|Courtesy of Richard Mille|
The new RM 055 Bubba Watson is inspired by the RM 038 Bubba Watson tourbillon watch presented in 2011. Its mechanical movement in grade 5 titanium displays extreme skeletonization, with a PVD- and Titalyt® treated baseplate and bridges. This combination provides the whole structure with optimum rigidity and excellent surface flatness and finish, essential aspects for the perfect functioning of the gear train. The caliber RMUL2 is thus capable of withstanding accelerations of over 500-G’s.
The movement is equipped with a variable-inertia balance wheel, which ensures reliability in the event of impacts and during assembly and dismantling, thus improving the long-term accuracy of the timepiece. The regulator index is eliminated, and a more accurate and repeatable inertia adjustment is possible thanks to four small adjustable weights located directly on the balance wheel. The double-barrel mechanism helps to improve and equalize long-term torque stability: This is achieved by dispersing the stored energy within two winding barrels, equalizing torque as well as reducing pressure and friction on the bearings and pivots, resulting in improved long-term performance.
The RM 055 Bubba Watson is assembled using several sizes of spline screws in both the case and the movement. These screws age well and provide better control of the torque applied during assembly, and are therefore unaffected by the physical manipulations involved in assembly and disassembly.
The distinct construction of the RM 055’s case is designed to meet the demanding requirements of sportsmen. Thus the ATZ bezel is made from tubes of aluminum oxide powder injected at a pressure of nearly 2,000 bars. This high-pressure injection increases rigidity by 20 to 30% and reduces the material’s porosity to an absolute minimum. ATZ is known for its high scratch-resistance (1,400 Vickers) and its unchangeable color. Next to diamond, it is one of the hardest materials in the world. Long and difficult machining using diamond tools is required to create a perfect example of this complex, curved bezel and satin finish.
The case middle and back bezel are in grade 5 titanium with a protective white rubber casing. This rubber is injected at high pressure around the titanium components, thus insulating the movement from all vibrations. This special surface treatment also makes the watch very comfortable to wear.
A worthy successor to the RM 038 Bubba Watson, the RM 055 is a highly technical creation that is innovative, sporting and hand-finished in the finest watchmaking traditions.