Components

Components

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CASE

The Richard Mille watch case is considered the most difficult to manufacture case on the market today. The tripartite, tonneau shaped case design curves in all directions - comfortable indeed for the wearer and time consuming in production and quality control. This typical Richard Mille ergonomic and wrist fitting form, used in every watch of the collection whether tonneau, round or rectangular in shape, requires total accuracy without any form of stress within the metal. The curved front and back bezel must match the caseband without even the slightest bit of tension in order that the sapphire glass will not be affected. These kinds of demands on case construction were the subject of an entire year of research and development.

CASE

CASE

The Richard Mille watch case is considered the most difficult to manufacture case on the market today. The tripartite, tonneau shaped case design curves in all directions - comfortable indeed for the wearer and time consuming in production and quality control. This typical Richard Mille ergonomic and wrist fitting form, used in every watch of the collection whether tonneau, round or rectangular in shape, requires total accuracy without any form of stress within the metal. The curved front and back bezel must match the caseband without even the slightest bit of tension in order that the sapphire glass will not be affected. These kinds of demands on case construction were the subject of an entire year of research and development.

With regard to the production of each Richard Mille case, 68 stamping operations are necessary on the basic forms of the three main component sections, (front bezel, caseband and back bezel), even before the actual cutting and milling can begin. The machine tooling process requires 8 days of machine adjustment for the bezel, 5 days for the caseband and 5 days for the case-back. Prior to this process, work on the methodology and programming the entire range of operations takes 120 hours, the drawings for the tools 130 hours, and implementing them 180 hours. Each rough case involves 202 machining operations. The complex shape of the case requires the use of advanced and costly 5-axis machining, with even the positive engraving of the Richard Mille name on the interior curving back of the watch taking a total of 45 minutes to complete, executed one case at a time. At the last stage, the pushers and their composite parts, the crown and various other details including water resistance testing, quality control, hand polishing and brushing of the case add another 10 days to the creation of Richard Mille’s ergonomic design.

BRIDGES

The major bridges for the winding barrel, torque and power reserve indicators (above) and the tourbillon (below) are bolted to the baseplate with titanium screws and special washers. Additionally they are cut out to allow for a specific amount of flexibility. Classical movement bridges are generally much more massive in construction, and certainly do not appear to float on pylons above the baseplate as these do. The baseplate itself has additional stiffening elements that increase the level of its rigidity to the extreme. These elements can just be seen on the right side of the cross-sectional view. The technical philosophy behind this is taken directly from the construction of F1 racing car chassis and steering constructions. The aim is to insure that those structures which require stiffness for ideal functioning are as stiff as possible, with the opposite being the case for those parts where flexibility is of prime importance. Stiffness is important for the movement plate is order to guarantee that each of the gear teeth can transmit its power fully without any loss or fluctuation of the energy being released from the winding barrel. The bridges however are able to move slightly in order to increase their shock absorbing capabilities.

BRIDGES

BRIDGES

The major bridges for the winding barrel, torque and power reserve indicators (above) and the tourbillon (below) are bolted to the baseplate with titanium screws and special washers. Additionally they are cut out to allow for a specific amount of flexibility. Classical movement bridges are generally much more massive in construction, and certainly do not appear to float on pylons above the baseplate as these do. The baseplate itself has additional stiffening elements that increase the level of its rigidity to the extreme. These elements can just be seen on the right side of the cross-sectional view. The technical philosophy behind this is taken directly from the construction of F1 racing car chassis and steering constructions. The aim is to insure that those structures which require stiffness for ideal functioning are as stiff as possible, with the opposite being the case for those parts where flexibility is of prime importance. Stiffness is important for the movement plate is order to guarantee that each of the gear teeth can transmit its power fully without any loss or fluctuation of the energy being released from the winding barrel. The bridges however are able to move slightly in order to increase their shock absorbing capabilities.

BASEPLATE

The limited series (30 pieces) RM 006 was a world premiere; the world's first tourbillon wristwatch built utilizing high-density carbon nanofibers for the movement’s baseplate construction. Carbon nanofiber, created under 740 bars and a temperature of 2,000 C, making it thermally insensitive and highly stable- therefore ideal as a foundation for obtaining excellent chronometric results for tourbillon based movements. The photograph here shows a close up of the movement baseplate. Extremely difficult to cut and drill with the accuracy required for watchmaking, this material from the aeronautics and space industry is highly resistant to shocks and thermal influence and also exceedingly stiff and ultra-light in weight. Carbon nanofiber proved itself completely unaffected by the forces at large inside the movement and even survived a crash without any timing irregularities after F1 driver Felipe Massa lost a wheel during a race and crashed at high speeds wearing his RM 006. These results prompted Richard Mille to implement carbon nanofiber in next generation versions of the RM 002, 003, 004 and 008, which now carry the suffix -V2 to distinguish them from the first models that are now no longer in production.
With its titanium case and without strap, the entire RM 006 weighs a mere 43 grams.

BASEPLATE

ROTOR WITH VARIABLE GEOMETRY

The RM 005 was the first automatic wristwatch in the world with variable rotor geometry, allowing the user to define the winding capacity and speed according to their lifestyle and activities, a technique utilized in all Richard Mille automatic wristwatches. The small 18Kt white gold winglets at the outer edge of the rotor are mobile and can be bolted into one of six different positions, thereby increasing or decreasing the centrifugal forces of the rotor.

ROTOR WITH VARIABLE GEOMETRY

ROTOR WITH VARIABLE GEOMETRY

The RM 005 was the first automatic wristwatch in the world with variable rotor geometry, allowing the user to define the winding capacity and speed according to their lifestyle and activities, a technique utilized in all Richard Mille automatic wristwatches. The small 18Kt white gold winglets at the outer edge of the rotor are mobile and can be bolted into one of six different positions, thereby increasing or decreasing the centrifugal forces of the rotor.

TOURBILLON

A complete tourbillon escapement with its cage, weighing only 0.34 g and totaling some 85 minuscule small parts, will require many hours of hand finishing under a microscope, followed by hours of pre-assembly before the watchmaker can use it in a movement.

TOURBILLON
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