4 unusual Richard Mille watches that depart from the brand’s tonneau-shaped tradition
Plus, one of Richard Mille’s most complex watches ever made.
RM 25: DEEP END
For many brands, creating round watches is simply a decision that makes economic sense: Circular cases are, by far, the most popular in the world. For Richard Mille, however, the RM 25 Tourbillon Chronograph Diver’s Watch was a break from the brand’s tonneau-shaped tradition. The manually wound timepiece, equipped with a tourbillon and a chronograph, is water-resistant to 300m. This is best achieved with a round case, because edges are tricky to fully seal, especially when combined with the high pressure at such watery depths.
The bezel, as you would expect to find in a diver’s watch, is unidirectional to prevent potentially dangerous
timing miscalculations when one is deep underwater. Unlike most other timepieces, however, it comprises three layers that are connected with 24 screws – and this entire structure is then screwed to the case for maximum stability.
RM 31: PURITY OF THOUGHT
With the RM 31 High Performance, the brand set out to make “a very orthodox product” – although it is certainly a distance away from the mental image that appears in our head when one says “traditional watch”. Except, perhaps,
for its round form. Going back to basics, reliable timekeeping excellence was the key aim for the brand when conceptualising this timepiece, which has a deviation of around 20 seconds a month. Pretty impressive when one considers that a variation in accuracy of five to eight seconds a day is generally considered pretty good. This was made possible by equipping the Calibre RM 031 with a high-frequency escapement developed by movement specialists APRP (Audemars Piguet Renaud et Papi).
RM 36-01: FAST AND FURIOUS
Right smack at the heart of the RM 36-01 Competition G-Sensor Sebastien Loeb is a large wheel-like structure that channels the speedy world of motor sports. It’s actually a g-sensor that can be turned in the direction of the force the wearer wishes to calculate – whether it’s acceleration, deceleration or turning. And why would one need such a thing on one’s wrist? Well, the idea is that professional race drivers like world rally champion Loeb experience strong forces when they decelerate, accelerate and brake – and the g-sensor, which can indicate forces of up to 6 g’s, allows them to know how much of a beating their bodies are taking.
RM 39: HIGHLY COMPLICATED
Made of some 1,000 parts, the RM 39 Aviation E6-B Flyback Chronograph remains Richard Mille’s most complex watch since it was launched in 2012. It’s complex enough to warrant six different pushers to work its aviation-centric functions. A key feature is the flyback chronograph that is protected from malfunctioning, even if the user accidentally depresses more than one pusher at once – an entirely forgivable mistake when you’re keeping a machine aloft tens of thousands of metres in the sky. Additionally, the watch features the E6-B slide rule, which is used in aviation and is here integrated with the watch’s bidirectional bezel, and can be used to calculate measurements such as fuel burn, flight times and density altitude.