‘I love watches. And particularly those made by Richard. He has managed to develop a product with technology that no-one else had ever mastered. I sometimes lose patience because I’m a perfectionist and I have so many different commitments. This perfectionism can make me intolerant. But actually, it’s just that I like things to keep up with me !’
If a name was a legend, it would be Jean Todt. His quest for excellence, an almost manic attention to detail and exceptional performances, Jean Todt is a legend in himself who has constantly aimed for dizzying heights. But he shares another passion with the brand’s founder.
It would probably be easier to list what Jean Todt didn’t win rather than his impressive victories. Starting in 1968 his career has spanned the decades and race tracks of France, Europe and the world. Things began with him participating in the World Rally Championship which he continued until 1981. During this time Jean Todt co-drove alongside 18 of the most successful drivers of the period for 12 major manufacturers, winning many international rallies in the process. In 1990, he became Director of Sporting Activities of the PSA Peugeot Citroën Group, overseeing Peugeot’s participation in the World Sports Car Championship, which Peugeot won in 1992.
It also took two consecutive victories at the 1992 and 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans. On 1 July 1993, Jean left Peugeot and became Director of Ferrari’s Racing Division. Under his leadership, from 1993 to 2008, Scuderia Ferrari won 14 FIA Formula One World titles (eight Constructors’ and six Drivers’ titles, five thanks to Michael Schumacher and one with Kimi Raikkönen) and 106 Grand Prix victories.
Jean Todt also devotes his time to charitable causes. He is one of the Founders and Vice-President of the Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière (ICM), an institute devoted to medical research for brain and spinal cord disorders, which was set up in 2005. Work as a member of the Board of Trustees of the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society, his Presidency of the Board of Directors of the Suu Foundation together with his presence on the Board of Directors for the International Peace Institute all demonstrate his long-standing commitment to diverse causes.
The worlds of Jean Todt and Richard Mille came together via two creations. Firstly the RM 036 Tourbillon g-sensor, which informs the driver about deceleration forces when at the wheel, thereby encouraging them to adopt a more relaxed attitude on the roads, one of Jean Todt’s key priorities as the United Nations Special Envoy for Road Safety. Secondly the Tourbillon RM 58-01 World Timer, which displays what time it is in the world’s major 24 cities.
‘I like the passionate, extremist side to Richard, who in some ways is even more passionate about cars. His success in watchmaking allows him to indulge in his passion for cars.'