In 2011, Richard Mille presented a watch with a new technical innovation: a model called the RM 030, powered by the new automatic Caliber RMAR1, which features a so-called “declutchable” winding rotor. Now the company has released a pair of limited-edition versions of the watch to be sold exclusively in North and South America, both with prominent black elements and appropriately “dark” names: the RM 030 Black Out and the RM 030 Black Rose.
As most watch savants know, the movement of an automatic wristwatch uses a small, turning rotor, activated by the motions of the watch’s wearer, to transmit energy to the winding barrel. However, it is easy to overwind the watch’s mainspring after it reaches its optimal point. Watchmakers traditionally guard against this problem by using a sliding flange that allows the spring to slip, thus preventing the movement from becoming overwound. However, this common system allows the build-up of harmful debris inside the winding barrel as the flange releases the excess energy of overwinding during longer periods, especially when the wearer is particularly active. This, in turn, can severely affect the watch’s accuracy.
Richard Mille’s solution, which took four years to develop, was equipping a movement, Caliber RMAR1, with a rotor that declutches automatically, meaning that the winding barrel is automatically disconnected from the rotor’s winding mechanism at the moment the spring is fully wound. Additionally, this new mechanism is linked to the power-reserve indicator, which helps to provide ideal winding control. This allows both the movement and the oscillator to work with the best ratio of constant torque/power to provide the best chronometric performance.
The first models of the Automatic RM 030 with Declutchable Rotor, which debuted at the 2011 SIHH watch fair in Geneva, were offered in titanium, white gold and rose gold cases. The two new models, now available at authorized Richard Mille retailers throughout the Americas as well as in the brand’s Beverly Hills boutique, add a new element of titanium with a black DLC (diamond-like carbon) treatment.
The darker of the duo, the RM 030 Black Out, uses the black-DLC-coated titanium for its entire case. The other all-black elements include the inner bezel, the crown protector, the rubber strap with deployant buckle, and the numerals on the skeleton dial. The watch features a handful of subtle red accents, including the date aperture, the tip of the central seconds hand, and the indicators for the winding and power reserve.
The RM 030 Black Rose, by contrast, uses the black-DLC titanium only for the middle caseband; the bezel and caseback are of rose gold. Here, red is also used for the date aperture, winding and power-reserve indicators, and the tip of the seconds hand, but also appears in the hour and minute hands and the crown protector. The numerals on the dial are in white. The Black Rose uses the same black rubber strap and buckle as the Black Out.
Each new model is limited to 30 pieces. Prices are $95,000 for the RM 030 Black Out and $105,000 for the RM 030 Black Rose. Details on the RM 030 with Declutchable Rotor are below the photos.
Movement: Caliber RMAR1, automatic; 55-hour power reserve; frequency = 28,800 vph (4 Hz); inertia moment = 4.8 mg.cm2; angle of lift = 53°; declutchable and adjustable rotor geometry; double barrel; bridges and balance cock made of titanium; PVD-coated barrel bridges; free-sprung Glucydur balance with variable inertia; baseplate and bridges in grade 5 titanium, wet sandblasted and Titalyt® treated
Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds, date, power reserve and winding indicators
Case: Black DLC titanium or rose gold with black DLC titanium caseband; dimensions = 50 mm x 42.7 mm x 13.95 mm; torque limiting crown in titanium; sapphire-blasted and hand-drawn surfaces; interior flanges in carbon fiber; spline screws in grade 5 titanium for the bridges and the case
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