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Richard Mille - RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

Richard Mille celebrate the SMILE with the release of the RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley, a 50-piece limited edition with a price of CHF1,100,000
Drawn by Franklin Loufrani just over 50 years ago and first appearing in the pages of the French newspaper France Soir, the little yellow face of the Smiley has become a universal symbol that played a major role at the heart of pop culture across several generations.

An expression of positivity and optimism, the Smiley is celebrated by Richard Mille with the release of the RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley, an unconventional creation produced in a limited edition of 50 pieces.

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

The new in-house automatic tourbillon calibre powering the watch is highly technical and creative and took three years to develop. 

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

Around the Smiley’s radiant face, an array of miniature sculptures - a blossoming flower, the warm rays of the sun, a pineapple, a blooming cactus, a pink flamingo and a brightly-coloured rainbow - form a surreal scene, a ballet of decorative elements demonstrating true mastery in the craftsmanship of the infinitely small. 

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

Several technical and aesthetic challenges had to be overcome to create this composition. The dimensions and weight of the gold micro-sculptures created by the engraver Olivier Kuhn required particular care, as the assembled parts, each weighing less than a gram, must withstand every type of shock. It was then necessary to determine how to arrange the objects in the three-dimensional space around the central motif, the Smiley, not only to maximise their effect but also to facilitate their insertion by the watchmaker. 

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

The solution was to equip the RM 88 with two baseplates: one technical, to support the movement, and the other auxiliary, to secure the ornamentation on the left-hand side of the dial. This second baseplate was subsequently mounted onto the movement and serves to present the objects on an inclined plane for added volumetric effect.

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

The second challenge faced was the conception of a movement that allowed enough free space to display the multiple protagonists of this scene. The new CRMT7 calibre, a skeletonised automatic tourbillon movement with hour, minute and function displays, was developed in house. Its bridges and micro-blasted baseplate are made of grade 5 titanium, to ensure rigidity and flatness. 

The bridge of the micro-blasted, bevelled and drawn-out tourbillon is graced with a complex double PVD coating in black and gold, a finish that is replicated on the bridge at the back of the baseplate, accentuating its lightning bolt form. 

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

With every minute, the figurative small-seconds hand alternates between rain and fine weather. It glides its way over the ARCAP cloud affixed to the tourbillon and then hides beneath a small cloud in microblasted and satin-finished white gold. It re-emerges once again at the foot of a rainbow designed in four different types of gold. The rainbow itself has an alternated microblasted and drawn-out finish and represents 25 hours of craftmanship.

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

The Smiley figure in micro-blasted and painted yellow gold, dominates the scene from atop the additional motion-work bridge in microblasted ARCAP with polished anglage and drawn edges. Featuring a larger echo of the rainbow motif, this bridge gleams with faint reflections thanks to hand-applied varnishes, contrasting with its anthracite-coloured rhodium plating.

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

The finishing of each element on display is outstanding. The cocktail glass is an assembly of four parts, all in gold. The umbrella, the olive (1.7 mm in height), the 0.4 mm-diameter grooved straw – all polished – and the glass itself, its base micro-blasted to create the chilled glass, weigh a total of just 0.4 g. 

The gold flower above is mirror-polished, its petals brushed and rhodium-plated. The pink flamingo, 0.2 g of red gold, also undergoes multiple processes: its wings are polished and its feathers traced with the tip of a Dégussit grinding stone; its eye is made using the smallest beading tool in existence; its pedestal is micro-blasted and the part that depicts the grass and water is polished. The component is given a metallic pink PVD coating before the beak is painted black using a brush.

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

The quest for perfection is demonstrated by the green PVD-coated leaves, the microblasted and polished surface of the pineapple, the microblasted spines of the cactus in yellow gold, polished one by one to remove the PVD coating, and the sun, in microblasted gold with polished rays.

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

In keeping with watchmaking tradition, all finishing operations on the RM 88 Smiley are carried out by hand.

The 48.15 mm x 39.74 mm x 13.30  case is made of white ATZ ceramic – well known for its resistance to scratches, shocks and abrasion, as well as for its eternal whiteness – while red gold was employed for the caseband. The crown bears the Smiley sculpted in yellow gold.

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley
Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

Powering  hours, minutes and function indicator, the skeletonised automatic winding tourbillon Calibre CRMT7 beats at the frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour) with a power reserve of around 50 hours (± 10%).

The back of the RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley reveals the grade 5 titanium baseplate and bridges, a choice of material that guarantees corrosion-resistance and remarkable rigidity for excellent functioning of the gear-train. 

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

The rear bridge, in the form of a lightning bolt, receives a double PVD coating, like the tourbillon bridge. The involuted-profile gears generate a uniform pressure angle of 20°. These gear-trains ensure excellent torque transmission and thus optimal efficiency of energy transfers between the rapid-rotation barrel and the tourbillon’s variable-inertia balance-wheel. 

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley

The 3N yellow gold rotor, equipped with a OneWay winding system and ceramic ball bearings, is hand decorated including the bevelling, circular-graining and microblasting. In its centre, the heart of the weight reveals a black PVD coating.

