Roberto Mancini is back on home turf after coaching the Saint Petersburg Zenit club for two years, and he has a new assignment: to make Squadra Azzurra, Italy’s national football team, the best in Europe and the world. While watching his team’s encounters from the sidelines, he will be sporting Richard Mille’s RM 11-04 Automatic Winding Flyback Chronograph Roberto Mancini. A new watch by Richard Mille featuring the official blue shade that gives the Squadra Azzura its nickname and ‘Il Tricolore,’ the colours of the Italian flag.
Mancini is one of those rare stars of the football arena to taste success as a player and as a manager. A deep-lying forward, Mancini is best known for his time at Sampdoria where he earned more than 550 caps, scored 132 goals, won the Serie A, four Coppa Italia, the European Cup Winners’ Cup and appeared in the final of the Champions League. He also won a Serie A title, three Coppa Italia, the Cup Winners’ Cup and the UEFA Super Cup with Lazio. He represented Italy 36 times, including in the UEFA Euro 1988 and the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
As a manager, he won Coppa Italia titles with his first teams – Fiorentina and Lazio – despite both facing bankruptcy. At Inter Milan, he won three consecutive Serie A titles. He transformed Manchester City into a European powerhouse and won their first league title in 44 years. Now that he is in charge of the Azzurra, there is good reason for optimism.
“Roberto Mancini has a quality that Richard Mille considers the fifth cardinal virtue, loyalty. When you manage your national football team, you have to give it all. When it’s Italy, you have to give more than your all, all the time! Elegant as a player, he has retained this quality in his role as a coach. A real gentleman of the sport, who combines creativity with technique,” reads a statement by the watchmaker.
The relationship between the two ‘RM’s dates back to 2013 with the launch of the RM 11-01 Roberto Mancini. According to the brand, it was born of discussions between the Italian manager and Richard Mille over how to address an issue coaches confront on the field, namely, how much playing time is left in a match? Thus, the idea of creating a mechanical watch with a dedicated dial for tracking half-time, extra time and overtime became a reality with the RM 11-01.
“As coaches, it is up to us to guide our players perfectly. That’s why time must be tracked and managed. It is one of the parameters that can mean victory or defeat. Every last minute, every second is precious and carries the potential to overturn the outcome of a match,” said Mancini.
“The way the watch works is incredible. The dial displays match time on the basis of two 45-minute halves and up to 15 minutes of stoppage time. Its operation appears extremely simple, but in reality, it is unique in watchmaking.” – Roberto Mancini
The flyback chronograph’s circular central minutes counter, placed within the hour markers, measure the 45-minute for the regulation half in white; while the remaining 15 minutes, marked in red and green, are for the stoppage time. For extra-time, it marks out 15 minutes and five-minutes for stoppage time in red. Pressing the pusher at 4 o’clock once actuates the flyback function and repositions the hand at 12 o’clock or zero minutes.
The enabler of this time-keeper is the Calibre RMAC3 skeletonised automatic winding movement. It supports central hours, minutes, seconds hands; an oversize date at 12 o’clock; month between four and five o’clock, and of course, the flyback chronograph. It has a power reserve of around 55 hours, but it can reduce to 45 hours with the chronograph running. The actual power reserve will vary depending on how much the chronograph features are utilised. The Variable-Geometry Rotor, an exclusive Richard Mille design, makes it possible to adapt rewinding of the mainspring to the user’s activity level.
The baseplate and the bridges are crafted from an alloy that is 90% grade-five titanium, 6% aluminium and 4% vanadium, resulting in a biocompatible, highly corrosion-resistant and rigid alloy. This alloy, mostly used in the aerospace and aeronautical industries, enables the gear train on the RM 11-04 to function effortlessly. The skeletonised baseplate and the bridges are subjected to intensive and complete validation tests to optimise their resistance capacities.
The case is made from Carbon TPT, which is nearly indestructible yet light, and offers exceptional shock protection. Carbon TPT consists of over 600 layers of parallel filaments with a maximum thickness of 30 microns. These layers are compiled and oriented at 45-degrees on a special machine, then heated to 120°C and subjected to a pressure of 6 bars. The Carbon TPT is then machined at Richard Mille’s factory. The complete case construction is water-resistant to 50 metres.