Occupation: Sprinter (Olympic medallist, youngest 100m world champion in history) - Richard Mille watch references: RM59-01, RM61-01
Usain Bolt isn’t the only sprinter to wear the black, green and gold of Jamaica. Bolt’s fellow countryman Yohan Blake, who shot to prominence on the world athletics stage in 2011, is the youngest sprinter ever to win a gold medal at the World Championships. He also took silver medals in the London 2012 Olympics, finishing behind Bolt in the 100m and 200m events.
Blake’s career has been characterised by big wins, explosive sprints and major firsts. The young sprinter took down the 10 second barrier at the Golden Gala in Rome in 2009, at the age of 19. This made him the youngest sprinter ever to break through to single figures for the 100m distance. He’s also the youngest athlete to have won a World Championship - at 21 years and 245 days, he beats Carl Lewis (who won a World Championship title in 1983) by 158 days.
Known as “The Beast” (a nickname given to him by Bolt), Blake holds equal claim to the title “second fastest man ever”, sharing bragging rights with American sprinter Tyson Gay.
The Beast’s two Richard Mille watches, RM59 and RM61, are designed to be worn in action. They need to be light, strong and resistant to extreme vibration and directional motion as Blake’s hands pump opposing forces through his arms, torso and legs.
The asymmetrical shape of the cases and crown protectors on Richard Mille’s Yohan Blake watches is more than just a statement: to minimise drag on Blake’s wrist as he hammers down a 9.75 second 100m, the case has to work like an arrowhead. Light, streamlined and capable of parting the air as it slides through it, each Richard Mille Yohan Blake model is a precise piece of aerodynamic engineering.
The case shape also helps each watch sit unnoticeably on Blake’s wrist as he runs. On RM59, the overemphasised shape of the watch between 2 and 5 o clock prevent the crown from abrading the sprinter’s skin, while RM61’s crown protectors perform the same function, making a streamlined shape so the case has no protrusions to dig into the arm.
The bridges holding the tourbillon in place are a celebration of Blake’s nickname. Designed to look like claw marks, they’re hand-painted in the green and yellow colours of the Jamaican flag (unless you buy the limited edition “all black” Yohan Blake RM61-01).
RM61’s movement is treated with Titalyt, a process that supercharges the hardness and friction resistance of a metal to aerospace standards. First seen in RM016 - when it was a first for watchmaking anywhere - Titalyt treatments increase accuracy and longevity in the moving parts of a fine watch. They also enable Richard Mille’s sporting movements to retain their high performance in extreme conditions. And you don’t get much more extreme than being on the wrist of the second fastest man in history. Take your marks…