Fernando Alonso’s $1m Richard Mille watch is inspired by the tale of the 47 ronin

Published on Apr 07, 2022 at 1:42 PM (UTC+4)
by Thiemo Albers-Daly

Last updated on Apr 20, 2022 at 3:31 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Kate Bain

Fernando Alonso’s $1m Richard Mille watch is inspired by the tale of the 47 ronin

Richard Mille have launched a brand new Samurai watch – and it has us weak at the knees.

The RM 47 was inspired by a conversation between Richard Mille himself and Two-Time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso.

Since that conversation, it’s taken four years to create. Only 75 will be made and they are believed to cost about $1m each.

The Spaniard is currently racing for Alpine in F1 but is also a passionate enthusiast of Japanese traditional arts and the Samurai principles.

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“Between sword and chisel, between the cutting edge of the blade and the incisions defined by the precision of the engraver’s technique, there are many parallels to evoke the similarities between the qualities of these warriors and those demanded by our artistic crafts,” a statement from Richard Mille reads.

The story of Asano Naganori and the 47 rōnin

The RM 47 is a tribute to the Asano family.

They originated from Hiroshima and have a legendary Japanese ancestor.

Asano Naganori, the daimyo, or chief, of the family fiefdom at the turn of the eighteenth century, was the lord of the 47 rōnin who avenged his death before following him into the after world.

Honestly, the more you read about this watch, the cooler it gets.

The Asano family’s kamon is featured on the tourbillon at 6 o’clock.

Each samurai clan had its own kamon, a heraldic sign borne on their clothes, their sabres and the banners carried onto fields of battle.

This emblem was also very finely engraved on the warriors’ helmet winglets and represents two crossed falcon feathers.

What should I know about the watch itself?

Naturally with a time piece like this, it’s a limited edition item. Richard Mille will only make 75 pieces.

The baseplate and the bridges are crafted in grade 5 titanium. This is a biocompatible which is a highly corrosion-resistant and remarkably rigid alloy. This will ensure that the gear train functions smoothly.

The alloy is 90 percent titanium, 6 percent aluminium and 4 percent vanadium.

As with all of Richard Mille’s watches, the RM 47 has undergone rigorous tests.

The skeletonised baseplate and the bridges were subjected to intensive and complete validation tests . Therefore, this optimises resistance capacities.

The samurai armour created from 3N yellow gold has been entirely hand-engraved by Pierre-Alain Lozeron. This protects the RM 47 calibre.


There’s also a ridiculous amount of awesome details on the watch.

These include the helmet ribbon, the sword’s attachments, the crest representing two crossed falcon feathers positioned on the tourbillon, and the expression of the mask.

In total, it took 16 hours of engraving to obtain the 11 components that make up the Samurai. Simply astonishing.

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Any technical details that might interest me?

The RM 47 has a free sprung balance with variable inertia.

This type of balance wheel guarantees greater reliability when subjected to shocks. Thus, it provides better chronometric results over time.

Other Tech Specs:

Movement dimensions: 32.80 x 30.90 mm
Thickness: 6.80 mm
Tourbillon diameter: 10.90 mm
Balance wheel diameter: 9.12 mm
Jewels: 19
Balance: Glucydur®, 2 arms, 4 setting screws, moment of inertia 11.50 mg•cm2, angle of lift 53°
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Shock protection: KIF ELASTOR KE 160 B28

Power reserve: Circa 72 hours (± 10%).



Thiemo Albers-Daly

Thiemo is a motorsports writer and podcast producer for ‘On the Kerbs’. A film connoisseur, he can easily give a two hour long dissertation on why Skyfall is the best Bond film. Like ever.