In the world of horology, ‘keep it simple, silly’ is not an axiom to live by.
The complex engineering taken to master a perfect calibre movement — of which the end-product, framed against a clear sapphire-crystal caseback — offers winding bridges and mechanised paths made to be gawked at. Richard Mille‘s newest RM 65-01 and its whopping 600-plus components sit amongst a rota of illustrious masterpieces; even still, it stands out as the most complex ever to leave a Richard Mille studio.
Ready, set, race
An affinity for auto-racing is made clear throughout Richard Mille’s history; in fact, the brand describes its sports timepieces as ‘racing machines for the wrist.’ It’s a passion not only in name, however. The execution of the RM 65-01 was inspired by the holistic approach taken when designing Formula One race cars; the timepiece’s movement, case and dial (while rigorously tested with standards to match each individual component) are synthesised from the very first ideation — no different to the made-to-measure harmony of the chassis and engine in a winning Grand Prix machine.
The RM 65-01’s colour-coded construction champion bright, primary shades — an aesthetic choice that harks to the instant recognisability of auto-racing colours, but also provides a legend to underline each watch function.
Need the time? Seek out yellow, enamelled atop the numbered hour-markers, the hours and minutes hands and the small seconds sub-dial at six o’clock. A quick date reminder? Green is your colour; carving out a vertical date aperture at the top-left corner. Red frames the chronograph’s winding mechanism; orange, the sweep-seconds hand and the 30-minute and 12-hour totalisers. Last but certainly not least, the single light-blue unit highlights the first split-seconds hand to appear on any Richard Mille automatic calibre.
Carbon TPT: A case study
Every surface of the RM 65-01 — from the bezel and caseband to the caseback — is crafted in water-resistant, tripartite Carbon TPT, with the crown, chronograph buttons and engraved plate meticulously micro-blasted, polished and satin-finished in grade-five titanium. The resulting textured appearance comes to life in a pattern akin to wood-grain; one that also conjures up images of tire skid marks on a Formula One circuit.
The aeronautical-inspired material construction of this timepiece enables a masterpiece that can withstand everyday wear; a lightweight, elements-resistant, ‘almost indestructible‘ luxury that can be enjoyed beyond to-be-seen occasions.
Rolled out in red
Small but mighty, the red pusher button — remember, the RM 65-01’s winding mechanism is colour-coded in red — at eight o’clock serves as tangible evidence of a Richard Mille milestone: The first in-house, patented rapid-winding mechanism, which sits alongside the typical automatic-winding and manual crown-winding mechanisms. 125 presses will achieve a full barrel reset, a function described as ‘very playful’ by RM engineers.
A feat described with ‘unfailing consistency,’ the RM 65-01’s mechanical brain is developed in partnership with Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier. An integrated movement with a high-frequency balance, six-column wheel architecture and vertical coupling orchestrate timekeeping accuracies that can only be deemed as superior; a staunch precision that extends to stopwatch calculations that anchor at 1/10th of a second.
Whether your heart is set on the Carbon TPT or the Red Gold and Carbon TPT model, an expectation for top-of-the-line technicity is — as usual with any Richard Mille masterpiece — irrefutable.
For pricing and availability, contact your local Richard Mille boutique: Various locations including Pacific Place, Shop 328, 3/F, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 2918 9696.