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This is WATCH THE WATCH, a new series uncovering the most iconic watches seen on screen. From cult classics to new releases, we uncover the cinematic presence behind the cameras. In this week’s edition, we pay tribute to the upcoming film ‘Don’t Look Up’ starring a Richard Mille amongst an A-List line-up.

Stop the press. Have you seen the latest image release from the upcoming comedy ‘Don’t Look Up’? The internet just got a whole lot louder. While Timothée Chalamet seems to be everywhere and in everything at the moment, this week we find him pictured alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio grocery shopping, in this year’s coveted Christmas release. 

So what’s it all about? From the writer-director Adam McKay, known for The Big Short and Vice, his latest iteration follows the narrative of two scientists played by DiCaprio and Lawrence, who find themselves facing the apocalyptic scenario.heir next step is to head out on a media tour to warn the rest of humanity that the collision is due to happen in six months’ time. The only problem is, no one else seems to care. Challenged to seek help, they turn to none other than Meryl Streep who takes the role as President, alongside her Chief of Staff, Jonah Hill. If that wasn’t enough names for you, try Rob Morgan, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi, Kid Cudi and Cate Blanchett.

Scrooges will be thrilled that this year’s Christmas blockbuster isn’t all singing and dancing elves, but a dark comedy satire about the end of the world. It all sounds a bit too close to home. Depending on how many times you’ve watched the trailer – we’re in double figure over here – you’ll notice the real star in the cast is the watch fastened to Jonah Hill’s wrist.

Have you guessed it yet? It’s Richard Mille, of course. For a senior ranking government official, a $500,000 watch fits the bill. Not only Chief of Staff, but as the President’s son, Hill plays the role of Jason, a psychotic and narcissistic voice throughout the movie, upstaged by his RM 052 Tourbillon Skull, the 6-figure timepiece, an average amount for the Swiss watch manufacturer. Why, you ask? Because Richard Mille has brought something relatively idiosyncratic to the watch world since the brand’s inception in 2001. In just 20 years, the novel brand has become a recognised hallmark among the likes of Rafael Nadal to Jay-Z.

Screengrab courtesy of Netflix

But the hawk-eyed aficionados of the watch world are quick to question whether the watch is authentic or not, given the limited run of 15 timepieces in this style. Specialising in ultra high-end luxury watches that equate to the price of a house and mortgage combined, what sets Richard Mille apart from the noise in the industry is the unexpected composition of combined materials that haven’t really been seen before.

Uniquely shaped cases that go against a more traditional circular setting contain base plate materials from carbon nanotubes, gold fused with carbon and toughened ceramic. If science isn’t your forte, just know that these watches are alchemical creations bringing watchmaking into the present day. So what is it about the RM 052 that makes it, well, tick?

First and foremost, it’s got a manual winding tourbillon movement – essentially making the watch more accurate – with hours and minutes. The centrepiece, a skull, dubbed by the brand as a ‘vanitas vanitatum’ (meaning the vanity of vanities ie. futility and death) doesn’t just sit there looking nice. It’s actually integrated into the movement of the watch, symbolic of living life to the fullest. 

“Throughout history, the human skull has manifested itself in iconic concepts across myriad fields, sometimes purely visual, sometimes expressing different beliefs and ideologies. The RM 052 Skull presented in 2012 is a visualisation of these precepts,” shares the brand. “This new caliber represents the fullest expression of liberty and nonconformity and as such, very much typifies the philosophy of the brand. Extreme technique, high performance, the highest level of aesthetic and hand-finishing: the RM 052 Skull is true Haute Horlogerie.”

Essentially, if the world is coming to an end and a comet starts flying towards you, you may as well sell your assets and get yourself an RM-02 because at that point, there really is nothing to lose. Time’s ticking. 

Don’t Look Up is set to air in theaters on December 10 and is available to watch on Netflix on December 24. 

Courtesy of Richard Mille
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Scarlett is a writer, editor, and creative consultant specializing in art, fashion, culture and digital strategy. Drawing on her work from previous titles including Dazed, LOVE Magazine, The Perfect Magazine, AnOther and 1 Granary, as the Editor-in-Chief of The Next Hour, Scarlett is leading the editorial vision toward new territories providing an alternative lens of social commentary to recontextualize the world of watchmaking for the next generation.