In the Bahamas’ Vertical Blue competition, the freediving “Wimbledon” competition, this luxurious water-resistant cheap watch plunged to a record-breaking height in the ocean at a depth of 117 meters
The RM 032 Self-Winding Flyback Chronograph Diver’s Watch has a three-layer system, making it almost impossible to fall off in deep water
Pushing the boundaries of human endeavor is something that luxury watchmaker cheap Richard Mille is all too familiar with. The brand’s adrenaline-fueled spirit of technical watchmaking has led to the creation of numerous horological masterpieces and fostered partnerships with elite athletes around the world. Its latest collaboration with world record holder free diver Arnaud Jerald marks the first time Richard Mille has explored the depths of the ocean.
At 25, Gerrard already holds two freediving world records. His sprint in the deep took him to a stifling 117m under the waves of Vertical Blue, an annual competition in the Bahamas that has been likened to free-diving Wimbledon.
The record of 117 meters broke the previous record of 116 meters – also set by Jerald, just four days ago. At that depth, the pressure exerted on the body is equivalent to 11 kilograms of pressure per square centimeter of skin. This is no easy task for anyone—especially when the diver is holding his breath the entire time.
Jerald’s record-breaking descent took less than 1 minute and 38 seconds, and it was captured by an underwater drone camera. He wears a nose clip, fins and a Richard Mille RM 032 self-winding flyback chronograph diver’s watch.
“I experience time in a different way,” Gerrard said of his watch diving buddy. “Underwater, one minute lasts a whole day. I need my watch as a tool, it has to be with me all the time.”
As Gerald puts it, the “tool” is one of the most complicated diving watches to be made. During the 9-hour milling phase, this one case alone had to go through 830 operations. After an 11-hour processing phase, each case must pass a full-day quality control. This is partly because of its functional requirements – the bezel and the three-layer system that attaches the bezel to the watch make it extremely stable and almost impossible to fall off, which is essential for diving into the deep. The unidirectional bezel features large numbers for maximum visibility and also allows the wearer to avoid any mistakes when calculating dive times.
“Richard Mille won’t budge—nor will I,” commented Jerald. “In terms of achievement, the number of meters is important, but in terms of my safety, the most important thing is my watch. That’s why the RM 032 is an essential tool for me. As a free diver, My watch doesn’t work. I wear it because I believe in it.”