Back in June we spent some time salivating over the incredible array of iconic and classic Ferraris set to cross the auction block at an epic RM Sotheby's sale in Monterey later this month. Now the top collector car auction house is offering the perfect pairing in the form of a Richard Mille chronograph which has been added to the sale.
You may think of Mille's eye-popping, high-tech timepieces as the height of contemporary watchmaking and design — and while that's true enough, Mille himself collects vintage sports cars which he keeps at his historic chateau in France, stages his own amazing classic car concours, and is heavily influenced by the worlds of automotive design and motorsports.
The watch on offer in Monterey during the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is the RM11-03 skeletonized flyback chronograph with a 55-hour power reserve. "In terms of design, of materials used, of its details, its movement and its extraordinary adaptability," Mille notes, "this piece embodies everything the brand stands for."
Estimated at $125,000 - $175,000 and offered without reserve, Mille donated the watch, which features a variable-geometry rotor and is widely considered to be his "sportiest" design, in honor of RM Sotheby's' (formerly RM Auctions) 40th anniversary, with proceeds going to a children's charity in Ontario, Canada where RM is based.
Some of the watch's details were inspired by Formula 1; Mille is a sponsor of the McLaren Racing team. The grade 5 titanium crown echoes the design of competition wheel rims and tyre treads, while the grooved titanium pushers "recall the surface of pedals," and have covers made of carbon fiber, also widely used in F1 cars.
The car that RM Sotheby's has chosen to pair it with, a 1962 Ferrari 196 SP, may be from another era, but it's an important part of Ferrari's racing heritage. Estimated $8 million— $10 million it was first campaigned by the legendary North American Racing Team (N.A.R.T.) at the 1962 12 Hours of Sebring, where it finished 3rd in Class. It went on to have a successful racing career, achieving a half dozen podium finishes and multiple class victories across nearly 20 races in period.
The SPs were Ferrari’s first mid-engine prototype cars and were integral to the evolution of the marque. And the RM11-03 also represents an important evolution in Mille's watchmaking career, representing the first major revamp of his famous RM 011 timepiece since its introduction over a decade ago.