Products can always be perfected. The latest timepiece from Richard Mille confirms the assertion.
The brand based in Les Breuleux, not far from the watchmaking centers of Le Locle and La Chaux-de Fonds, introduced its first case in pure sapphire three years ago with the RM 056 Sapphire Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph. It was certainly a great technical achievement, especially considering the complexity of both case and movement. With its evolution, the RM 56-01, Richard Mille raised the bar by adding baseplate, bridges and third wheel in sapphire.
The new Richard Mille Tourbillon RM 56-02 Sapphire, created for the 2014 Edition of the Watches & Wonders Exhibition (Hong Kong, 30 September - 2 October), surprises again by incorporating the cable suspended movement originally developed for the RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal. The mix of transparency, lightness and intricacy of the movement creates a breathtaking result.
The tension of the cable is controlled by a miniature ratchet at 9 o’clock. This entire cable unit is attached to a separate indicator located below 12 o’clock that helps to visually inspect the cable tension to ensure that it is operating within the designated norms.
Use of sapphire has been further extended to the winding barrel bridge as well as to the tourbillon and centre bridges.
Sapphire has a very high hardness of 1800 Vickers making this watch virtually scratch resistant by materials other than diamond. The three parts of the case of the RM 56-02 are milled and ground from blocks of solid sapphire, a task whose difficulty can be understood by just considering that 40 days of continuous, uninterrupted, machining are required in order to produce one case followed by 400 hours of machining and finishing for the different movement bridges.
The case is waterproof to 30 metres and it is secured to the wrist by a silky and highly comfortable translucent strap.
The Richard Mille Tourbillon RM 56-02 Sapphire is a limited edition of 10 pieces worldwide. The price of this exclusive marvel is about Euro 1,450,000 before applicable taxes.