Cover Photo: Courtesy of Robert Jaso/Richard Mille

Richard Mille and Pharrell Williams create their first collaborative timepiece: the US$1 million RM 52-05 Tourbillon Pharrell Williams

A longtime fan of watchmaker Richard Mille as well as the television series Star Trek, Pharrell Williams has drawn on his lifelong fascination with time and space for the newly released RM 52-05 Tourbillon Pharrell Williams.

The award-winning singer, songwriter and producer allegedly befriended the brand’s owner after Mille heard Williams’ 2006 single Can I Have It Like That. The line, “She knows the time she sees the Richard Mille,” caught the watchmaker's attention, who insisted that the two meet.

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Fast forward to today, and the RM 52-05 Tourbillon Pharrell Williams–limited to just 30 pieces–boasts one of the most decorative dials you’re likely to find on a watch today. Richard Mille’s artisans went all out to depict a view of the Earth as reflected in the helmet visor of an astronaut standing on Mars' surface.

"In every aspect of my work, I always look for something different, something new. Working with Richard Mille provided an opportunity to go where no one else has ever gone before. Mars, for instance,” says Williams about the collaboration. An expert engraver, enameller and painter were brought in specifically to perfect the colourful spaceman, with each dial taking 15 hours to complete.

Not only visually impressive, the RM 52-05 Tourbillon Pharrell Williams utilises a unique combination of materials, including red gold, brown cermet (a mix of ceramic and metal), white gold set with diamonds and Grade 5 Titanium. The crown is modelled on a rocket capsule and features a rubber ring that represents a rover tire.

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Meanwhile, a manual winding tourbillon movement, a free spring-balance with variable inertia, a fast rotating barrel, winding-barrel teeth, third wheel pinion and central involute profile ensures this timepiece has all the hallmarks of a Richard Mille. Oh, and don't forget that 42-hour power reserve.

“I’ve always been fascinated by looking up at the sky. What could be more inspiring than all that ever was and all that ever will be?" Says Williams. "Space, before your eyes. It’s yours to see. It was here before the Earth, before this Solar System. It’ll be here after us and nothing’s more meaningful than that. When I look up at the sky I’m looking at God. I feel part of so many different parts of a whole.”

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