|Courtesy of Richard Mille|
The concept of performance, whether chronometric or technical, has been an obsession at Richard Mille ever since the brand was founded in 2001. It recurs in each of its designs, developments and creations.
Innovation, original concepts and the use of new, increasingly high level performance materials have enabled the creation of some truly outstanding pieces, such as the RM 015 Perini Navi with its subtle representation of the nautical world, the RM 025 with its tourbillon chronograph movement that is water-resistant to 300 meters, or the more recent RM 050 Felipe Massa tourbillon split seconds chronograph, one of the most complex movements of its kind in the market.
With the RM 031 High Performance, Richard Mille decided to create a very orthodox product, a watch set firmly in the realm of Haute Horlogerie and its associated expertise, which simultaneously combines great purity of line with components offering exceptional performance. All experience gained over the last few years have been combined in the elaboration of this extremely precise watch.
The caliber RM031 is equipped with an AP direct-impulse escapement. Developed by APR&P for Audemars Piguet , this new escapement represents a subtle combination of a detent escapement and a Swiss anchor escapement. The AP escapement provides an improved chronometric results thanks to the direct action of the escapement wheel on the balance wheel in contrast to a Swiss anchor escapement in which the anchor acts directly on the escape wheel.
The AP escapement beats at 36000 vibrations per hour and is fitted with two Elinvar spirals that are set in opposite directions. It delivers a well improved efficiency. A dart is specifically designed for this kind of escapement, which prevents any over-banking. The objective is achieved: this high-demanding design caliber reaches a chronometric variation of only 0 to 30 sec per month.
To ensure the excellent transmission of the power released by the double barrels, all the wheels of the movement have been optimized by a special profile or the teeth with a pressure angle of 20°. This feature, inspired by automobile transmissions, produces long, continuous transfer of power along the entire going trains of the High Performance escapement.
The baseplate and bridges are machined from ARCAP, a material used for the first time in watchmaking in the Richard Mille caliber RM002. ARCAP is renowned for its physical characteristics, which include corrosion resistance and anti-magnetic properties. These qualities explain its frequent use in the aerospace, automobile and advanced electronics industries.
These superlative technical characteristics are combined with outstanding hand-finishing operations. Many hours of work are required to produce each of the movement’s components, perfectly exemplified by the micro-blasted baseplate and escapement-holder, the polished, micro-blasted, beveled and circular-grained wheels, the burnished sections, or the soft-polished escapement bridges.
The new round case (50 mm x 13.90 mm) is made in four parts according to an exceptionally complex design, and has been chamfered, polished and brushed for a unique finish. Lastly, in a perfect demonstration of the attention devoted to every detail, the lugs are carefully designed to extend the lines of the case while following the curve of the strap.
The RM 031 is available in a limited edition of 10 platinum pieces.