Home WATCHES OF THE YEAR 2016

HEARST PICKS: Showstoppers of the Year, Richard Mille RM 68-01 Kongo Tourbillon

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Sales are up 15% this year for Richard Mille thanks to its strategy of producing limited quantities of high end, highly creative mechanical timepieces.

The RM 68-01 Kongo Tourbillon is a classic example.

The £650,000 timepiece was created in conjunction with Cyril Phan, France’s equivalent of graffiti artist Banksy.

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It appears as a blur of colour, but on closer inspection you can see that each individual component has been hand-painted – work that was actually done by Mr Phan under a microsope.

“It took over a year of experimentation of tools and for me to be capable of painting on a watch some five centimetres square. Certain pieces were barely a few millimetres long, some even smaller, and I had to put the lettering directly on them, enough for visual effect but without using much paint so as to avoid throwing off the balance of the movement,” Mr Phan recalls.

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