Sébastien Ogier, new Richard Mille partner
As the drivers of the WRC Championship leave Monte Carlo for the 84th time, Richard Mille is delighted to announce his new partnership with the triple world WRC rally champion, Sébastien Ogier. Sébastien recently joined the Jura-based watchmaker’s family of sporting friends. He will wear the most iconic driving watch created by the brand.
At the age of just 32, this season the rally driver from Gap in France is driving the Volkswagen Polo R WRC wearing the RM 011 titanium flyback chronograph. He boasts one of the finest careers in rallying, less than 10 years after his debut. When he landed behind the wheel of the 2006 Peugeot 206 Cup, Sébastien Ogier also met his co-driver Julien Ingrassia, who has remained at his side ever since. Sébastien finished as best rookie driver with a podium place and sixth place in the cup. After winning the championship the following year, Sébastien Ogier was immediately recognized by the press and automobile professionals who agreed that he had a very bright future ahead of him, openly comparing him to another of the discipline’s great figures, Sébastien Loeb who in turn is also Richard Mille’s partner since 2013.
Sébastien Ogier’s career went global in 2008 when he competed in the J-WRC junior world rally championship. During the first leg in Mexico – and for the first time in the history of the competition – he won the race and earned one point in the WRC world rally championship. Enthroned as world champion in Corsica, in 2009 Sébastien Ogier progressed to the top category of the WRC with the Citroën Junior Team behind the wheel of a C4 WRC, winning second place in the Acropolis Rally and his first victory in the Rally de Portugal in 2010. Four years of dazzling progress in terms of both his driving and his performance record comforted Citroën in its decision to add him to the Citroën World Rally Team alongside Sébastien Loeb. In 2012 Sébastien Ogier’s career really took off with Volkswagen Motorsport. Accompanied as always by his co-driver Julien Ingrassia, he won the WRC world championship in 2013 by clocking up nine victories, 11 podium places, 111 scratch times and 290 points. He repeated these feats in 2014 and 2015 with 267 and 236 points respectively, making him the second best driver in the world in terms of victories.
Richard Mille was put in contact with Sébastien Ogier by his friend Nicolas Todt. The affinities between the watchmaker and the driver can firstly be explained by their shared passion. Sébastien makes no attempt to hide his enthusiasm when he talks about Richard Mille: “He’s not just any watchmaker; he has a big reputation in the car racing world. Richard Mille is also enthusiastic about the field and has strong ties to it.” This is undoubtedly one of the reasons that made it possible for the brand to support the sportsman in his discipline. Sébastien Ogier admits, “I had never driven with a watch before because they’re not made for it. But as Rafael Nadal says, a Richard Mille is like a second skin! The fact that it is light gives me confidence. Being inside a rally car isn’t like an F1 cockpit where space is limited, so the size of the watch matters less than the comfort. In my field, you’re constantly fighting against the clock to gain a few tenths or even hundreds of a second. So the reliability of the chronograph is another decisive factor. I live life in the fast lane, so timing is important. I am therefore very lucky to have a watch partner like Richard Mille.” As for Richard Mille, the watchmaker was naturally won over by the sporting performance of the triple world champion and while he admires Sébastien’s career, he values his great humanity even more. The two men also share a competitive mindset that causes them to always strive for excellence in their respective disciplines – it’s a perfect match.
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Atom Moore is a professional photographer who specializes in watch photography. He is the resident photographer for the Red Bar Crew in NYC and the man behind the camera at analog/shift.
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