Richard Mille : Increasingly high level performance

RM 031 High Performance
Case: platinum with grade 5 titanium screws, titanium bezel microblasted with vertical satin-finished edges and hand-polished, angles case back in sapphire Diameter: 50.00 mm x 13.90mm Movement: hand-wound movement (caliber RM 031, 50h power reserve), double barrel and balance bridge in grade 5 titanium, variable-inertia balance wheel and a direct-impulse escapement, baseplate and bridges in ARCAP, extreme finishing Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds and function indicator. Dial: Sapphire crystal (0.40 mm thick) with anti-glare treatment (both sides). Water resistance: 50m Limited edition: 10 pieces


RM 037 Automatic
Case: titanium, red gold or white gold, patented stem-crown construction Size: 52.20 mm x 34.40 mm x 12.50 mm Movement: skeletonized automatic movement (Caliber CRMA1 50h power reserve), rotor with variable inertia, fast-rotating barrel, baseplate and bridges in micro-blasted titanium, special profile for the teeth of the wheels Functions: hours, minutes, adjustable rotor geometry, oversize date and function selector. Dial: sapphire Water resistance: 50m

With the RM 031 High Performance, Richard Mille decided to create a very orthodox product, a watch set firmly in the realm of Haute Horlogerie and its associated expertise, which simultaneously combines great purity of line with components offering exceptional performance. All the experience gained over the last few years has been combined in the elaboration of this extremely precise watch. The new round case (50mm x 13.90mm) is made in four parts according to an exceptionally complex design, and has been chamfered, polished and brushed for a unique finish. Inside, the caliber RM031 is equipped with an AP direct-impulse escapement, combining a detent escapement and a Swiss lever escapement. The AP escapement provides improved chronometric results thanks to the direct action of the escapement wheel on the balance wheel in contrast to a Swiss lever escapement in which the lever acts directly on the escape wheel. Beating at 36000 vibrations per hour and fitted with two Elinvar spirals that are set in opposite directions, this high-demanding design caliber reaches a chronometric variation of only 0 to 30 sec per month. To ensure the excellent transmission of the power released by the double barrels, all the wheels of the movement have been optimized by a special profile or the teeth with a pressure angle of 20°. This feature, inspired by automobile transmissions, produces long, continuous transfer of power along the entire going trains of the High Performance escapement. The baseplate and bridges are machined from ARCAP, a material used for the first time in watchmaking by Richard Mille and renowned for its physical characteristics, which include corrosion-resistance and anti-magnetic properties. These qualities explain its frequent use in the aerospace, automobile and advanced electronics industries. These superlative technical characteristics are combined with outstanding hand-finishing operations. Many hours of work are required to produce each of the movement’s components, perfectly exemplified by the microblasted baseplate and escapement-holder, the polished, microblasted, beveled and circular-grained wheels, the burnished sections, or the soft-polished escapement bridges.
Launched in 2012, the RM 037 and the new automatic caliber CRMA1 represents an original construction by the Richard Mille movement designers. The design and execution of the watch demonstrates a complete conceptual in approach to the movement, case and dial. As a result, everything has been constructed according to extremely rigorous specifications, rather like the analytical engineering methods used in the design of Formula 1 where the chassis and the engine are developed in total union. 44 different stamping operations are required for the three main components of the case (bezel, caseband and case back). The RM 037 is fitted with a new stem-crown mechanism, patented by Richard Mille, where the crown is now integrated in the case. Its automatic winding caliber created from skeletonized grade 5 titanium sports an oversize date at 12 o’clock and a function window at 4 o’ clock. Two subtly shaped pushers are located at 4 and 10 o’clock. The pusher at 4 o’clock allows one to select the winding (W), neutral (N) and hand setting (H) functions with a simple push. An aperture located at 4 o’clock shows the function selected. The second pusher, at 10 o’clock, controls date changes, for instance when one is traveling or needs to correct the date for months with 29, 30 and 31 days. A simpler and easier method of correcting the date would be impossible to imagine.



RM 052 Skull
Case: grade 5 titanium (or gold), openings in the bezel and the case back, sapphire case back, bezel side  in sapphire Dimensions: 42.70 mm x 50.00 mm x 15.95 mm. Movement: manual winding tourbillon movement (Caliber RM052 with 48h power reserve), baseplate and bridges in grade 5 titanium, free-sprung balance with variable inertia, fast rotating barrel, central involute profile of the winding barrel teeth and pinion Functions: hours, minutes Water-resistance: 50m Limited edition of 21 pieces, which includes 15 pieces in titanium and 6 unique set pieces in red gold


RM 053 Pablo Mac Donough
Case: titanium carbide, microblasted front bezel, caseband and back bezel in grade 5 titanium. sapphire case back Dimensions: 50 mm x 42.70 mm x 20.00 mm. Movement: manual winding tourbillion movement tilted 30° (caliber RM053 with 48h power reserve), skeletonized baseplate bridges in titanium, free-sprung balance with variable inertia, fast rotating barrel Functions: hours, minutes and seconds Water-resistance: 50m Limited edition of 15 pieces


