Historical Collaboration Between Artist Cyril Kongo And Richard Mille

The new RM 68-01 Tourbillon Cyril Kongo watch is a veritable ‘artwork on the wrist’, which will undoubtedly leave a strong mark in the history of watches and clocks. This is the first time in history that a street artist has perfectly integrated his artistic world into a watch movement.

RM 68-01 recto

Cyril Kongo

   Richard Mille wants to showcase contemporary art in horology. This unprecedented fusion resulted in RM 68-01. Indeed, this tourbillon movement is not only a watch accessory, but also a canvas on which graffiti master Cyril Kongo shows inspiration and creativity. Never before has a watch been able to create art on the bridge and movement base. In RM 68-01, these parts all reflect the artistic value of this timepiece treasure. Graffiti art is often closely linked to the high walls of the city, while the world of watches is known for its micro-machinery and high precision. Richard Mille and Kongo, together, successfully brought the art of urban high walls to the bridge, movement bottom plate and sapphire dial in the watch.

   Kongo: ‘I am from the world of graffiti. All my works originate from this. I learn graffiti on the street, and there is a school where I learn to paint. I need to keep close contact with the world of graffiti, and at the same time pay attention to what is happening outside Everything. Whether it’s graffiti on a giant wall, canvas, or other objects, this is a language with its own code, and it is also a unique pen and ink narrative. My creation is neither limited to a single space nor subject to Limited to the surface of a particular object. ‘

   The painting technology used by Kongo has been developed over a year. With a special spray gun, Kongo can accurately print a variety of colors-the spray gun sprays a tiny droplet at a time. In order to avoid disrupting the balance of the movement and thus not affecting the function of the watch, the weight of the pigment must be strictly controlled before painting. The special pigment developed by the entire RM 68-01 project team solved this problem perfectly. This pigment is bright in color, never fades, and adheres perfectly to the surface of titanium alloy parts without being affected by disassembly.
   Kongo: ‘After a long period of research and development and a year of experimentation, this painting tool allowed me to paint in a 5 cm2 (2 square inch) space on the watch.’ Some parts of the watch are only a few The length of millimeters, some parts are even smaller, I have to lettering directly on it, so that it can reflect the visual effect, and will not break the balance of the movement because of excessive use of pigment. Like graffiti for the entire car, the chassis, engine, and each piston must be painted separately. ‘

Cyril Kongo In action

   This production technique can draw beautiful lines that are difficult to distinguish even with the naked eye. Such lines cannot be directly hand-drawn, although some specific patterns will be first outlined with a particularly fine pen. No matter what technology is used, every part of the watch is hand-painted and painted by the well-known Mr. Color.
   The creation of RM 68-01 requires Kongo to rethink his graffiti skills and show his artistic skills on the extremely limited surface of the movement. And his real success lies in the perfect graffiti printing of every part of the movement.

