A confluence of haute horlogerie and athletic heights, this RM38 is not your typical watch. It’s not even your typical Richard Mille, if there is such a thing. Yohan Blake sprinted alongside Usain Bolt at the storied 2012 London Olympics, where he took a gold in relay and dual silver medals in the 100 and 200m respectively. That Olympics, particularly in track and field, was a discourse in shattering athletic boundaries. Moreover, it was one for the watch enthusiasts. Blake was the only amongst his competitors who gave up 44 grams of mass to sport the precise watch offered today, a full on manually-wound tourbillon: the RM38 prototype.
Richard Mille divides opinion among even the most studied enthusiasts. Some would say he represents technical innovation in materials science and shock resistant movement architecture. Others lambast with the famed tagline ‘Invicta for the .01%’. Wherever you land on that spectrum, one has to appreciate the fact that someone is making mechanical watches light enough for the world’s preeminent athletes to wear in competition. That is something to be celebrated. The marketing practically writes itself, and has.
Nadal probably takes lion’s share credit, but one should not overlook the fact that this exact watch supported Mr. Mille’s marketing strategy in the era when the man was still making his name. Moreover, it’s finished in its own unique Jamaican flag livery: black, green, and yellow all present. This is a celebration of Jamaica’s debut on the athletic world stage in a big way. In historic terms, that’s not to be sniffed at.
After the games, this watch was auctioned through Only Watch to raise money for research Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research in 2013. It’s done good for RM, and in my opinion more good for that noble aim. Since then, it has been in a private collection until RM service in 2021 and offer here today. It comes with box and warranty with all the historic documentation you’d expect. Once in a lifetime opportunity, this. And it is valued as such.
Find this RM38 Prototype here from The Keystone for 1.85 ‘Mille’.