JEWELS are those special times and events that celebrate a new watch introduction, a new door of distribution, or just to show off the latest innovative timepieces to an audience of collectors and fans of the brand—often accompanied by champagne, hor d'hourves and VIP guests. Sponsoring charitable events raises funds for the charities and showcases the brand to the members and participants. —Glen B Bowen
18TH RALLYE DES PRINCESSES RICHARD MILLE, AN EDITION AS GORGEOUS AS IT WAS GRUELLING
For a third consecutive year as lead partner of the event, Richard Mille accompanied the 18th Rallye des Princesses. This women-only rally brings together 90 crews from 12 different countries, who come to cover close to 1,600 kilometers along the most beautiful roads in France.
The rally departed from the prestigious Place Vendôme in Paris to arrive five days later at the iconic Place des Lices in Saint-Tropez. On Saturday 27 May, the scrutineering day set the tone for the week to come as one of conviviality, sporting attitude and glamour. Promptly at 8.30am on Sunday 28 May, the 180 participants headed out toward Saint-Aignan inthe brilliant sunshine for a 350-kilometer stage that included 4 regularity tests while discovering the Loiret, the countryside around Briare, the Indre département and Cheravent. The following day, contenders took the Route des Châteaux to the track at La Châtre, where they completed a dedicated regularity test. Vichy was the final destination for this second leg, and an opportunity to prepare for the longest day of the rally: 430 kilometres of roads climbing as high as 1,860 metres around L’Alpe d’Huez before crossing the Hauts Plateaux du Vercors and the breath-taking Gorges d’Engins.
The penultimate day was marked by Alpine passes! No less than five of these had to be crossed before descending toward the Côte d’Azur for a glimpse of the beautiful beaches at Mandelieu. After driving through Grasse, the home of perfume, the contenders reached the Font du Broc château before heading towards the finish line in Saint-Tropez. The awards ceremony was held on the Moorea beach in Ramatuelle, a moment of strong emotion capping off a week of challenging and densely packed stages that were nonetheless agreeable, thanks to optimal weather conditions.
In the Historic category, everything came down to the very last kilometers of the race, as is often the case. Although the Ferrari 328 GTS #89 crewed by Nadia Moreau and Valérie Dot had held onto the lead from day one, an irreparable navigation error allowed the Porsche 911 #81 crewed by Véronique Castelain and Stéphanie Wante to claim the victory, after four days waiting for just such an opportunity. In the Classic category, reserved for more recent vehicles, the top spot went to Marion Lohio and Sabine Cybulski, aboard PGO Seven, who unsurprisingly won the rally after indisputably dominating the entire race.
Sporting attitude, femininity and glamour are the attitudes dear to both the Richard Mille brand and the Rallye des Princesses, whose ties become closer and more productive with each edition. Five Porsche 356 and one Porsche 911 were made available to clients and friends of Richard Mille in order to discover this event—which has become de rigueur for ladies who love automobiles—each of whom wore a watch from the Richard Mille ladies’ collection for the race.
It is also worth mentioning that this year, the Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille once again supported the PARTI DES ENFANTS, a collective bringing together some twenty associations dedicated to children suffering from illness, and that three crews took part in the competition under the association’s banner. —Glen B Bowen
RAMADAN LA VILLA EXCLUSIVE CHARITY AUCTION
Kerbedanz was selected by event organizers as the only watch brand to participate to Ramadan La Villa Exclusive Charity Auction, which will be held on Wednesday June 14th at The St. Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club. —Glen B Bowen
Kerbedanz presented six watch models for the live auction, including 3 Horses in rose gold.
RICHARD MILLE ON BOARD FOR THE 8th EDITION OF LES VOILES DE ST BARTH
As Main Partner of Les Voiles, Richard Mille was present at the starting line, accompanying the 1,100 sailors who participated throughout the weeklong event. The brand also took this occasion to inaugurate its first boutique in the Caribbean and held an official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first Richard Mille Boutique in St Barts: ‘We couldn’t imagine an island more suited to welcoming our brand. The boutique’s design takes its design cues from its territorial situation—on an island overlooking the shore—and its agreeable patio, where anyone can relax with a glass of Champagne as they discover our watches,’ confides John Simonian, CEO of Richard Mille Americas.
Guests at the inauguration enjoyed an opportunity to view some of the most beautiful pieces in the collection, especially the RM 60-01 Flyback Chronograph Regatta, one of which was conferred on the overall winners of the Maxi Yacht class.
This automatic timepiece in grade 5 titanium supports high-seas navigation thanks to a specially-designed rotating bezel bearing the four cardinal points and a 360° graduated disk with a 24-hour scale. A partner of Les Voiles from the very first, Richard Mille confirms the significance of the nautical world for the brand: ‘My commitment to a field like sailing is all the more fervent because the domain encourages full expression of the Richard Mille philosophy. It’s an opportunity to combine extreme performance, cutting-edge technology and a strong artistic component, while respecting the hallowed traditions of a discipline.
Thousands of hours of R&D are needed to bring a super-yacht into being; the same is true of our watches.
To say nothing of the race against time!’
The competition became difficult going forward, however, as crews struggled to make the most of ‘gentle breezes’. The conditions were such that the Racing Committee had no choice but to cancel Saturday’s races. As a result, there was no change to the rankings. While this was a very unusual scenario for the Les Voiles, the event closed following what were nonetheless three intensive and beautiful days of regattas.
Peter Harrison, CEO of Richard Mille EMEA, wore his sailor’s cap for the occasion. With his sailboat, Sorcha TP 52 sporting the livery of Richard Mille, he finished 1st in the CSA 0 class, after placing 3rd and 2nd in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Victory in the Maxi Yacht category went to Proteus, belonging to the American George Sakellaris, who also took the top spot in the general rankings, as he did in last year’s regatta. —Glen B Bowen