TRUE INNOVATION CANNOT BE IMPOSED; IT MUST BE A TEAM EFFORT WITH ALL PARTICIPANTS IN AGREEMENT ABOUT THE FINAL GOAL.
The relationships that Richard Mille forges with our brand partners revolve around creative, technical, aesthetic and ergonomic developments. The value of such cooperation, especially with elite world champions, is priceless. The challenges that have been faced, first with Felipe Massa, then with Rafael Nadal and finally, more recently, with Bubba Watson, have helped us to progress in our metier as watchmakers and have encouraged us to continue devising new concepts in mechanical technology, watchmaking aesthetics and ergonomic functionality.
The RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1 weighs merely 38 grams, strap included, making it the world’s lightest split-seconds tourbillon chronograph.
A chronographic perfection combining a tourbillon escapement with a split seconds function.
Airbus is a name that requires no introduction as a world leader in the application of novel approaches to aeronautical design, in particular those aircraft created for personal clients by its ultra-luxury subsidiary Airbus Corporate Jets or ACJ.
It was only natural that Richard Mile and ACJ would join together to realise a horological masterpiece reflecting this synergetic approach with the creation of the RM 50-02 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph.
Our aim was to tackle the drawbacks of traditional chronographs, reducing for example the jump of the hand at the start of timing. We achieved this by reworking the entire gear train to reduce inertia.
In order to make space for the winding system with its variable- geometry rotor, we enlarged the case of the RM 004 and RM 008 significantly to create this new model of chronograph, an automatic
version of its predecessors. These new dimensions prompted a radical take on the architectural 3D layout and mechanical aspects — both characteristic of the brand — to the limit.
It was the skeletonized, pared-down structure of the mechanism that enabled us to showcase this aesthetic. We enhanced the ergonomics through grooved, non-slip push-pieces. The concave grooves of the crown also helped me to accentuate the tension in the use of space defined by the watch case. Each component comprises the aesthetic expression of its functionality.
This complex model, famed for its use by renowned sportsmen, has become a legendary flagship of the collection.
This split seconds chronograph, another recent caliber for the brand, unites all the brand's experience acquired in the fields of reliability, accuracy and supreme performance since its inception. In this ultimate split seconds chronograph, we have successfully managed to optimise the performance of every function, making it completely reliable and repeatable under all conditions.
Our storehouse of on-the-ground experience gained with our sporting partners under extreme conditions was exceedingly useful in the development of this creation.
The guiding concept begin the RM 027 was to bring a tourbillon into the tennis courts that was capable of withstanding the shocks incurred during the course of several hours of continuous play on clay courts, which can involve forces of several hundred G's, whilst remaining totally comfortable and unimaginably lightweight (less than 20 grams) - a feat unknown in the world of high horology. The whole of its mechanical architecture, weighing in at just 3.8 grams, was skillfully designed and constructed in taut suspension on a network of shock absorbers anchored in the thickness of the case.
Existing designs in high-performance mechanics had to be entirely rethought and retested for the creation of the RM 027. The resulting timepiece was worn by Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows, providing further impetus to a series of watches inspired by ultra- light mechanical technology at Richard Mille.
The baseplate of the RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal is attached to the case by 4 braided steel cables, each with a diameter of just 0.35 mm. These cables are held taut by an ingenious mechanism of tensioners (located at 3 and 9 o’clock) and pulleys, which act like pylons positioned at the four corners of the movement. Each cable is fixed to the tensioner, and passes over the upper pulley and into the movement, before returning via the lower pulley to finish in the lower flange. Once the watchmaker has threaded the cables, they are brought to the correct tension by rotating the central adjustment ring using a special tool.
Bubba Watson is noted for his original style of play, which is atypical and very efficient in terms of power and precision.
Richard Mille was fascinated with the idea of associating an elegant object featuring complex mechanics with the exceptional long distance striking force of Bubba's swing. The world of golf provided further inspiration, a blending of endurance, distance, the pinpoint concentration of energy at the swing, and the contrast between a moment of impact and the ensuing long trajectory towards a target. In this timepiece, a competition model, we selected materials that would guarantee ergonomic lightness and shock-resistance. The case is made of magnesium WE54 coated with Miarox® and the baseplate and bridges are in titanium. Two structural carbon struts, reminiscent of golf clubs, cross the movement to provide additional support to the cannon pinion during exposure to the high G's of powerful swings.