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Why Richard Mille's RMS05 Fountain Pen Costs $105,000

A mechanical movement at its core makes for an unusual collectible

by David Graver
on 25 January 2016

Fans of luxury Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille would not hesitate when reaching for their wallet for a timepiece with a price tag over $100,000. What happens, then, when the brand's artisan watchmakers take their mechanical know-how and apply it to another functional, heirloom collectible? This is what they've done with the new RMS05 fountain pen. A complex, visible movement within the pen's barrel allows for retraction and descension of its gold nib. But it's not so much the function that's impressive, but the way in which it is achieved. When the pen is placed in the cap, the nib retracts and winds the movement, which allows the nib to descend again for use when a push-button is triggered. This is done with a 12-crystal, skeletonized baguette movement and a recoil escapement (visible beneath a sapphire crystal window) more commonly found in watches with a striking mechanism—like mechanical alarm watches.

There are plenty of luxury fountain pens on the market though none as mechanically considered as this one. The materials used match those of any high-end watch—the white gold nib, grade five titanium for the movement's bridges, rhodium plating covering the gears. A machined NTPT Carbon material makes up the pen's body and because of the process in producing this specific carbon aesthetic, no two pens will ever be the same. Layer upon layer of carbon fiber has been heated, modified and then shaped. Finally, all surfaces are either microblasted or satin-brushed. From its four years in development to its limited production run (it's not a limited edition, but the number produced will be restricted by the complexity of its creation) and the weight it carries in hand, there's something both ridiculous and wonderful about a mechanically-powered pen that's unlike any other.

You can find the RMS05 at Richard Mille boutiques, where it retails for $105,000.

Second image by Cool Hunting, all other images courtesy of Richard Mille

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