone’s got my back.

LUX: Do you wear the watch during the competitions?
Ester Ledecká: Sadly no, because it doesn’t fit under my suit and protection for downhill and super-G. But I can wear it to play other sports because it’s so light.

LUX: Who else supports your career?
Ester Ledecká: I am lucky to come from a very supportive family. My grandpa [Jan Klapáč] was a world champion in ice hockey and he taught me how to love sport and how to lose. He showed me how beautiful and fun a professional sport can be. To become a professional athlete you need a lot of passion. You have to sacrifice a lot, including your personal life. It’s a tough job, but he taught me how to love even the hardest parts of my job. My mum also comes with me everywhere, she’s never missed a race – apart from one on the other side of the ocean because she is afraid to fly.

LUX: What are your future goals now that you’ve already won so much?
Ester Ledecká: I haven’t won anything at all, I am just at the beginning. There is a long way in front of me. Even in snowboarding, there is still something to improve. I still have a lot of races to win in skiing. That will take a long time, but step by step…

LUX: Can you describe Alexis?
Ester Ledecká: Fast. Cute. And one of my skiing idols.

Thank you to the Hôtel Annapurna in Courchevel, owned by Pinturault’s family, for hosting LUX. For more information visit: annapurna-courchevel.com

This article was originally published in the Autumn 19 Issue.

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A silver sports car pictured in front of a stately home and behind a water fountain
Last weekend saw the 5th edition of Richard Mille’s annual automotive competition in Chantilly, France. Here, we recall the event in images

The weekend kicked off with the supercar rally in which the Mortefontaine track was turned into a playground for luxury cars and their owners. Practicing slaloms, braking and speed bowls, drivers such as skiing champion Alexis Pinturault showed off their racing prowess.

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Meanwhile, lunch at the Palais de Compiègne in the company of Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake was a quieter affair. Here, at the Rallye des Collectionneurs, the public had the opportunity to marvel at a collection of rare cars including McLaren P1 GTR and 720s, Ferrari’s LaFerrari, Enzo and 288 GTO models, the Porsche 918 and various Mercedes SLRs.

Richard Mille car show by a lake

Before dinner entertainment that evening was provided by champion rider Jessica von Bredow-Werndl who impressed guests, including Australian actress Margot Robbie, with an elegant dressage in the stunning setting of the Grandes Écuries de Chantilly.

Read more: Ruinart x Jonathan Anderson’s pop-up hotel in Notting Hill

Sunday continued with the Concours D’Elegance, bringing together automotive masterpieces whilst guests enjoyed boat rides along the grand canal and old fashioned games on the lawn. An elegant weekend indeed.

Horse rider performing in an arena of a stately home

Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl performing a dressage demonstration before the Saturday night gala dinner

People at a car show in the setting of a stately home

Classic car driving through crowds

Richard Mille Chantilly Arts & Elegance 2019 took place on 29 & 30 June. For more information visit: chantillyartsetelegance.com

 

 

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Classic car driving along a country road in the French countryside
Classic car driving along a country road in the French countryside

A Porsche passes through Aix-en- Provence in the Rallye des Princesses

Ferraris! France! Finish lines! Equal parts grit and glamour, the Rallye des Princesses is a female-only classic car race with challenging conditions by day and champagne soirées come nightfall. Ahead of this year’s event, Laura Archer speaks to the founder Viviane Zaniroli

Kate Moss zooming along the Cotswolds country lanes in her vintage Porsche 911S, Jodie Kidd finishing the Mille Miglia in a Jaguar XK120, Kendall Jenner cruising around Hollywood in a 1965 Mustang… When it comes to classic cars, who says boys have all the fun? Women are getting in on the action more than ever – the percentage of women buying classic cars is rising year on year – but this isn’t just about something that looks good on the driveway: this is about the art of driving, the love of the open road, the thrill of the race. And for these women, there’s no greater expression of this art than the Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille, which this year celebrates its 20th edition.

