Richard Mille, the luxury watchmaker, has unveiled its latest creations, the RM 74-01 and RM 74-02 In-House Automatic Tourbillons. These new timepieces boast fraternal twin personalities, with each model featuring a unique aesthetic design and distinct case materials.
The RM 74-02’s baseplate and bridges are machined from 18K 5N red gold and 18K 3N yellow gold, respectively. They have been microblasted and hand-bevelled and were subjected to extensive validation tests to ensure their durability and resistance capacities.
The watch’s balance wheel is a groundbreaking innovation, offering increased reliability against shocks and during movement assembly or disassembly, resulting in superior chronometric performance over time. The regulator index has been removed, allowing for a more accurate and repeatable calibration through four small, adjustable weights located directly on the balance.
Incorporated within the in-house CRMT5 calibre is a variable-geometry rotor, with heavy outside edges and a heavy edge ring in 18K red gold, a weight segment in platinum, and an Automatic OneWay® winding system in ceramic with ball bearings. This system allows the owner to adjust the rotor’s setting according to their activity level, with two moveable weights that can be fixed into place with spline screws.
The watch’s design, including its movement, case, and dial, have all been constructed according to extremely rigorous specifications. The casing ring has been eliminated, and the movement is fixed in place with titanium screws. The case is water-resistant to 50 metres, with two Nitrile O-ring seals and abrasion-resistant washers in 316 L stainless steel.
The caseband of RM 74-02 is made of 18K 5N red gold, while the case itself is crafted from a high-tech material called Gold Carbon TPT®, which consists of 600 layers of parallel filaments separated from carbon fibres. These layers are impregnated with a black matrix and stacked on a dedicated machine, varying the orientation of the fibres by 45° between layers and alternating them with 24K yellow gold leaf layers. The composite is then heated to 120°C at a pressure of 6 bars in a kiln similar to that used for the production of aeronautics parts, resulting in a stunning play of light and golden tones.
The skeletonised baseplate and bridges of RM 74-01 are made of grade 5 titanium, which is a biocompatible and highly corrosion-resistant alloy, widely used in the aerospace, aeronautics, and automotive industries due to its remarkable mechanical properties.
The RM 74-01 also incorporates a balance wheel, which provides greater reliability and accuracy, especially during assembly or disassembly. The watch’s regulator index has been eliminated, and four small adjustable weights directly on the balance provide more precise calibration.
The watch’s rotor is made with a variable geometry system, featuring a heavy outside edge and an edge ring in 18K white gold, a weight segment in platinum, and an automatic OneWay® winding system in ceramic with ball bearings. The bidirectional winding system allows for more efficient winding motion.
In addition, the RM 74-01 uses a material exclusive to Richard Mille, called grey Cermet, which combines the lightness of titanium with the hardness of ceramic. This singular grey-coloured material has a mass to volume ratio of 4.1 g/cm3 and a hardness of 2,360 Vickers, making it eminently suitable for use in bezels and reducing the overall weight of the watch.
The production process of grey Cermet is no less extreme than the material itself, involving heating and forming different materials together at high temperatures without adulterating their respective qualities. Richard Mille and the Groupe IMI have developed an innovative process that combines conventional hot-stamping with a series of bursts of high-voltage electrical current, known as flash sintering, to achieve a homogenous material.
The RM 74-01’s tripartite case is water-resistant to 50 metres, assembled with 20 grade 5 titanium spline screws and abrasion-resistant washers in 316 L stainless steel.
Richard Mille’s RM 74-01 and RM 74-02 In-House Automatic Tourbillons are the latest examples of the luxury watchmaker’s commitment to innovation and precision.
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