   ‘Richard Mille claims that Kongo has expanded the boundaries of horological technology. And this is exactly what I hope-to bring Kongo into the world of high-end watches. It is not just simple spray painting. Kongo gives its unique vision from movement to dial New artistic life.
   On the back of the watch, we can see that the central pattern of the base plate of the tourbillon radiates to the surroundings, showing the effect of splashing the paint on the wall. The angle of the arcs formed by the front bridge of the movement is different, just like the wild strokes in the mural art of the street. The watch case consists of a NTPT® carbon fiber bezel and a black ceramic bezel. The case uses an asymmetrical design, and the thickness gradually decreases from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock; the height gradually decreases from 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock. RM 68-01 demonstrates the perfect fusion of contemporary mechanical art and visual art in a unique way in the 21st century timepiece field.
   Graffiti master Cyril Phan was born in 1969 and now lives in Paris. His stage name, Cyril Kongo, is more well known. This self-taught artist has stood out in the art and cultural world of France and even Europe in just 10 years, and has become one of the foremost. Exquisite graffiti skills and 20 years of experience in MAC Graffiti Group have made Cyril Kongo a legend in the graffiti industry. With the passage of time, we have continued to improve and expand our artistic horizons and expressions, both of which have become more mature and no longer limited to graffiti. Inspired by wet murals and murals, Kongo has essentially transformed graffiti into a genre.
   Limited edition of 30 pieces worldwide.
RM 68-01 Tourbillon Watch Technical Specifications
Limited to 30 pieces
RM68-01 movement: Automatically wound movement, hours and minutes are displayed.
Ruler: 50,24 x 42,70 x 15,84 mm.
Main features
Easy storage
⼤ Approximately 42 hours (± 10%).
Hollow titanium machine plate
The plate is made of grade five titanium metal. This material is compatible with materials, has excellent corrosion resistance and rigidity, and is very suitable for use in gear transmission systems. This combination consists of 90% titanium, 6% aluminum, and 4% vanadium. These combinations enhance mechanical properties. Therefore it is often used in aerospace, aviation and automotive manufacturing. Hollow machine board and bridge board are thoroughly and intensively tested to optimize their strength.
Hand-painted movement
The RM68-01 movement is completely hand-painted by Cyril Kongo using spray, showing its superb graffiti style. As a result, this watch has unprecedented visual effects, and at the same time, the watch is also equipped with superb tourbillon complication.
Each watch is hand-painted by Kongo, showing its solemnity.
On the back of the watch, the central pattern on the bottom plate of the tourbillon movement radiates from the center to the surroundings, much like the effect of splashing paint on the wall. The front movement bridge plate forms arcs with different angles, just like the wild strokes in the street mural art
Variable inertia balance wheel
The variable inertia balance wheel and the end curve hairspring structure ensure the stability of the watch and ensure the watch’s durability and extraordinary accuracy.
Quickly rotate the barrel (6 hours per revolution instead of 7.5 hours)
These barrels have the following advantages:
-Greatly reduces the mainspring adhesion and enhances performance.
-Make up the perfect mainspring delta curve. This choice strikes an ideal balance between power reserve, performance and stability.
Progressive rebound function barrel pawl
This device can save considerable energy (approximately 20%) during the winding, especially at the beginning of the winding. Avoid too tight clockwork
Clockwork box gear and central wheel adopt involute tooth profile
The central involute tooth profile provides the best 20-degree angular pressure, which helps improve gear transmission efficiency and offsets gear meshing deviations. This ensures good torque transmission and significantly improves its performance.
Grade five spline screws for bridges
These screws are durable and ensure better control of the tightening torque acting on the screws during initial assembly and disassembly.
Other characteristics
-Movement size: 30.50 mm x 28.70 mm
-Thickness: 8.39mm
-Tourbillon size: 10.90 mm
-Balance wheel size: 10.00 mm
-Number of gems: 19
-Balance wheel: Two-arm Glucydur beryllium copper balance wheel, 4 adjusting screws, moment of inertia 11.5 mg. Cm2, lift angle 53 °
-Swing frequency: 21’600 times per hour (3 Hz)
-Hairspring: Nivarox® alloy
-Shockproof: KIF ELASTOR KE 160 B28
-Barrel: Nickel-free Chronifer (DIN x 46 Cr 13 + S), with the following properties: Anti-rust, anti-magnetic, can be treated with fire
The bezel and caseback of this RM 68-01 are made of black ceramic. The low density of this black ceramic (6g / cm3) makes it highly scratch-resistant and extremely low thermal conductivity.
At the same time, the TZP material with 95% yttrium-stabilized zirconia has a remarkable texture, which brings amazing and perfect results. Through the long and elaborate manufacturing and polishing process of diamond tools, the matte black ceramic surface is finally created.
The watch ring is made of NTPT carbon fiber. This material consists of multiple layers of parallel filaments, which are separated from carbon fibers. These thin layers, no more than 30 microns thick, are first immersed in resin and then constructed by a special machine, with a 45 ° angle stagger between each layer. After heating to 120 ° at a pressure of 6 bar, NTPT® carbon fiber material can be processed. NTPT® carbon fiber material has 25% better fracture stress and 200% improvement in microcracks compared to composites that have been considered to have excellent physical properties. The RM 68-01 case is water resistant to 50 meters.
The case uses an asymmetrical design, and the thickness gradually decreases from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock; the height gradually decreases from 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock.
This watch’s parts are assembled from 20 grade 5 titanium spline screws and 316L stainless steel wear-resistant washers.
Case five titanium spline screws
These screws allow for more precise control of the tightening torque. These screws are not affected by the disassembly sequence and are durable.
Test crown
This safety device prevents excessive winding, resulting in damage to the arbor or overtightening of the mainspring.
Upper inner ring and lower inner ring
The upper inner ring is made of grade 5 titanium alloy with a black plating process and is patterned by Cyril Kongo.
Table mirror
Bezel: Sapphire 1800 (1800-dimensional ⽒ hardness) mirror ⾯, both of which are anti-glare treated
Thickness: 1.50 mm
Bottom cover side: Sapphire glass, both sides have anti-glare treatment
Thickness: 1.20 m ⽶ in the middle, 1.95 m ⽶ in the edge
Metal, rhodium-plated and hand-polished
Movement components
The base plate and bridge of the movement are made of micro-blasted grade 5 titanium alloy
-⼿ ⼯ Down ⾓ Sanding
-Milling shot peening
-Brushed top
-Grooved Cyril Kongo hand-painted
Stainless steel components
-Table blasting
-⼿ ⼯ Down ⾓ Sanding
-Longitudinal drawing on top
-Side chin longitudinal drawing
-Groove polishing
-Tips are ground and polished
-Polished shaft head
Gear set
-Cyril Kongo hand drawn
-Groove polished by drill collar
-Round case polished
-Rhodium-plated (injected before gear milling)
-Minimal gear correction to maintain any structure and performance