Richard Mille launches its most complicated timepiece yet
A slick new collaboration between Richard Mille and Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) has produced the most complicated timepiece yet – with a hefty price tag to match.
Three years ago, the bespoke private aircraft manufacturer joined forces with Mille to co-design the RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph (above), which was limited to just 30 pieces.
Now with passion and precision at the forefront of a beautiful new design, the stunning RM 62-01 Tourbillon Vibrating Alarm ACJ is worth a staggering £996,000 and is another great choice for a frequent flyer.
The most complicated watch to date from Richard Mille contains 816 components, two barrels, seven hands, 11 display and a tourbillon cage, not to mention an oversized date and a 70-hour power reserve. Impressive, hey?
And with only 30 limited editions available, it’s not hard to see why the cost is so high.
This timepiece features a steel and titanium caseback and bezel while its second bezel is shaped like an airline window but created from a carbon and black resin composite known as Carbon TPT.
While it seems every last detail of the technical elements are on display in line with Mille’s ever-contemporary watchmaking, the timepiece is still incredibly simple to use.
Pressing the crown pusher down allows you to flick between five functions including hand setting, alarm setting, UTC setting, winding and a neutral position.
And the airplane references continue with the colours of the hands and indexes with bright shades indicative of cockpit lights while the dark , carbon is remarkably similar to the dark wood panelling often found on private jets.
But our favourite function is the discrete alarm that works entirely on vibrations which can only be felt by the wearer – so no hammers striking a pillar or gong.
This is achieved by using a special rotating mass, machined from a tiny piece of white gold and similar looking to an automatic winding rotor. It spins so fast at 5,400rpm that it creates a vibration that can’t be heard.
The combination of carbon and titanium ensures that vibrations produced by the alarm are transferred to the wrist, rather than to the movement.
Incredibly, one of Mille’s watch constructors worked tirelessly for five years to build this watch, making sure that the alarm didn’t interfere with the manual-winding movement – even creating four prototypes before settling on the final version.
But work doesn’t stop there for the prestigious watch brand, which has been showing off some of its best components at Frieze London which ended on Sunday. (6 Oct) The fair featured more than 160 of the world’s leading galleries.
The column wheel of the split second chronograph RM 008, was one of the offerings being showcased.