Samurai and fine watchmaking usually go together in the form of a Grand Seiko, but now Swiss horological enfant terrible Richard Mille is taking up the exquisitely wrought katana with the new RM47 Tourbillon.
The case and movement are things we’ve seen aplenty from Richard Mille, that combination of eye-catching industrial avant-garde and the pressing need to make tourbillons par for the course. The real show here is instead the, for want of a better word, dial.
Sixteen hours of engraving and nine hours of painting are self-evident in the classically-rendered samurai bedecked in full armour and brandishing a pair of katanas. Specifically, the Bushido adherent pictured references the Asano clan, with the heraldic sign of the family on the 6 o’clock tourbillon. Legendarily, chief of the family, Asano Naganori, was the lord of the 47 Ronin.
Subtlety as ever is not really in Richard Mille’s wheelhouse, but there’s no denying this is a breath-taking tribute to the samurai. Why it’s necessary is beyond me, but at least all 75 have probably been sold already.
More details at Richard Mille.