Swiss luxury watchmaker Richard Mille has always been known for its iconic tonneau case and its sports watches, collaborating with some of the world’s most renowned and respected personalities.
Apart from the tonneau shape its watches are widely known for, here are two of its outstanding round sports watches.
RM 025 Tourbillon Chronograph Diver’s Watch
After creating watches for the rigors of land, the G-forces of the racetrack as well as the open seas, Richard Mille has now explored the depths of the ocean with his introduction of the RM 025.
With a DNA that is decidedly Richard Mille, it is however, at first glance, unlike any other Richard Mille creation.
This is in terms of not only its exterior appearance, but also its ability to deal with one of the harshest environments on Earth without difficulty.
Visually the watch breaks with the iconic Richard Mille case, yet this is a change born directly from technical necessity. Water resistance of this kind, 30 atmospheres (300m) following ISO 6425 diver’s watch norms, is only possible at these depths with a round case shape.
The unique tripartite case is complemented by the additional integration of the lugs into the case’s torque screw system, as well as the torque limiting crown and a new design of watertight pushers.
Its bezel is constructed of three layers, connected with 24 screws, turning unidirectionally following ISO 6425 norms in order to avoid timing miscalculations. The entire bezel system is screwed to the watchcase, making it absolutely stable as well as impossible to inadvertently dislocate or loosen.
This unique use of screws allows for perfect adjustment since the bezel is not tensioned into position. For clearer visibility under murky conditions, starting at 12 o’clock, the five-minute markers of the first quarter are highlighted red.
Within all this ticks the caliber RM 025, a carbon nanofiber tourbillon chronograph based upon the famed caliber RM 008, one of the major and uniquely new chronograph designs of the 21st century.
The RM caliber 025 unites two extremes: the complication of a tourbillon with the notorious complexities of a chronograph movement. This led to a number of new impulses, such as creating and manufacturing a number of parts such as the column wheel and levers in titanium in order to reduce inertia and lower energy consumption circa 50%. This greatly reduces friction on the spindle and eliminates the jumps and shocks of the chronograph hand during stopping and starting, adding to the watch’s precision.
Due to its complex assembly and testing, only a select number of watchmakers are equipped with the know-how to produce the RM 025, and it is only possible to produce a highly limited number of these watches per year.
It is available in titanium, fitted with 18-carat red gold lugs with a screwed and a rubber diver’s strap.
Tourbillon RM 36-01 Competition G-Sensor Sebastien Loeb
A collaboration with the most successful driver in WRC history comes in the form of the new RM 36-01 G-Sensor Tourbillon Sebastien Loeb.
Having won the world rally championship a record nine times in a row and setting a new world record on the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 2013, Loeb is highly respected and admired in his field.
This novel tourbillon movement has an indicator at 2 o’clock that displays the status of the circa 70 hours power reserve, a function selector at 4 o’clock and a G-force sensor reset in the middle of the round sapphire glass front.
With a case diameter of 47.70 mm created from carbon nanotubes for the caseband and titanium for the fixed bezel and caseback, the watch’s atypical design offers high visibility and contrast against the grade 5 titanium, black PVD treated movement parts.
The key to understanding this new creation can be gleaned from the rotating brown ceramic bezel: the G-force sensor can now be rotated manually to align in different directions, enabling drivers to view the lateral deceleration as well as longitudinal forces found respectively in corners, acceleration and braking on straights.
Directly connected to the bezel and sapphire glass, the sensor can indicate G-forces of up to 6 G’s. The scale indicates whether deceleration is safe (green zone) or if it reaches a critical threshold for the pilot (red zone). Resetting to 0 is quickly accomplished with a simple press of the central pusher.
This construction is a real technical breakthrough for watchmaking, requiring complex assembly and adjustment during construction, with part of the movement on the baseplate whilst other movement parts are attached to the bezel/sapphire glass construction that is mobile – turning and adaptable, yet part of an exact timekeeping mechanism.
Created in a limited edition of 30 pieces, Loeb will be wearing this exceptional timepiece during WTCC competitions and on all other motorsport events in which he will participate.