Richard Mille, surprising many of its loyalists at the time, joined the slimmed-down watch revolution in 2011 with the launch of the first RM 33-02, whose svelte 6.3-mm-thick case housed a skeletonized, self-winding caliber only 2.6 mm tall. Just in time for the dawn of a new decade, the company has unveiled a new, even more streamlined version of the RM 33-02 Automatic in a Carbon TPT case.
The watch joins Richard Mille’s eclectic lineup as the first round-cased automatic watch in Carbon TPT, a high-tech material the manufacturer introduced into watchmaking back in 2013 (details on its construction and characteristics here) and which it has been utilizing in many of its most high-profile models since. The 41.7-mm case of the new RM 33-02, downsized from the original’s 45.7 mm, has been reworked to project a sportier style than its predecessor, with taut lines and curves and weight-saving hollows. The three-part case has a middle section made of satin-finished 18k rose gold for a touch of luxury (the original RM 33-02 models had precious metal cases); the bezel, case middle and back are securely anchored by 14 spline screws made of titanium and abrasion-resistant washers made of steel. The lugs flow seamlessly into the rubber strap, which visually prolongs the two indentations positioned at 6 and 12 o’clock on the bezel. Of course, the RM 33-02’s roundness, as well as its thinness, are notable for Richard Mille, a watchmaker widely known for its
The bridges of the skeletonized, ultra-thin Caliber RMXP1 — based on, but heavily modified from, the Vaucher 5401 — are visible through the sapphire dial and its 5n gold hands and hour markers, while the solid platinum, bidirectonal micro-rotor, a device used to minimize weight and thickness of the overall movement, is positioned off-center on the rear side and on display through the clear caseback. Among this in-house movement’s attributes are a free sprung balance with variable inertia, beating at 3 Hz, which provides increased reliability when subjected to shocks and better chronometric performance over time; a baseplate and bridges made of titanium, sandblasted and treated with Titalyt; the use of four small adjustable weights directly on the balance wheel, instead of a traditional regulator index, for a more accurate and repeatable adjustment; and a 45-hour power reserve. The solid metal, stencil-look Arabic hour numerals on the dial side are mounted on two linked, rigid titanium rails that are attached directly to the movement.
The Richard Mille RM 33-02 Automatic is limited to 140 pieces worldwide and priced at $145,000.