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Spanning 1,000 miles from Paris to the south of France, and spread over five days, the female-only Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille has become synonymous with excellence in the sport. “It is a mix of precision, prestige and conviviality,” says Viviane Zaniroli, who founded the Rallye in 1999. Don’t let the name fool you; this is no jolly jaunt through pretty scenery. The Rallye is a challenging and often technical race, and counts the likes of Caroline Bugatti and the daughters of six-times Le Mans champion Jacky Ickx, Vanina and Larissa, among its alumni. “The challenge is to drive a classic car, which does not have all the comforts like power steering that we are used to these days, on small, sinuous roads, without getting lost,” Zaniroli explains. Competitors are tasked with following complex navigation instructions, only provided shortly before setting off in the morning, in order to complete a set daily distance, all the while maintaining strict average speed times – simply flooring it isn’t an option. “And even though it takes place in June, the weather can be bad,” Zaniroli adds. Indeed – last year’s race was beset with storms, leading to anecdotes of coaxing Ferraris through floods, nudging Bentleys around hairpin bends in torrential rain, and steering Lamborghinis past landslides.

Rallye Des Princesses Richard Mille starting line

The start of the Rallye in the Place de Vendôme in Paris

Two women celebrating with glasses of champagne hanging out of a car window

Competitors celebrate a stage during the race

If this all sounds rather like too much grit and nowhere near enough glam, fear not. After a long and bone-aching day behind the wheel, the participants relax in four- and five-star hotels, regaling each other with stories from the road at cocktail parties and gala dinners. This is one car race where evening gowns are an essential piece of kit. And of course, when the weather is rather more clement, it’s hard to beat the thrill of putting the top down, changing up through the gears and feeling the car respond as you hug the roads winding through the beautiful heartland of France.

Two women dressed in matching outfits holding a rabbit teddyGiven this, it’s little wonder that the number of participants has tripled since the Rallye’s inception, with 90 teams taking part last year, more than half of which were first-time entrants. “I wanted to show that women liked to be behind the wheel of beautiful cars and experience a competition full of challenges,” says Zaniroli of the inspiration behind the event. “Women perfectly understood the concept, loved it and spread the word.” She says that competitors come from all walks of life; most are normal women “with kids and a busy job. They want to let go of the routine for a unique week. They want to experience a one-of-a-kind adventure – it’s thanks to their passion and enthusiasm that the rally became so famous and praised.”

Read more: Island life at the luxury resort of Baha Mar

It wasn’t always this way, however. Since the second world war, the number of women involved in motorsports has declined and in recent years it has become almost exclusively male, with a somewhat gentleman’s club vibe – think, for example, of Formula 1 with its podium girls. “At the beginning, the Rallye had to prove its worth and differentiate itself to exist in a very masculine automotive environment,” says Zaniroli. “That is why, in order to immediately assert its [authority] and find its place, we wanted it to be sporty, demanding and festive at the same time.”

birds-eye photograph of the Place de Vendôme

The Place de Vendôme in Paris where the Rallye begins

Classic car driving along a mountain road

The route below Courchevel

No easy task, but it’s one that Zaniroli and her team have pulled off, an achievement cemented by the endorsement of big-name brands such as Richard Mille, which in 2019 marks its fifth consecutive year as a partner. “Its departure from Place Vendôme in Paris, the finish at the Place des Lices in Saint-Tropez and the presence of dedicated partners like Richard Mille have built its prestige and made it a ‘haute couture’ rally,” says Zaniroli. But her motivation for running the event is not about international acclaim but something rather more personal. “When a woman subscribes to the Rallye des Princesses, their worry is often whether they will be able to do well and represent their team and the classic car they drive – a woman often questions her abilities,” Zaniroli reflects. “I promise them that they will make it, that they will surpass themselves, and on top of that they will make meaningful relationships. On the final line, their joy and pride are always the best reward, for them as well as for me.”

Given such support and camaraderie, it’s no wonder that competitors in the Rallye des Princesses feel like royalty. And although the event is in its 20th year, it shows no signs of hitting the brakes. After 2018’s Biarritz finish, this year it returns to Saint-Tropez, following the historical route that links Paris to the Cote d’Azur. There’s a new challenge for competitors – the Saint-Tropez Grand Prix, a new stage that takes drivers to the Var region inland, punctuated by three regularity zones. “Today, the rally has reached its cruising speed,” says Zaniroli. “We are contemplating varying the route every other year in order to visit other French regions, and we would also like to develop it internationally.” If that happens – and given Zaniroli’s drive and passion, there’s no reason to think otherwise – the Rallye des Princesses’ future success is assured. Ladies, start your engines.

