Richard Mille is renowned for ground-breaking invention and design with its collection of innovative watches. They push the boundaries of traditional horology, using the latest in technology and materials, similar to the production of racing cars. The brand took the lead again in the Le Mans 24 Hours with an all female team racing in their Richard Mille Racing Team.
The Le Mans 24 is arguably the world’s greatest and toughest endurance motorsport race, taking place at The Circuit de La Sarthe, in France. The 2020 edition was delayed due to the covid19 restrictions, moved from June to the weekend of 19th and 20th of September.
For Richard Mille, associating the brand with such an iconic event is an obvious step. He’s deeply passionate about racing cars and is a staunch supporter of the Le Mans Classic, the company participating at every event since the inaugural edition in 2002. Special limited edition watches have been created for every event since 2008.
The brand’s love for all things technical, especially for automobiles and aeronautics, is present in all their timepieces. Every single component used in the production serves a purpose, it’s not about visual appeal only. The engineering that goes into a Richard Mille watch means every screw, spring, lever and so on work in perfect harmony.
They also go through rigorous real-time testing to produce the highest standards of security, robustness and precision. Just like the high-speed racing cars found at the Le Mans races.
When Richard Mille decided to create his own brand, he wanted to bring a new contemporary approach to watchmaking. The RM 001 Tourbillon, with its ergonomic tonneau case design punctuated with distinctive torque screws, placed the brand immediately at the top end of the luxury watch market.
This revolutionary approach was present in the brand’s approach to the Le Mans 24 Hours 2020 too. Richard Mille, the President of the FIA Endurance Commission, along with Michèle Mouton, the French racing champion, have spent years promoting women at the highest levels of motorsport.
At this year’s event, the three female drivers racing for Richard Mille Racing Team competed in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class, becoming the first all-female team to do so. Open exclusively to privately owned teams, they drove a red ORECA 07 car (number 50), with technical support provided by the Signatech team belonging to Philippe Sinaut, winner of the last 24 Hours of Le Mans in this category.
The Richard Mille Racing Team will compete throughout the 2020-2021 championship. The three drivers in the hot-seat in the Le Mans 24 Hours this year were:
Colombian national Tatiana Calderón, currently the highest-ranked woman in single-seaters, dreams of joining Formula 1. She’s a test driver for Alfa Roméo – Sauber.
The Dutch national was drafted in as a replacement for the injured Katherine Legge. She’s previously competed in the FIA Formula E Championship.
The 19 year-old German earned her spurs in Formula 3. She’s just completed her rookie season in the ultra competitive FIA F3 championship.
The team finished in a brilliant ninth position. And they weren’t the only beneficiaries of Richard Mille’s inventive and forward-thinking approach. He’s a Board member for the Paris Brain Institute, featured on the team’s racing car. The funds raised will contribute to the research programs at this world-leading research hub.
From designing their first ladies watch in 2005, the RM 007 Automatic, to competing at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, Richard Mille is a brand that challenges the norm and is prepared to innovate - as long as the product is of the highest quality.