Richard Mille : Targeting extremes

RM 031 High Performance

Case : platinum, titanium bezel and screws, sapphire case-back Diameter : 50mm  Movement : openworked, mechanical hand-wound, double balance-spring, 36,000 vibrations per hour, double barrel, 50-hour power reserve, Arcap baseplate and gear-train bridges, PVD-coated titanium barrel and balance bridges, Fine Watchmaking finishes Functions : hours, minutes, small seconds, function indicator Dial : sapphire, hour-minute hands and luminescent hour-markers Strap : rubber Water resistance : 50m  Limited edition : 10


RM 028 Voiles de St Barth

Case : titanium, unidirectional bezel, sapphire case-back Diameter : 47 mm  Movement : openworked, self-winding, variable-geometry rotor, 28,800 vph, 55-hour power reserve, Fine Watchmaking finishes, PVD-coated titanium Functions : hours, minutes, seconds, vertical-display date Dial : sapphire, held by eight silicon braces inserted in the upper and lower grooves Strap : rubber Water resistance : 300 m


Presented in 2012 as the world’s most regular mechanical watch, the RM 031 by Richard Mille now comes with a performance certificate delivered after an internal procedure comprising 61 days of consecutive testing. It guarantees its precision timing with a variation not exceeding 30 seconds per month. Not only is that an exceptional rate (equivalent to less than 1 second per day instead of the -4 to +6 seconds tolerated for a classic chronometry certificate), but also a monthly average that is far harder to guarantee than a daily average. During the first 15 days, the caliber undergoes the usual tests of the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute), albeit with higher demands in terms of results. For the next 15 days, additional tests are performed with the caliber already cased up. This is followed by a 31-day period during which the watch is placed on a cyclotest machine, where it spins on its axis in one-minute cycles, with the hour displayed being compared with that of an atomic clock every 24 hours. At the end of this procedure, the average rate over a full month is established and, if it meets in-house requirements, Richard Mille issues a certificate that will be delivered with the watch along with the recorded daily measurements.

The quest for performance is a constant driving factor for Richard Mille. In the case of the RM 031, this concern is taken to extremes, notably thanks to a direct-impulse AP escapement in which the wheel acts directly on the balance oscillating at a rate of 36,000 vph. The transmission of the energy supplied by a double barrel is optimized by gear trains with a specific profile and distinguished by a 20° pressure angle on the teeth. The movement, boasting a sturdy construction such as one would expect from this brand, operates in an environment under argon – a chemically inert gas with a high thermal insulation coefficient. All in all, everything possible has been done to make the RM 031 a truly exceptional chronometer.

The exceptional standards of Richard Mille frequently apply to watches dedicated to sports and specifically designed for those competing at the highest level. The diver’s watches far exceed the demands of the criteria laid down in the ISO 6425 norm, particularly with their water resistance to 300 meters. The new RM 028 comes in a case with integrated lugs and topped by a bezel that is naturally unidirectional and duly stabilized. Composed of three separate parts, it is secured by 22 fluted screws ensuring a perfect fit and optimal tightening torque. A “Les Voiles de Saint Barth” special edition lit up by yellow accents on the bezel, crown and strap, celebrates the watchmaker’s support for this sailing event since 2010.

The annual Caribbean rendezvous is based on a genuine competition concept, and although accessible to all, it attracts some of the world’s most internationally renowned teams. Richard Mille naturally seized the opportunity to become involved as Main Sponsor. The fourth edition, which took place from April 8th to 13th 2013, drew over 60 sailboats competing in six classes, including the first participation of the Jolt 2 skippered by Peter Harrison, CEO of Richard Mille Europe. Les Voiles de Saint-Barth is enjoying remarkable development, and the last edition was unanimously considered to have surpassed those of previous years, on both festive and sporting levels. A dream setting, favorable winds, tactically sophisticated routes and fierce competition among the leaders ensured a breathtaking show throughout the week. In the stellar Maxi Yachts class, the winner was Swan 80 Selene skippered by Wendy Schmidt, who was awarded a commemorative RM 028 watch. The godfather of the year, Jim Swartz, won a grand slam with his TP52 Vesper in the Maxi/Racing class.



When it comes to sport, motor racing is a favorite territory for Richard Mille. The brand draws a great deal of inspiration from racing cars in creating highly sturdy watches ; its roster of  partners includes Felipe Massa, Sébastien Loeb and Jean Todt, and it sponsors classic annual or biannual competitions at Le Mans and Pau in France, at Imola in Italy and now also at Spa, Belgium. On May 11th and 12th 2013, the Grand Prix de Pau Historique brought together around 150 vintage cars. The famous race track, one of the last remaining ones to run through a city, along with the one in Monaco, was decked out in Richard Mille colors for the fourth consecutive time. Two weeks later, on May 24th through 26th, Richard Mille served for the first time as Official Partner and Timekeeper for the Spa-Classic raced on the famous Spa-Francorchamps track. On this occasion, the brand launched a new edition of the RM 011, a successful model symbolizing the Richard Mille style with its tonneau-shaped case, its innovative architecture, its high-tech materials and its highly relevant functions. This creation is indeed equipped with a flyback chronograph, a countdown timer and an annual calendar complete with large date. Its self-winding caliber features an exclusive variable-geometry rotor enabling individual wearers to adjust it to match their degree of activity. The RM 011 Spa Classic adopts the event colors with a logo placed at 12 o’clock, a blue-clad outer bezel ring as well as a red and white inner bezel ring and markings. It is issued in a 50-piece limited edition.


RM 011 Spa Classic

Case : microblasted titanium, polished case-middle pillars, DLC-coated pushpiece guards, sapphire case-back Dimensions : 50 x 40 mm  Movement : openworked, mechanical self-winding, variable-geometry rotor, 28,800 vibrations per hour, PVD-coated titanium Functions : hours, minutes, small seconds, flyback chronograph, 60-minute countdown, annual calendar Dial : Spa Classic colours Strap : rubber Limited edition : 50 units

Rédacteur en chef des magazines GMT et Skippers dont il est le cofondateur depuis 2000 et 2001, Brice Lechevalier est aussi à la tête de WorldTempus depuis son intégration dans la société GMT Publishing, qu’il dirige en tant que co-actionnaire. Il a par ailleurs créé le Geneva Watch Tour en 2012 et conseille le Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève depuis 2011. Côté nautisme, il édite aussi le magazine de la Société Nautique de Genève depuis 2003, tout en étant membre fondateur des SUI Sailing Awards (les prix officiels de la voile suisse) depuis 2009 et du Concours d’Elégance de bateaux à moteur du Cannes Yachting Festival depuis 2015.

Review overview