Richard Mille has developed a new kind of watch. The RM 72-01 Lifestyle In-House Chronograph seeks to embody the watchmaker’s unrivalled know-how while making an indelible mark on its era as a work of art. Benjamin Millepied and Thomas Roussel, two modern hybrid artists, are leading the project W I T H I N, both technically and artistically.
Only renowned artists could embrace such an ambitious project. Like Richard Mille, choreographer Benjamin Millepied and composer Thomas Roussel create works imbued with a unique power of imagination and an obsession with perfection.
In the tradition of great jewellers, their determination to achieve perfect balance and harmony in movement acts as a guide in their creative process. Every day, they are prepared to repeat the same movement a hundred times to produce the perfect gesture.
"I work, at all times and piece after piece, to perfect the art of choreography. It is this relationship to precision that unites us with the art of haute horlogerie."
Like orchestral music, Haute Horlogerie feeds on its own traditions, respecting very strict and precise rules. Based on this guidance, it is
up to us to break down the codes and offer works that are singular.’
Starting from a sample from the watch’s stopwatch function, the composer then injects a tempo, a musical rhythm that matches the raw, unbridled energy of the dancers.
Around a tourbillon of vitality, Thomas Roussel weaves a repetitive and mysterious primordial music. The percussion keeps the beat as though counting seconds. As a return to our roots, this joint work takes us back in time, to when the core elements of earth, stone and water served as the cradle of humanity.
To fix this special piece in time, the composition was performed by the 50 musicians of the prestigious London Symphony Orchestra in a truly intimate and tim-honoured setting, the recording studio at St. Luke’s Church in London. In its own way, the RM 72-01 itself embodies the primordial pulse of movement, this fusion of human bodies, sounds and time.
To the herald the new star in the Richard Mille firmament, the RM 72-01, the two artists decided to create a new and singular work, swiftly converging on the medium of film, W I T H I N. Benjamin Millepied stepped behind the camera for the occasion, and chose to shoot in the middle of the Joshua Tree desert, surrounded by the arid terrain of rocks and sand. ‘This project called for an endless landscape, out of time,’ explains Millepied. And indeed, the stark mineral environment exalts the nobility and beauty of the materials favoured by Richard Mille.
At the heart of a landscape fashioned by time and space, evocative of humanity’s earliest origins, Benjamin Millepied induces an expression of raw human energy. Each in turn, a female and a male dancer, respond to one another, unleashing their natural vitality via an unstructured and organic pas-de-deux.
In the style of Terrence Malick, whose influence is palpable, the choreographer has superbly caught the couple’s spontaneous, instinctive movements. ‘I enjoyed filming such primal energy in a landscape like that. In order to capture something more alive, more real, more sincere, I purposefully gave them tremendous freedom.‘
The elegance of the RM 72-01 is also reflected in the technological prowess involved in creating it. Signalling the start of a new era, the RM 72-01 is the first watch in the history of Richard Mille to be equipped with a flyback chronograph that is end-to-end in-house. Drawing on a double clutch system with oscillating pinions patented by the brand, the chronograph makes this latest timepiece a truly exceptional object. The RM 72-01 Lifestyle In-House Chronograph reimagines tisets its own tempo, imposes its own rhythm and makes an indelible mark on its era.