Amidst a post-pandemic climate, Richard Mille has valiantly gone against the disruption with a steady momentum of new launches and innovations.
Enter the RM74-01 and RM74-02 In-House Automatic Tourbillon as we speak, a pair of novelties that are uniquely appealing and technically complex. A double act, similar yet differentiated—the timepieces exemplify the DNA of the avant-garde watchmaker with elements that boast of an unceasingly innovative streak.
At first glance, though the ultra-skeletonised heart of the two striking models instantly attracts our attention in their likeness, they are demarcated within close range by the fine materials used in their construction.
First up, RM74-01 flaunts a case in grey Cermet, a remarkable material that juxtaposes the extraordinary lightness of titanium with the hardness of ceramic with its exceptional resistance to corrosion and scratches.
Taking Richard Mille and microtechnology specialist IMI Group years to develop and design including its singular hue, grey Cermet is technically composed of a metallic zirconium matrix strengthened by high-performance ceramic inserts where the ingenious flash sintering technique is employed. Notably, the Cermet material—typically used for racing car brakes and aerospace’s external fuselage—boasts a density lower than titanium (4.1g/cm3) while its 2360-Vicker hardness is comparable to the diamond’s standard 2400 Vickers. To complement the three-section construction of the case are grade 5 titanium caseband, bridges and baseplate.
In tandem with RM 74-01, side by side and without missing a beat so to speak, is RM 74-02 with yet another Richard Mille exclusive watchmaking material, Gold Carbon TPT®. This challenge is proudly accomplished by incorporating a composite material, the unparalleled Carbon TPT®, with a noble metal, gold leaf.
Just like grey Cermet, Gold Carbon TPT® has entailed years of development in the creation of a resistance-and-lightness tour de force from alternating layers of Carbon TPT® with 24k yellow gold leaf at 45°. The result is a stunning contrast of matte black carbon and glints of precious gold including threads of 24k yellow gold spangled over the curved contours of the case silhouette—all impeccably achieved by specially adapted machining and cutting processes and tools. Complementing the radiant glow are the baseplate and the red-gold 5N caseband with polished pillars, as well as the yellow gold 3N-encircled crown.
From an outward impression, we now journey within to the twin cores of the watches to discover the two new versions of the fully in-house automatic tourbillon calibre. For the RM 74-01, the in-house CRMT6 calibre is its beating heart, while the CRMT5 calibre powers the RM 74-02. The CRMT6 calibre’s baseplate and bridges are crafted from PVD- and electroplasma-treated grade 5 titanium, distinct from the CRMT5 calibre rendered in yellow gold 3N and red gold 5N.
However, the two calibres beat to the same rhythmic mandate of a tourbillon regulator with a free-sprung balance wheel where the constant energy flowing from their fast-winding barrels is smoothly dispersed via the involute profile gear teeth for 50 hours of power reserve and mechanical ballet. Allowing the owners of the twinning but non-identical watches to personalise the winding according to their individual profiles are a variable-geometry rotor from which the two movements distil their energy.
The final compliment that can be paid to the RM 74-01 and RM 74-02 is slimline sophistication that showcases their respective tourbillons at 6 o’clock, majestically placed within their frames. Additionally, the hand-bevelling on the flange further enhances the movements, replete with the detailed touches of satin-polished surfaces, microblasting, hand-bevelling and rolled pivot joints on the movement and case.
Clearly, the peerless refinement of hand-finishing quality has elevated the grace and delicacy of each timepiece to perfectly illustrate architectural elegance and technical performance in high watchmaking.