Rallye des Princesses 2019 runs from 1 to 6 June. For more information visit: zaniroli.com/en/rallye-des-princesses/

This article was originally published in the Summer 19 Issue.

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Watch designer Richard Mille watches Formula One
Ukrainian high jumper Yuliya Levchenko wearing a watch by Richard Mille

Richard Mille chooses sports personalities as brand ambassadors, including Ukrainian high jumper Yuliya Levchenko

Richard Mille is the name adorning some of the world’s most expensive – and outrageous – timepieces. But the eponymous founder is a thoughtful, passionate creative who dreamed of creating a racing car company as much as a watch brand. Darius Sanai meets him
Watch designer Richard Mille watches Formula One

Richard Mille watching Formula One

Richard Mille has grown his eponymous brand from start-up to occupying a dominant space at the top end of the luxury watch echelon, in less than 20 years. He has done so, not by imitating others, but by creating a completely new script for high-end watches: dramatically beautiful shapes, mind-bending mechanicals and super-high tech, tough materials, meaning his striking timepieces are significant in size but lightweight to wear. Mille could be seen as inventing a new market for the young-at-heart collector who wants to break from tradition. They are sculptures as much as they are timepieces.

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But he is also a marketing genius, sponsoring (and sticking with) stars such as Rafael Nadal, who repaid Mille’s unswerving faith in him by winning the French Open for the 11th time this year, and attaching his name to the sexiest sports, and the sexiest spots, in the world. Whether you’re attending Formula One in Singapore, Formula E in Hong Kong, the Concours d’Elegance in Chantilly, or just hopping by helicopter from Monaco to the private jet terminal at Nice Côte d’Azur airport, you will see the brand (and its customers).

Polo player action shot on the field

Polo champion and Richard Mille brand ambassador Pablo MacDonough

Richard Mille’s most notable recent partnership is with hyper-car makers McLaren, and like the rest of the brand, the motoring DNA wasn’t dreamed up by a marketing agency. Mille is a car fanatic and collector of some of the most exquisite historic classic cars, and it was this subject – the symmetry between watch and car design and ethos – that kicked off our conversation, because there is a symmetry between classic cars and hypermodern watches, as he reveals…

LUX: Many collectors will say that today’s cars are not as beautiful as the cars of the 1950s and 1960s. What is your view on that?
Richard Mille: The car designs of today are certainly driven by efficiency; everyone wants to optimise the aerodynamics, engine power, downforce, etc. In the 1960s the objectives were different, and there was a lot of the designer’s personality involved in the cars. The variety of designs was very interesting, even in terms of the design drawings – back then even racing cars were very different to each other. Nowadays it is very difficult to see the difference between different car brands because they have to be designed with performance efficiency in mind. Even if you are a connoisseur of Formula One, if you take away the different colours, it would be very different to see the difference between a Ferrari and a Mercedes, because everything is driven by computers and aerodynamics.

Luxury timepiece by Richard Mille in partnership with McLaren

The McLaren collaboration watch, RM 50-03

olympic athlete Mutaz Essa Barshim pictured outside the richard mille store on mount street mayfair

Brand ambassador and
Olympic high jumper
Mutaz Essa Barshim

LUX: Does that apply also to engines? Engines used to be mechanical things of beauty, and that applied to the sounds they made, also. Nowadays, I’m not sure many people could tell the difference between the V8 twin turbo engines in an Aston Martin, a Ferrari, a Mercedes-AMG or a BMW M5.
Richard Mille: Most probably, because now you have to be careful about noise, emissions and other aspects. And when you open the bonnet you don’t see the revelation of the engine. With an Aston Martin or a Lamborghini Huracán you have a magnificent car, but you open the bonnet and you just see a lot of plastic. You then go to a classic car concours and see all those cars; the people are totally crazy because each one is more beautiful than the other – so many different shapes, colours, engines, noises. It is fantastic to see 500 cars in one place that are so different from each other.

Read more: Art auctioneer Simon de Pury on modern philanthropy

LUX: Do you think the younger generation now think of cars just as transportation – that they’d be as happy to use a shared car club or an autonomous car?
Richard Mille: I think in the genes there is still an appeal for cars. If you speak about younger children, today they are in different virtual universes, but still the appeal of a nice car is there. You see them looking around racing cars and dreaming. So I think it still brings excitement.