The new Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley has a price of CHF 1,100,000 excluding local sales taxes. richardmille.com 

COMMENTS

Name

A. Lange & Sohne,122,AkriviA,9,Alain Silberstein,2,alarm,13,Alpina,13,Andersen Geneve,2,Andersmann,2,Andreas Strehler,5,Angelus,5,annual calendar,39,Anonimo,15,Anthony de Haas,1,Antiquorum,2,Antoine Martin,2,Antoine Preziuso,1,Apple,2,Apple Watch,2,Aquadive,2,Aquastar,1,Armin Strom,64,Arnold and Son,23,Astarwatch,1,Atelier de Chronometrie,1,Ateliers deMonaco,2,Atmos,1,Auctions,76,Audemars Piguet,73,Autodromo,1,automaton,2,BA111OD,1,Ball Watch,1,Bamford,2,Baselword 2022,1,Baselworld,8,BaselWorld 2013,50,BaselWorld 2014,53,Baselworld 2015,69,Baselworld 2016,27,Baselworld 2017,64,Baselworld 2018,75,Baselworld 2019,41,Baselworld 2020,2,Baume,4,Baume et Mercier,51,Bell & Ross,35,Bernard Lederer Universe,1,Bernhard Lederer,2,Bernhard Zwinz,1,bespoke,1,Blancpain,78,BLU,1,blue dial,3,Bonhams,2,Bovet,11,Brands histories,1,Breguet,106,Breitling,63,Bremont,1,Bremont Watch Company,4,Breva,2,bronze,25,Bücherei,1,Bulgari,95,Bulova,1,Burberry,1,C3H5N3O9,1,carbon,2,carillon,3,Carl F. Bucherer,2,Carl Suchy,1,Carrera,10,Cartier,44,ceramic,12,Certina,8,Chanel,4,Chaumet,3,chiming hour,10,Chopard,36,Christie's,7,Christophe Claret,5,Christopher Ward,10,chronograph,606,chronometer,35,Chronoswiss,5,Citizen,3,co-axial,1,column-wheel,7,complete calendar,21,complications,83,concept watch,5,Concord,1,constant-force,39,Corum,18,Credor,1,CSEM,1,Cyrus,25,Czapek,6,Dan Niederer,1,Davosa,1,Daytona,5,De Bethune,25,de Grisogono,3,dead seconds,20,detent escapement,2,DeWitt,9,digital display,1,dive watches,16,diving,8,diving watches,329,double regulator,3,Doxa,24,drei,1,dress watches,449,dual time,93,Ebel,1,Eberhard,33,Edouard Koehn,2,Edox,5,El Primero,37,Emile Chouriet,1,Emmanuel Bouchet,1,Emmanuel Breguet,1,enamel dial,10,enamelling,15,Equation of time,9,ETA,1,Eterna,18,exhibitions,1,F.P.Journe,35,Faberge,2,factory tours,3,Favre-Leuba,1,feature article,67,features,104,Ferdinand Berthoud,7,flyback,51,Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie,1,Fortis,8,Franc Vila Founder,1,Franck Muller,7,Frederic Jouvenot,1,Frederique Constant,14,Furlan Marri,1,FVF,1,Gallet,1,Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix,8,Georg Jensen,1,George Daniels,4,Gerald Charles,2,Gerald Genta,10,Girard-Perregaux,44,Glashuette,18,Glashuette Original,71,Glashütte,32,Glashütte Original,104,Glycine,4,GMT,105,GoS,1,GoS Watches,1,GPHG,17,GPHG 2020,3,GPHG 2021,3,GPHG 2022,3,GPHG2019,1,Graham,6,Grand Feu,5,Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve,15,Grand Seiko,24,Grande Complication,26,Grande Sonnerie,7,Greubel Forsey,36,greubelforsey,1,Gronefeld,10,Grönefeld,8,Grossmann,3,guilloché,6,H. 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Smith,1,Rolex,58,Romain Gauthier,11,Romain Jerome,1,Royal Oak,30,Rudis Sylva,1,sapphire,3,Seamaster,5,Seiko,31,SevenFriday,18,SIHH,3,SIHH 2012,4,SIHH 2013,25,SIHH 2014,36,SIHH 2015,43,SIHH 2016,44,SIHH 2017,40,SIHH 2018,43,SIHH 2019,53,Singer,5,Singer Reimagined,8,single hand,20,single-hand watches,23,Sinn,14,skeleton,27,smartwatch,9,solar energy,1,Sotheby's,5,Speake-Marin,4,Speedmaster,31,split seconds,15,sport,1,sport watches,801,Spring Drive,2,square watches,2,squelette,48,steampunk,1,Steinhart,1,striking time,16,SuisseMecanica,1,sunrise,2,sunset,2,Swatch,5,Swatch Group,18,Sylvain Pinaud,1,table clocks,4,Tag Heuer,148,technical insight,3,terra Cielo Mare,1,Theo Auffret,1,Tiffany,17,Tissot,6,titanium,5,top news,290,Torsti Laine,1,tourbillon,320,Trilobe,3,Tudor,31,Tulloch,1,Tutima,3,ultra thin,30,Ulysse Nardin,36,Unimatic,1,Union Glashutte,11,Urban Jurgensen,29,Urwerk,21,Vacheron Constantin,78,Van Cleef & Arpels,7,Vauchier Fleurier,1,Vianney Halter,5,video,1,vintage watches,3,Vulcain,10,wandering hours,1,watches,1,Watches & Wonders,39,Watches & Wonders 2020,19,Watches & Wonders 2021,28,Watches & Wonders 2022,34,Watches & Wonders 2023,1,Watches&Wonders,4,WatchesandWonders2022,35,WatchesandWonders2023,1,Winnerl,1,worldtime,49,Zannetti,1,Zeitwerk,2,Zeitwinkel,1,Zenith,100,Zodiac,9,
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Time and Watches | The watch blog: Richard Mille - RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley
Richard Mille - RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley
Richard Mille celebrate the SMILE with the release of the RM 88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley, a 50-piece limited edition with a price of CHF1,100,000
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