Richard Mille long ago earned its spot in the upper echelon of firms bringing new and avant-garde materials to watchmaking — from ceramics to forged carbon to quartz TPT and beyond. With the use of its new, exclusive grey cermet material in the new RM 11-05 Automatic Flyback Chronograph GMT, the automotive- and aerospace-influenced brand further burnishes its credentials as a materials innovator.
As is often the case with Richard Mille’s ultra-complex timepieces, the RM 11-05 packs a number of functions inside its 50-mm x 42.7-mm tonneau-shaped case, all driven by its skeletonized, self-winding movement: a flyback chronograph with counters at 6 and 9 o’clock; a GMT display with a luminous hand, easily adjustable by a pusher (at 9 o’clock on the case); and an annual calendar with a semi-instantaneous large date display at 12 o’clock and months indicated by Arabic numerals on a scale between 4 and 5 o’clock. The chronograph, operated by sleekly designed pushers between 1 and 2 o’clock and between 4 and 5 o’clock, also includes a countdown mode, which uses a 60-minute-marked skeletonized disk in place of a hand so the user can read minutes elapsed as well as remaining minutes.
The warm gray color of the Cermet case comes from its mixture of metallic zirconium with high-performance ceramic inserts, heated and pressed together into a homogenous whole and notably excluding elements such as nickel and cobalt — normally used in this family of hard materials but deemed “undesirable binders” by Richard Mille’s partners, the micro-technology firm IMI Group, in its mandate to adhere to Europe’s REACH standards of chemical safety. Grey Cermet, whose density is less than that of titanium and whose hardness is 2,360 Vickers — nearly equal to that of diamond, at 2,400 Vickers — is the result of a process called “flash sintering,” which adds a series of powerful electric pulses to the classic hot stamping process. The substance, used in ballistics, aerospace fuselage components, and brakes for competition vehicles, is here applied to the watch’s bezel, which is added to a caseband made of carbon TPT and a back made of grade 5 titanium.
Richard Mille’s Caliber RMAC3, visible behind the caseback’s barrel-shaped sapphire window, is decked out with all the technological advancements for which the brand has become known, which include a skeletonized baseplate and bridges made of grade 5 titanium; a variable-geometry rotor that allows for winding of the mainspring based on a user’s activity level; a 50-hour power reserve stored in a double barrel for greater long-term performance; and titanium spline screws (also used in assembling the case) for greater torque control. The RM 11-05 Automatic Flyback Chronograph GMT is a limited edition of 140 pieces, priced at $215,000 and available as of July 2020.
|Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph with flyback and countdown function, annual calendar with bug date and month display, GMT
|Caliber RMAC3, automatic, skeletonized, baseplate and bridges in grade 5 titanium, wet-sandblasted and PVD treated, anglage and hand polishing, burnished pivots, diamond-polished sinks, chamfered wheels, 68 jewels, 28,800 vph frequency, 50-hour power reserve
|Caseband in Carbon TPT, caseback in grade 5 titanium, bezel in grey Cermet; grade 5 titanium crown; antiglare sapphire crystal, water resistant to 50 meters
|Bracelet and clasp:
|Diameter = 50 mm x 42.7 mm, height = 16.15 mm
To discover Richard Mille’s earlier 2020 release, the RM 33-02 Automatic, click here.