Named the Lifestyle Chronograph, this sporty timepiece is for life off the fast lane.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Named the Lifestyle Chronograph, this sporty timepiece is for life off the fast lane.

From far left: Stills from the campaign video choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, with music by Thomas Roussel. Titanium RM 72-01 Lifestyle In-House Chronograph watch, Richard Mille

Alone full moon sits high on a dusky sky. Beneath it lies the beautiful ruggedness of Joshua Tree National Park in California. A woman appears and starts to dance before a man joins her in an explosion of movement… Choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, to the rousing original score of Thomas Roussel, the cinematic two-minute short (entitled Within) is a hypnotic dance of two passionate lovers. But look closely, and the interlocked hands, the entwined arms reveal a timepiece in motion—the Richard Mille RM 72-01 Lifestyle Automatic Chronograph, to be exact.

The RM 72-01 is an unprecedented product that calls for a decidedly different approach. Which perhaps explains why the brand—so famed for hardy, high-tech watches firmly associated with automobile racing, aviation and sports—turned to the artistic branch of its family of Friends (to which both Millepied and Roussel belong) for the project instead.

As its name implies, the RM 72-01 is a timepiece for anyone after a high-performance sports watch delivered under a thoroughly elegant guise. It’s equipped with the CRMC1, an automatic skeletonised Flyback Chronograph with patented oscillating pinions, entirely developed in-house at the brand’s facilities in Les Breuleux, Switzerland. In other words, the watch features the brand’s first-ever in-house calibre that took two-and-a-half years in the making, while bearing all the hallmarks of a Richard Mille timepiece.

Its signature Tonneau-shaped case and prominent five-prong bezel screws are instantly identifiable, but with dimensions that are sleeker than those of its flyback chronograph brethren to suit both male and female wrists (it measures 38.40 by 47.34 by 11.68mm). Then there’s its relatively clean and sophisticated dial layout that cleverly shows its myriad of functions—hours, minutes, small seconds, date, flyback chronograph, function indicator and stop seconds—easily at a glance. Even more impressive is the fact that its patented oscillating pinions allow the watch to offer a power reserve of about 50 hours, regardless of how often the chronograph is activated.

Richard Mille has taken two decades since its founding to release its first in-house calibre. And now that it has, it’s clear that the watchmaker is intent on making it well worth the wait.