Polo is possibly one of the toughest sports for any tourbillon watch to have to deal with. Sudden turns, wild swings, the clash of horses and riders : these are forces far greater than the norms found in other sports. Known as the ‘king of sports’, polo is uniquely elegant and highly physical. For Pablo Mac Donough (Number One of the World Polo Tour Ranking), partner of the brand since 2011, Richard Mille had an idea for a totally new case design inspired by the tonneau shape and engineered to tolerate the extreme shocks likely to occur during a polo match. For the RM 053 Pablo Mac Donough, he created an ‘armored’ case in titanium carbide with two raised arcs leading to two viewing windows. The movement design and windows are tilted at a 30˚ angle. The seconds run with the tourbillon cage on the left viewing window and on the right the hours and minutes are shown. This angled view is ideal when seen from the rider’s saddle. The highly compact, totally new tourbillon movement design utilizes a highly skeletonized baseplate and bridges with a compact going train-winding barrel arrangement. Since the movement itself is ultra light and tightly unified, it is less susceptible to the centrifugal and centripetal forces generated during a game.
Through centuries the skull has become the emblem of rebellion and insubordination. Its previous associations having been usurped today by those of freedom and nonconformity. The RM 052 Skull is the visualization of these precepts. Where others may have been content to exploit the purely visual aspect of the skull, Richard Mille has taken the concept further by integrating it directly into the complete timepiece. The baseplate and bridges take the form of a grade 5 titanium skull. Richard Mille has pushed the concept further by integrating this into the movement. The upper and lower jaws hold the ruby of the tourbillon cage. The back of the skull is actually the movement’s center bridge. The skeletonized baseplate and bridges were subjected to rigorous testing to insure their optimal strength. The entire movement is connected to the case by 4 bridges that are inspired by the crossed bones from flags on pirate ships. The new case design, with its opened flanks, continues this visual allegory to the human skeleton. This new caliber represents the fullest expression of liberty and nonconformity and as such, very much typifies the philosophy of the brand.
The distinct construction of the RM 055 Bubba Watson’s case is designed to meet the demanding requirements of sportsmen. Thus the ATZ bezel is made from tubes of aluminum oxide powder injected at a pressure of nearly 2,000 bars. This high-pressure injection increases rigidity by 20 to 30% and reduces the material’s porosity to an absolute minimum. ATZ is known for its high scratch-resistance (1,400 Vickers) and its unchangeable color. Next to diamond, it is one of the hardest materials in the world. Long and difficult machining using diamond tools is required to create a perfect example of this complex, curved bezel and satin finish. This time-keeper is assembled using several sizes of Spline screws in both the case and the movement. These screws age well and provide better control of the torque applied during assembly, and are therefore unaffected by the physical manipulations involved in assembly and disassembly. The case middle and back bezel are in grade 5 titanium with a protective white rubber casing. This rubber is injected at high pressure around the titanium components, thus insulating the movement from all vibrations. This special surface treatment also makes the watch very comfortable to wear.  Its mechanical movement in grade 5 titanium displays extreme skeletonization, with a PVD- and Titalyt® treated baseplate and bridges. 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. The caliber RMUL2 is thus capable of withstanding accelerations of over 500 Gs.


Richard Mille has been the Principal Partner of Le Mans Classic since its first edition in 2002, which has become one of the world’s most renowned events for vintage cars. To mark its 10th anniversary event, Richard Mille unveiled two limited editions : the RM 008 LMC and the RM 011 LMC. Both timepieces have been designed using the same approach developed for the construction of racing cars, where chassis, engine and bodywork are imagined as a coherent whole with the single objective of optimum efficiency. The RM 011 Le Mans Classic watch features a skeletonized automatic movement with flyback chronograph and annual calendar. This watch also has a 24-hour counter positioned at 6 o’clock – a technical refinement that pays tribute to the Le Mans Classic race and to the four hundred cars and drivers who compete in teams on the great Le Mans circuit from 4 p.m. on Saturday to 4 p.m. on Sunday non-stop. Its chronograph counters, hands and date display at 12 o’clock are embellished with the colours of the rumble strips on the famous racing circuit in the Sarthe. More than 200 separate machining operations are required to make the barrel-shaped titanium case alone. The bezel, meanwhile, is satin-finished with a double “Le Mans” microblasted stripe in the center.



RM 055 Bubba Watson (left)
Case: rubberized grade-5 titanium caseband and back, ATZ bezel, sapphire case back Dimensions: 49.90 mm x 42.70 mm x 13.05 mm. Movement: manual winding skeleton movement (caliber RMUL2 with 55h power reserve), baseplate and bridges in grade 5 titanium coated in PVD, double barrel system, free sprung balance with variable inertia Functions: hours, minutes and seconds Water-resistance: 30m Bracelet: rubber


RM 011 LMC (right)
Case: titanium, satin-finished bezel with a double “Le Mans” microblasted stripe in the centre Dimensions: 50 mm x 40 mm x 16.15 mm Movement: skeletonized automatic movement (50h power reserve), rotor with variable geometry Functions: hours, minutes and seconds, flyback chronograph with 24-hour counter, oversize date and month Limited edition of 150 timepieces in titanium

Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.

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