Insider: Richard Mille RM11 Felipe Massa '10th Anniversary'. Hands-on with a Stunning 100-Piece Limited Edition.

The Richard Mille RM011 Felipe Massa ‘10th Anniversary’ is an emblematic model by Richard Mille, named for Felipe Massa from its very conception. Felipe Massa has now achieved 40 podiums in his career and the first sporting figure to have joined the Richard Mille family. A long-time test driver for Richard Mille watches, it was he who enabled the brand to initiate and accomplish astonishing feats in watchmaking development. Such triumphs included the manufacture of a carbon nanofiber baseplate, first tested with the RM 006 FM then used in a number of other models, as well as the processing of new materials such the Alusic cases on the RM 009 FM. This collaboration, which became a deep friendship, is being celebrated with this 100-piece limited edition.

The Dial

These example of fine watchmaking, also mirrors the exceptional achievements of Felipe himself, who, during his 13-year career, competed in 218 races, 16 of which in pole position, reaching the podium 40 times, including 11 as race winner and in total 1012 points —including his last podium at the Austrian Grand Prix in 2015. The RM11 ‘10th Anniversary’ comes with a sapphire crystal dial inspired by the driver’s racing colors. Therefore, the flanges, transfers, push-pieces, and crowns are bedecked in blue and yellow, whilst Felipe’s logo is subtly placed at 1 o’clock.

On the RM 011 Felipe Massa 10th Anniversary, the number 19, Felipe’s race number, has been cleverly reworked to suggest a 12 on the sapphire dial with a mere thickness of 0.4 mm. The watch features a flyback chronograph, a 60-minute countdown timer and an annual calendar in what we think is a somewhat busy dial. The dial layout features a running seconds indicator at 3 o'clock, a monocounter 12-hour chrono register at 6 with hour and minute indicator, a 60-minute countdown timer indicator at 9 o'clock, a double date window located at 12 o'clock that displays the date thanks to a double sapphire disc system located at 10 and 2 o'clock respectively and a clever numeric month indicator located between 4 and 5 o'clock.

The Case, Crown & Strap

The RM11 Felipe Massa '10th Anniversary' is fitted with an NTPT Carbon case with titanium middle case. The NTPT is a material unique to Richard Mille, offering remarkable resistance and a unique appearance. Designed in the traditional tonneau shaped case measuring 50 mm x 40 mm x 16.15 mm, the NTPT carbon cases were launched by Richard Mille in October of 2013 and have quickly become one of the most utilized materials from this manufacture. NTPT stands for 'North Thin Ply Technology' and is a material originally developed for the sails of racing yachts. Sails manufactured from this material are highly resistant and light. NTPT carbon is so light and resistant, that it has also been heavily used for Formula 1 car chassis for the last five seasons. No surprise that the total weight of the Richard Mille RM011 Felipe Massa '10th Anniversary' weighs a mere 103 grams.

The watch is fitted with titanium pushers for the flyback chronograph and with a NTPT crown with blue alcryn o-ring. This exclusive material with a unique appearance, displays extremely regular undulations, as it is composed of multiple layers of parallel filaments obtained by dividing carbon fibers. These layers, with a maximum thickness of 30 microns, are impregnated with resin then woven on a special machine that modifies the direction of the weft by 45° between layers, creating this distinctive visual effect that is reminiscent of precious wood. Heated to 120°C at a pressure of 6 bars, the NTPT carbon is then ready to be processed on a CNC machine in Richard Mille’s Proart case factory. The watch is equipped with a ventilated black rubber strap with the traditional spring double folding clasp in titanium.

The Movement

The beating heart inside the Richard Mille RM11 Felipe Massa '10th Anniversary' is the so-called calibre RMAC1. This calibre is an automatic winding movement, that heralds the brand’s first flyback chronograph. Crafted entirely in grade 5 titanium and hand finished, the calibre features an annual calendar, a 60-minute flyback chronograph and a countdown function, assembled for this anniversary edition. The movement is fully visible via the display case back that features Felipe Massa's signature on its sapphire crystal. The 38-jewel automatic movement provides a power reserve of 50 hours.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and extremely comfortable. The wrist presence of this watch is perfectly in line with the price tag and if you like blue accents on watches then this is a watch should tick all the boxes for you. Available in a limited edition of a 100 pieces, this watch is not only very exclusive but one you will hardly run into.

Sticker Price $160,000 USD. For more info Richard Mille click here.