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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Three Richard Mille Watches Celebrate 50th Anniversary Of Racing Legend Jean Todt

RM11-03 Jean Todt 50th Anniversary

Jean Todt has an ongoing 50-year automotive career winning racing championships as a co-driver and an executive in charge of racing teams for Peugeot and Ferrari. He and Richard Mille also are good friends. 

To help the French native celebrate his 50th year in the high-performance automobile industry, Mille created three watches, each bearing Todt’s name and his favorite colors. 

The RM 11-03 Jean Todt 50th Anniversary (top photo) is a flyback chronograph inspired by automobiles and their history. Powered by an automatic caliber in grade 5 titanium, it is protected by a new blue and white Quartz TPT case. Extremely resistant and light, this composite is obtained by stacking 600 layers of silica only 45 microns thick, which are then saturated with an exclusive Richard Mille blue resin. The assembly is then heated to 120 degrees Celsius before being machined in Richard Mille’s factory. 

The watch was unveiled and presented to Todt during a celebration of his career this past September at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance, an international automobile competition and rally in the tradition of the Concours d’Elegance hosted by Richard Mille. It is available in a limited edition of 150 pieces.

RM 050 Jean Todt 50th Anniversary

The same Blue Quartz TPT is used for the case of the RM 050. This caliber houses a split-seconds chronograph regulated by a tourbillon. The extreme skeletonization of the bridges and baseplate, combined with the use of titanium and carbon nanofiber resulted in a movement weighing only 9.5 grams. It is limited to five pieces.

RM 056 Jean Todt 50th Anniversary

This same caliber for the RM 050 is used for the RM 056, which is housed in a sapphire case. Its construction and curvature required very long machining times. This case required no less than 1,000 hours of machining, including 430 hours devoted to grinding and 350 hours of polishing. It is limited to three pieces. 

In 1966, Todt began his career as a co-driver culminating in 1981 when he and Guy Fréquelin won World Rally Championships. The following year he was appointed Peugeot’s director of Racing and founded Peugeot Talbot Sport, which won World Rally Championship titles in 1985 and 1986, as well as first place in the general classification at the four editions of the Paris-Dakar Rally between 1987 and 1990. In 1990, he became director of Sporting Activities of the PSA Peugeot Citroën Group, overseeing Peugeot’s participation in the World Sports Car Championships, which Peugeot won in 1992. It also claimed two victories at the 1992 and 1993 Le Mans 24 Hours.  

In 1993 Jean Todt left Peugeot to become manager of Ferrari’s Racing Division. During his tenure, Scuderia Ferrari won 14 Formula One world titles and 106 Grand Prix victories. He eventually became CEO of Ferrari. In 2009 he left Ferrari and was elected president of the FIA, a position he currently holds. He also serves as a United Nations Special Envoy for Road Safety, and is founder of the ICM, an institute devoted to medical research for brain and spinal cord disorders.

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