Narco Bling: Top 6 Watches of Mexican Drug Lords

A redux of a topic I published on nearly six years ago (see: Narco Bling: The Watches of Mexican Drug Kingpins, July 10, 2009), self-proclaimed citizen investigative journalist website bellingcat.com recently published a review of the reach of Swiss luxury brands among the Mexican drug lords by analyzing social network profiles of three high ranking members of the infamous Sinaoloa drug cartel:  Ivan and Alfredo Guzmán, two of the most influential sons of El Chapo Guzmán, and José Rodrigo Aréchiga-Gamboa, alias “El Chino Ántrax” (who was arrested in Netherlands at the request of the US authorities in late 2013). The Top 6 Watches of Mexican drug lords, according the bellingcat.com’s analysis, are as follows:

      1. Richard Mille
      2. Hublot
      3. Rolex
      4. Audemars Piguet
      5. Urwerk
      6. Romain Jerome

While the top four brands are perhaps not surprisingly given the narco’s penchant for watches that are large, expensive and/or ostentatious, interesting occupants of the #5 and #6 slots were the more obscure independent brands Urwerk and Romain Jerome.  

There is disheartening commentary in the report as well.  The bellingcat author notes, “in times of economic hardship, the flamboyant lives of drug barons are appealing to millions of young and poor Mexicans abandoned by the state…”

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I must note that the quality of bellingcat’s analysis may be subject to scrutiny, particularly as the author notes that the authenticity of the social media accounts could not be verified (though, perhaps for obvious reasons).  And also, we all know how easy it is to make oneself look richer than one really on social media simply by taking photos from other accounts and claiming them as one’s own.  Bellingcat.com was launched via a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 and has been no stranger to controversial articles.  Even so, I think the analysis is worth a read.

Please click here to see the full story (including many more pics, commentary “Tracking Swiss Watches in Sinaloa: Top 6 Luxury Brands Among Mexican Drug Lords” over at Bellingcat>>>

Richard Mille RM 055 All Grey Boutique Edition (Bubba Watson)

Richard Mille RM055 All Grey Bubba Watson Boutique Edition - Perpetuelle

Limited to just 50 pieces, the RM 055 All Grey Boutique Edition is the newest iteration of the popular RM 055 Bubba Watson series by Richard Mille. The RM 055 Boutique Edition is available only at select Richard Mille Boutiques in Europe and the Middle East.  This watch has an upper bezel created using shot-blasted titanium carbide (TiC), a titanium and carbon alloy with a hardness of 1450 Vickers.  TiC was first used by Richard Mille in the creation of the armored case of the Tourbillon RM 053 Pablo Mac Donough which debuted in 2012. Its hardness enables it to withstand extremes and therefore ensures outstanding durability.

Richard Mille RM 055 All Grey Boutique Edition

Limited Edition 50 pieces (105,000 swiss Francs per)

Richard Mille RM055 All Grey Bubba Watson Boutique Edition detail - Perpetuelle

The caseband and caseback are made using shot-blasted titanium. The manufacturing process involves shot-blasting the grade 5 titanium case with miniscule glass beads at a low pressure to ensure an even finish and thus creating the ‘all grey’ effect.  The manual winding caliber RMUL2 is skeletonized, and made of grade 5 titanium with a PVD- and Titalyt treated baseplate and bridges.  According to Mille, this combination provides the whole structure with optimum rigidity and excellent surface flatness and finish, essential aspects for the perfect functioning of the gear train.  Originally designed in collaboration with Bubba Watson, one of the most powerful hitters on the PGA Tour, the caliber RMUL2 is capable of withstanding accelerations of over 500-G’s.

Sweet looking watch!

Richard Mille Unveils Two Felipe Massa 10th Anniversary Limited Editions

With Richard Mille’s collaboration with Formula 1 superstar Felipe Massa now approaching its 10 year anniversary, and Massa’s 40th GP podium achieved last weekend in Austria, Richard Mille has dedicated a special collection of RM 056 and RM 011 timepieces to Felipe Massa, appropriately named ‘10th Anniversary’.  Brazilian Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa is the first sporting figure to have joined the Richard Mille family. A long-time “test driver” for Richard Mille watches, it was he who enabled the brand to initiate and accomplish astonishing feats in watchmaking development. Such triumphs included the manufacture of a carbon nanofiber baseplate, first tested with the RM 006 FM then used in a number of other models, as well as the processing of new materials such the Alusic cases on the RM 009 FM.

The RM 056 and RM 011 pieces from the ‘10th Anniversary’ collection are inspired by the driver’s racing colors. So the flanges, transfers, push-pieces, and crowns are bedecked in blue and yellow, whilst Felipe’s logo is subtly placed at 1 o’clock. On the RM 011, the number 19, Felipe’s race number, has been cleverly reworked to suggest a 12 on the sapphire dial. The final flourish on these exceptional models is Felipe’s signature engraved on the reverse.

Exclusivity defines this ‘10th Anniversary’ collection. Just ten of the RM 056 will be produced, while the RM 011 will be issued in a limited edition of 100 pieces.

Click thru for high res pics and details

Rafael Nadal’s Watch: The New Richard Mille Tourbillon 27-02 with Quartz TPT Case

Richard Mille 27-02 Rafal Nadal - Perpetuelle

Wow.  Just Wow.  Richard Mille raises the bar again.  In the run up to the 114th French Open, Richard Mille unveils the new RM 27-02 tourbillon, a watch made for tennis superstar Rafael Nadal.  Nadal will be vying for his tenth title at the French Open while wearing the new RM 27-02.  This is the fifth such watch to come out of Mille’s partnership with Nadal which began with the RM 027 in 2010, followed by the RM 035 in 2011, the RM 27-01 in 2013, and the RM 35-01 in 2014 (my hands-on).  But I must say, the new 27-02 tops them all.  The bezel and case on this watch will blow your mind — exclusive and exotic…signature Richard Mille.   The 27-02 will be limited to 50 pieces.  One can be yours for the tidy sum of 770,000 Euros (about $850,000 on a straight f/x conversion).

Richard Mille RM 27-02 on Rafa Nadal

Detailed looks and specs, on the click