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MUSIC

Pharrell Williams designs Richard Mille astronaut watch

Words by Rob Chilton

The music star finds inspiration in outer space and childhood days spent watching Star Trek for a stunning new timepiece

Looking at Pharrell Williams today – the king of cool and the captain of cutting edge – it’s hard to imagine him as a nerdy kid watching Star Trek. The rapper/producer/style icon (and devoted Trekkie) has now brought his love of space to a stellar new watch designed with Richard Mille.

Mille and Williams have boldly gone where no men have gone before with a watch that bears an astronaut helmet sculpted from grade 5 titanium. Inside the helmet are hand-painted enamel depictions of the Valles Marineris rock face on Mars and our planet Earth. A black sapphire and two diamonds mimic the helmet’s headlights, while the grade 5 titanium skeletonised bridges stand like rocket launch platforms.

Sketches of the watch

Limited to just 30 pieces, the RM 52-05 Tourbillon Pharrell Williams has a crown based on a rocket capsule, while the rubber echoes the tyre of a Martian rover.

The RM 52-05 Tourbillon Pharrell Williams

“I’ve always been fascinated by looking up at the sky,” says Williams. “What could be more inspiring than all that ever was and all that ever will be? Space, before your eyes. It’s yours to see. It was here before the Earth, before this Solar System. It’ll be here after us and nothing’s more meaningful than that.”

Painting Earth on the helmet visor

The endlessly creative Williams pushed the watchmakers at Richard Mille to their limits with the watch. “In every aspect of my work, I always look for something different, something new,” he explains.

Pharrell

“Creating is about shifting the perspective from which we look at things, and with the RM 52-05, we’ve looked at Mars from a different angle, an unexpected first-person point of view. We’re breaking the mould.”

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