Bird's eye shot of a grand mansion house and estate

Richard Mille sponsored classic car competition

Above: scenes from the Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille event 2017

Richard Mille luxury timepiece the RM 70-01

The RM 70-01 watch

LUX: Does the same question apply with mechanical watches? People don’t need the watches you make, but they want them because they are desirable objects?
Richard Mille: Yes, you can really say that there is a parallel there because so many people are still buying watches in different colours that they don’t really use. It’s the same when you buy a sports car that can go at 300km/h; that is not any use because of speed limits, unless you go on a track. But the beautiful object is still a source of desire, which is nice because I can see myself that we cannot cope with the demand, the demand is getting totally crazy. We increase the production every year. Last year we did 4,000 pieces, this year we will do 4,600 pieces, so it is a constant growth. But I cannot cope with the demand at all, the demand is exploding. I have seen the same with my friends. The McLaren Senna costs £750,000 and they were all sold without anyone even seeing a picture of one. My friends, they want it but they can’t get it. It’s the same story with the McLaren P1: 500 units all sold before even before production started. Studies are showing that young people aged 18-30 still dream about luxury watches, which is funny because I expected the opposite.

Read more: The Secret Diary of an Oxford Undergraduate

LUX: When you are creating the watches, how much does the design inform the mechanicals and how does that conversation happen? Because the distinctiveness of your watches is in the design but they are also very mechanically advanced.
Richard Mille: It was one of my concerns when I started,to give as much importance to the design as to the mechanical aspect.

Heptathlete Nafissatou Thiam poses wearing richard mille watch

Heptathlete and brand ambassador Nafissatou Thiam

LUX: It is a crowded market, and you have created a brand that has gone from zero to hero in 20 years. How did you do that and why did you succeed when so many others had tried but failed, or remained much smaller?
Richard Mille: The first reason was a kind of rupture with a world of watches. People in this world of high-end watches were just duplicating the same watches that were in existence at the beginning of the 20th century. So I said, we have to do a contemporary watch, a watch that is very different from what is out there, and to create it at any cost, without any compromise. So today it is a paradox where we have a young brand that has got a lot of respect from the market, from the competition and also from the public. We have a lot of respect because we do not copy anybody and we are not afraid to take risks. Many other brands are inspired by the high-end watch business, but sometimes the problem with the watch business is that it is boring – the message is always the same. Our message is that we respect tradition, but we are modern, we are a contemporary watch, we are extremely technical but we do watches to live with, to wear daily.

Singer Pharell and sprinter Yohan Blake at the Little Big Mans car race

Singer Pharrell Williams and sprinter Yohan Blake wearing Richard Mille watches at the Little Big Mans race

Alexander Zverev kissing the winning trophy at the Madrid Open 2018

Mille-sponsored Alexander
Zverev wins the 2018
Madrid Open

LUX: Have you ever been tempted to start or revive a luxury car brand?
Richard Mille: That has been my dream for many years, yes. I would have loved that. It is such a different universe. At the same time, we only have 24 hours in a day; I think it would take two lives to do a car company as well. So I will stick to the watches and collect cars.

LUX: Do you think it’s a shame that France no longer has a supercar brand, like it did many years ago?
Richard Mille: It is, because we have a very interesting past as you see with car collectors. But after the Second World War, the French government just decided to do popular cars.

LUX: LUX speaks to the high end of the luxury market. Is luxury stratifying?
Richard Mille:  Yes, I can see that everyday. There are many luxury brands that are turning into volume brands, and sometimes it is very high volume. Also people are more educated and sophisticated and know the numbers; they know that many brands are volume makers and they are looking for more exclusive things, things that will make them different. Twenty years ago people did not know the difference between Hermès and Louis Vuitton. Today they know the difference between those brands; they know who is doing what. The world of luxury, which was quite over generous, has today totally exploded between all the different segments.

Discover Richard Mille’s collections: richardmille.com

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yellow sportscar manufacturing process in workshop with engineer working on engine
still life image of Richard Mille watch with black strap and large rectangular face

The RM 11-03 McLaren watch

It costs as much as a McLaren 570S and will turn just as many heads. We love the RM 11-03 McLaren Automatic Flyback Chronograph with a desire that is almost unhinged – this is why you will too. 

