Ahead of its official debut at SIHH 2016, Richard Mille offers a look at the new RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat watch, a thinner version of its iconic RM 010 timepiece that doesn’t sacrifice the original’s aesthetics or performance.
On the surface, the iconic shape of the original RM 010 timepiece has been translated to a thinner, more wearable watch. However, to give the movement a sense of visual depth — a characteristic of every other Richard Mille piece before it — the designers had to come up with a solution that would offer the desired look while maintaining a robust structure, all within a very thin case.
According to Richard Mille, “The extreme use of skeletonization in the RM 67-01 carries many clues in this respect; however, a new approach to the dial construction carries the eyes from the edges of the bezel in three layers to the central area’s hour and minute hands.”
Uniquely, the Arabic hour numerals have been created from solid metal and mounted on two titanium rails that encircle the dial and are attached directly to the movement. Each numeral is filled with luminous material to offer easy night-time viewing. Another interesting design element is the date display, which is outlined with a luminous aperture at 5 o’clock, in place of an Arabic numeral.
A new automatic movement (Caliber CRMA6), which is only 3.6 mm thick, was created to fit inside the new case, which is crafted in titanium and measures 38.7 mm x 47.52 mm x 7.75 mm. The movement was “designed in-house by the engineers in Les Breuleux,” according to Richard Mille.
Created from grade 5 titanium, the mainplate and bridges have been finished with a combination of gray and black electroplasma treatment. The oscillating weight is in platinum, part of a “OneWay” winding system with ball bearings in ceramic; this system allows the barrel to be wound efficiently while maintaining the compact dimensions of the extra flat, skeletonized movement.
The back side of the movement, which, like the dial side, is skeletonized, is visible through the clear caseback. Among the components on display are the large, openworked winding barrel, the rotor, the going train and the bridges for the automatic winding mechanism.
Notably, even the three slotted screws on the dial side are unusual in that they turn in an opposite direction compared to the norm. Further, custom-made torque screws are seen throughout the movement, which ensure correct tension according to their respective application.
The 25 jewels movement runs at 4 Hz and has a 50-hour power reserve. Functions include hours, minutes, semi-instantaneous date, and a function indicator. The function indicator allows the wearer to see the winding, date-setting, and hand-setting modes that are activated as the crown is pulled out. Each position is indicated via a hand at 2 o’clock displaying the following functions: W (Winding), D (Date), and H (Hand-setting).
A free-sprung balance with variable inertia guarantees greater reliability when the movement is subjected to shock. The regulator index has been eliminated, making more accurate and repeatable adjustments possible thanks to four small adjustable weights located directly on the balance. Little details such as a fast-rotating barrel (5 hours per revolution instead of 7.5 hours) and a developed gear teeth profile (with a 20° pressure angle) increase the chronometric performance of the timepiece.
Prices for the Richard Mille RM 67-01 Extra-Flat will be announced at SIHH 2016.