Richard Mille watches are already some of the rarest and most expensive timepieces on the planet, but an unreleased prototype model that was worn at the Olympics? That’s particularly special.
A Richard Mille RM 038 prototype worn by Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake has just popped up for sale on Chrono24, the world’s leading watch market, for an eye-watering AU$2,629,956 (plus shipping). Blake, one of the fastest men on the planet, wore this exact watch during the 2012 London Olympic Games 100m final, where he nabbed silver.
The watch, which was first auctioned off during Only Watch 2013 and has since made the rounds among collectors, is really a piece of horological and sporting history. Crafted from magnesium and sporting the colours of the Jamaican flag, it’s the first-ever tourbillon watch worn during Olympic competition.
It’s also clearly race-worn. The case has scuff marks and the nylon strap has been stained by Blake’s sweat… But actually, that only adds to its value. It’s an exceptionally special piece – hence the sky-high price.
It’s unusual for top-flight athletes to wear watches when they compete, especially in sports at the bleeding edge of human performance like sprinting. Athletes wouldn’t want to weigh themselves down unnecessarily – every gram counts when you’re going fast.
Yet many athletes still wear their Richard Milles when they compete, because they’re so light. Case in point: Yohan Blake’s RM 038 only weighs around 44 grams. In comparison, a steel Rolex Submariner weighs around 155 grams.
This prototype Richard Mille originally sold at Only Watches 2013 for €350,000 (~AU$517,956) – so it’s appreciated pretty aggressively. Yohan Blake might have ‘only’ won silver at London but clearly, his watch is solid gold…
Speaking of expensive watches, check out our guide to the most expensive watches of all time below.