Buckle up, buttercup, as this may well be peak Richard Mille. Nothing short of a wrist-full, the newly announced Richard Mille RM 25-01 Tourbillon Adventure is a high-tech chronograph that also happens to feature a tourbillon, a mountable compass, a level and a hermetically sealed cache of water purification tablets. Oh, and it was born of a friendship between Richard Mille (the man) and Sylvester Stallone, as a sort of study into the kind of watch that John Rambo might have worn. You can’t make this stuff up, and the RM 25-01 is a fittingly complicated, stupendously expensive, and very limited design from the brand with a penchant for all things buck wild.
I’m on record as rather liking Richard Mille simply because they make crazy over-the-top things that blend fine watchmaking with cutting-edge design and materials. The RM 25-01 is no exception to this, and in fact, it may well be the prime example moving forward. The RM 25-01 is 50.85mm wide with a case made of Carbon TPT and titanium. Inside that case is a tourbillon-equipped titanium competition chronograph movement with a 24-hour time display for helping to assess AM vs PM.
The compass, along with its Carbon TPT cover and titanium mount, is part of a separate and removable bezel element that connects via a bayonet mount to place an active compass above the dial of the RM 25-01. The compass functionality includes a mirror in the cover for taking readings, and the RM 25-01 even offers a spirit level mounted to the side of the case for greater accuracy when reading the compass heading. Coated for anti-reflection and anti-magnetism to prevent shared interference with the movement, when not affixed to the RM 25-01, the compass element can be mounted to an included orienteering-style map plate and a second 24 hour navigation bezel can be mounted in its place on the watch.
Above the level we find a torque-limiting crown that protects the movement while also linking with a small display to show the user what function is currently active. Finally, above the crown, there is a small chamber that holds five emergency water purification tablets. Capable of purifying a total of five litres of water, should you find yourself lost and alone with your nearly seven-figure RM, hydration will not be your first concern.
I can only imagine where the comments are going to go on this $983,000 luxury adventure-themed watch that is at least partly the product of the mind that brought John Rambo to life on the big screen. Is the RM 25-01 goofy? Oh yeah. But, with only 20 being produced (and at least one claimed by Sly himself), I’m inclined to offer up a shrug and suggest that the price and the gimmicks matter about as much as the RM 25-01 merits as an actual survival tool.
It’s (nearly) a million dollars of fun that is meant to invoke the spirit of a wild-card Vietnam-era badass who is the central character in a film called First Blood. Within that bizarre framework, I’d argue that Richard Mille has managed to create something unique, fun, and entirely on brand for Stallone’s wrist. The real question is, do you think they’d let me take one camping?