Le Mans Classic, the vintage car extravaganza, will return in 2022 and event sponsor Richard Mille is marking the occasion with a limited edition watch mirroring the event’s green and white colors.
COVID-19 restrictions saw the biennial event cancelled in 2020, but now organisers have announced plans for a triumphant return in 2022 as well as 2023, to mark the centenary of the first race on the Le Mans 24 Hour circuit. When the event was last held in 2018, 135,000 spectators attended to watch 700 historical racing cars and see the 8,500 vintage cars on display.
The new RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic, is the 8th edition created by Richard Mille, which has sponsored the Le Mans Classic since it launched in 2002, to mark the event.
A skeletonised grade 5 titanium calibre RMAS7 automatic movement is housed inside a case formed from a white Quartz TPT caseband and green Quartz TPT front and back bezels. Double Le Mans stripes of white Quartz TPT have been inlaid into the front bezel, a technical first for the brand. The dial features an oversized date window at the four o’clock position, a 24-hour counter and the event’s logo.
Held near the town of Le Mans, France, the 24 Heures du Mans is the world’s oldest active endurance sports car race, which is typically held annually, since 1923. Due to the pandemic, however, Le Mans did not happen in 2020 and will not happen again until 2023.
Even with the next Le Mans not taking place this year, earlier today Richard Mille debuted the 8th limited edition timepiece associated with the race (which was presumably in development prior to the Covid outbreak in 2019).
The RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic comes in the brand’s signature tonneau-shaped case, measuring 40.10 mm x 13.10 mm, with a lug-to-lug of 48.15 mm. As is customary for most Richard Mille timepieces, the case construction is unique and in this instance, the case middle is milled from a solid block of white Quartz TPT, contrasted by a bezel and caseback that are made from green Quart TPT.
Fittingly, the green quartz bezel has white quartz racing stripes inlaid in the material at 12 and 6, representing a first for the brand.
The skeletonized grade 5 titanium (mainplate and bridges) caliber RMAS7 movement, with an oversized date window at 4 o’clock, fitted with a variable geometry automatic rotor system that winds the double barrels (55-hours) — powers the time, date (semi-instantaneous), and a 24-hour counter at 2 o’clock (an homage to the 24 endurance race).
A “LE MANS CLASSIC” plaque is affixed to the dial at 7 o’clock, with a green and white checkered flag that pays further homage to the famous race. Bright orange accents on the dial, along with a matching orange crown, complete the distinctive green, orange, and white Le Mans colorway.