1. It feels like a supercar.

Unlike many high-end watch-car collaborations, where a motoring logo is stuck onto what is basically an existing watch design, the 11-03 was designed jointly by McLaren Design Director Rob Melville and Richard Mille Engineer Fabrice Namura. It uses the same materials and coatings used by the British high-performance car brand, and while big, is incredibly light.

2. It looks fabulous.

Collaborative watches can be hit and miss; at worst, a mish-mash of two completely different design philosophies. The 11-03 is actually beautiful, a tough achievement for a big watch.

yellow sportscar manufacturing process in workshop with engineer working on engine

The production facility at McLaren in the UK

3. You’ll not see anyone else wearing one.

Only 500 are being made, worldwide, and the first ones are only available to McLaren Ultimate Series clients; afterwards, they’ll be available at Richard Mille stores.

4. It’s not a Patek Philippe.

If you buy one of these, you’re likely to have at least a couple of Pateks as well, just as a McLaren P1 owner is likely also to have a few Ferraris. But, just like buying a P1, or an F1, purchasing a 11-03 shows a certain breezy panache and originality.

detail photograph of watch manufacturing process

The manufacture of the RM 11-03 McLaren watch case

5. It’s wearable.

You may have a platinum dress watch also costing as much as a high-end sports car, and you’ll wear that a couple of times a year under a dinner jacket, for fear of scratching or bashing it. The 11-03 is not just lightweight; it’s made with hi-tech materials like top-grade titanium, and you can wear it to play tennis, fish on your boat or hike in Alaska. And it’ll be fine.

6. It’s beautiful.

Did we say that already? But it just is.

For more information visit: richardmille.com

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Richard Mille Ambassador Mutaz Essa Barshim wearing the new RM
Mutaz Essa Barshim, Qatari Silver Olympic Highjump Medalist

Mutaz Essa Barshim wearing the ultra light RM67-02

Ultra-luxe watchmaker Richard Mille combines artistry, technology, a nod to architecture, Kitty Harris speaks to their latest partner, Qatari Silver Olympic Highjump Medalist Mutaz Essa Barshim about time and the new RM67-02 Automatic watch.
New ultra light watch designed by Richard Mille for Mutaz Essa Barshim

The RM67-02

LUX: You hold the Qatari national record and Asian record for the best mark of 2.43m. How old were you when you started high jumping?
Mutaz Essa Barshim: I was around 10-11 years old when I started. I began in track and field because my father used to be an athlete. When I was young, he always took me to the stadium, so it was always important to me. But I started running, doing cross-country, long-distance, mid-distance and as I grew up, I stopped liking distance running. I didn’t enjoy just running and at the club, I saw the other kids doing jumps and trampolining. For me, naturally as a kid, it seemed much more fun. Back then, I wasn’t thinking at a professional level. I only wanted to not have to go home and do homework and do something fun instead. I spoke to my coach at the club and told him I wanted to join the jump group and he allowed me too. It later developed.

LUX: Why Richard Mille out of any of the people that you could have partnered with?
MEB: He is simply the best!

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LUX: How did you come to partner with Richard Mille?
MEB: The first time I met Richard was in the Rio Olympics after my competition. We talked and he is a really nice, friendly guy. He told me he loved the way I jump and he wanted me to join him in the family. I said, of course I’d be very happy to. We had been talking about the watch and he asked me if I jump with watches. I said no, because they’re too heavy. Richard said that he could make something very light for me. So I said, let’s do it! I know about Nadal’s RM27-03 Tourbillon watch and it is very light. He said he could do it even lighter than that and I was very impressed. Since then, we have been talking back and forth and sharing ideas.

LUX: Were you involved in the design process?
MEB: Initially, the main target was for me to jump with it – something that wouldn’t affect my jump. It wouldn’t be worth it if it was something heavy that disturbed my performance. Since we realised that he could make something lighter, we discussed design. We thought it could be something with maroon and white, to match my kit. I wanted something elegant and sexy – I didn’t want it to be thought of as a sport watch.

