An out-of-this-world design
Pharrell Williams is no stranger to collaborations. In his music, he has worked with plenty of mainstream stars, including Daft Punk, Calvin Harris, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, and many more. In his capacity as singer, songwriter and producer, he is constantly in demand.
But when Richard Mille suggested to Williams the idea of creating a watch, perhaps neither knew for sure what would happen. But it’s here – the RM 52-05 Tourbillon Pharrell Williams, limited to just 30 pieces, and costing an incredible US$969,000 (AED3,558,652).
The watch has a clear space-age theme, inspired by Williams’ own dream to one day travel to Mars. There is the likeness of an astronaut on the face, who is stood on the Red Planet, looking back at the Earth, with the reflection captured in his helmet. An engraver, enameller and painter were tasked with bringing this image to life.
Then the tech inside is on par with the inner workings of a space shuttle. Lots of grade 5 titanium is used, with the skeletonised hands and supports on the reverse evoking rocket launch platforms. Dazzling blue aventurine glass has also been included on the back.
Grade 5 titanium, painted white, is used for the astronaut’s helmet, with red-gold paint and intricate engravings creating the Mars surface. Unlike traditional grand feu enamels, obtained by adding different pigments, the orange-to-red and blue-to-black gradients were made by superimposing layers and increasing the number of firings at 850 degrees C. White gold, black sapphires and diamonds complete the helmet design.
Other details include the use of brown Cermet, which combines the lightness of titanium with the hardness of a ceramic, with a metallic zirconium matrix that gives it a brown hue. The caseband is Carbon TPT, used often in aerospace, and the crown is based on the design of a rocket capsule. Even the rubber surround sports the distinctive profile of a Martian rover tyre. A truly incredible watch.