LUX: You said that the watch came out of a necessity for being light. Would they bring you designs that you would tweak, or were you given final products?
MEB: Firstly, we would get a prototype drawing. This would be computerised and three-dimensional. He would ask what I thought. I wanted to see a side angle picture, so I could see how thin the watch was. He said it was so thin that I won’t be able to feel it. When I saw the picture, I was really impressed. He would then show me the back and ask my preferences and how I wanted it to be engraved. What shall we write down? We would discuss the colours and how to change them. Of course, none of the mechanics is to do with me. It’s all his work and genius. I think asking him about the mechanics would be disrespectful, because I know he would make it the best. When it came to the final product, I really was impressed!

richard mille watch designed for olympic highjumper mutaz essa barshim

Side view of the RM67-02 designed for Mutaz Essa Barshim in maroon and white to match the athlete’s kit

LUX: There is a symbiosis and as you said, you needed something that didn’t affect you when you jumped. What are the commonalities between your practice and your watch?
MEB: Quality. It is the main objective. High jumpers don’t use any objects, they just have to use their bodies in the perfect way, otherwise you will injure yourself. Timing – a few seconds can make a difference between a perfect jump and a really bad jump. You could lose a medal. That’s what this watch is about – quality and timing. Ticking at the right moments. I want something sexy and elegant, with quality and timing.

LUX: By being in the Richard Mille family – you are amongst some of the best sportsmen and women. How does it feel?
MEB: It feels great. The one thing I really love about Richard and how he selects his athletes and ambassadors, is that everybody is so humble and down-to-earth. He is not only selecting people because of what they achieve in sport. He also looks at their social energy, what they value in society and how they interact with different people. I’ve met most of the guys and everybody is so nice. They are so inspiring and they are role models. I feel that is the type of character he wants. Once you’re in, you’re in – it is a family. You don’t want to bring someone in that will destroy this family. Everybody is highly professional, but at the same time they are very nice people. It is just a pleasure to be among them.

Read next: Zermatt’s most exclusive ski chalet

LUX: Timing is obviously crucial to your life. But what do you do in your free time?
Mutaz Essa Barshim: Get interviewed! I don’t have so much free time, since I only have one month off a year. In my free time, I like to stay home. I’m rarely home, as I’m always travelling. I really just want to be home with my mother and my friends, relaxing.

Olympic athlete and richard mille ambassador Mutaz Essa Barshim outside the Mount Street store in London

Outside the Richard Mille Mount St. boutique

LUX: What is the life of an Olympic athlete like? You work for eleven months a year. You work and you train.
MEB: You always travel and train, train, train. It is always about what is next. To answer that question, you need to be even more professional than before. It is very hard each time. Especially when there is so much expectation about who will win each time. There is always pressure you have to deal with. In order for a professional athlete to keep that, you need to limit yourself. You can’t go out all the time, because your body needs to recover. This means a lot of treatment and recovery time to make sure you avoid injuries. Since you travel a lot, nutrition and drinking a lot of water to not get dehydrated and tear muscles is also very important. It is hard and at the same time, you need to balance it with training. You must also relax your mind and ease up to be fresh mentally. You need to hang out with friends, and at the same time you have commitments to your sponsors. There are social responsibilities. The life of a professional is nice, but you don’t have much time to yourself.

LUX: What is next?
MEB: In March, we have the indoor World Championships in Birmingham. That is the biggest target for the Winter. For Summer, we have the Asian Games and the Diamond League, which is the world circuit. We have a couple of high class meets also in the Summer. The World Championship is the main goal at the moment.

richardmille.com

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Arts and elegance weekend in Chantilly with Richard Millie

This year’s Richard Mille Arts & Elegance at Château de Chantilly kicked off with the inauguration of an exhibition dedicated to Nicolas Poussin‘s “Le Massacre des Innocents” with young singers and dancers leading guests round the park with performances masterfully choreographed by Richard Mille’s Artistic Director Mélanie Treton-Monceyron. In front of the château, guests admired a stunning mise en scène of Salvador Dali’s “Metamorphosis of Narcissus“, whilst inside, a choir sung a moving rendition of “Hallelujah” in front of Picasso’s “Charnier”.

 Follow LUX on Instagram: the.official.lux.magazine

The automobile rallies were similarly theatrical with close to 800 classic cars competing in the Grand Prix des Clubs. On display were some of the most famous (and beautiful) electric cars in automobile history, from 1899 to the present including La Jamais-Contente from 1899, the first vehicle ever to clear 100 km/hr, and the slick Porsche Mission E. Richard Mille partners Mutaz Barshim, Felipe Massa and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl were spotted admiring the elegant collection of Ferraris on display in celebration the brand’s 70th anniversary, whilst spectators sipped champagne on picnic blankets  in the Fiat Fan Club.

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