Test Bench

One of the most exceptional adventures in master watch making began with the new millenium: Richard Mille.

RM005 N°1000

A reference to the Master

The Watch Quote™ - February 12th, 2006



In the same way that Godard initiated the “New Wave” in cinema, Richard Mille has turned the conventions of prestige watch making upside down by coming up with a revolutionary concept to meet the high expectations of a handful of wealthy enthusiasts, ready to pay any price for their dream watch. Unique design, high-tech materials and ultra-innovative architecture, every detail makes a RICHARD MILLE watch an exclusive timepiece full of character and a look that is instantly recognisable. The delivery of the 1000th example of the Richard Mille RM005 in Paris, has given us the opportunity for an admiring glance in the direction of this contemporary master of the art, and you the chance to discover what could justly be called “a symbol of exceptional watch making”…

Richard Mille RM005 N°1000

Richard Mille,

textbook case and revolution.




Since 1999, when he decided to launch his brand, Richard Mille has consecrated his time to becoming familiar with the high expectations of privileged clients. Many hours of discussion with Laurent Picciotto, recognised as an enthusiastic discoverer by the most elite of an international clientèle, have resulted in marketing solutions for his project and the new brand’s position right from the start at the top of the scale of already very high prices.

The idea is to put revolutionary watches onto the market, using the most modern technical materials and putting into practice an absolutely unique architecture. Inspired by automobiles and leading edge technology, Richard Mille has called upon the best watch makers of Geneva to develop a wristwatch to a specific design: the RM001 Tourbillon.

From its launch in 2001, the RM001 Tourbillon, sold for almost a million French francs, immediately found a clientele, as well as causing much amusement in the watch making world. But how was a new watch making brand able to achieve such miraculous success to the detriment of brands established for generations on this market? Truly a textbook case.

Richard Mille rapidly consolidated his success by developing a whole range, creating the RM002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 008 and RM009.


RM001

RM002

RM003

RM004

RM005


RM006

RM007

RM008

RM009

The arrival of every new RICHARD MILLE reinforces the success of its older siblings, and it has taken just five years for the young watch making brand to acquire its letters patent and make a name for itself, while at the same time becoming one of the world leaders in the field of master watch making.

Richard Mille,

the brand coveted by everyone.




At between 28,000 and nearly 500,000 euros tax included, the RICHARD MILLE range has become the cherished baby of all the wealthiest people in the world. There isn’t a single star, dynamic company director or crowned head of state now who doesn’t fall for a RICHARD MILLE!

Last September, during the last Only Watch sale in Monaco, a unique RICHARD MILLE piece (RM005-1 Case by Stark) estimated at between 90 and 120,000 euros found a taker for 285,000 euros, thus setting a record for the evening’s auction!

RM005 N°1000

Examination




Having summed up the history of the brand, let’s get into the heart of the subject and the details of our RM005 N°1000 with our photographer’s zoom.

As we have already said in our test bench on the RM008 in January 2004…beautiful photos and full technical details speak louder than words!

Technical details




Movement: with self-winding mechanism

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date.

ROTOR WITH VARIABLE GEOMETRY
• Arm in grade 2 titanium
• Flange in grade 2 titanium
• Adjustment with grade 5 titanium screws
• Ribs in grey gold (alloyed with palladium) 18 ct
• Weight segment in tungsten/cobalt alloy
• Ceramic ball bearing
• One-direction rewinding, anti-clockwise direction
This exclusive RICHARD MILLE design allows the rewinding of the mainspring to be adapted most effectively to the user’s activity (golf, tennis etc...). In fact, the adjustment of the ribs modifies the rotor’s inertia by either speeding up the winding process in case of slow arm movements, or by reducing it where the opposite is the case. As a result, this invention allows the movement’s motion to be optimised and personalised.

BOTTOM PLATE, COMBINED BRIDGES AND BALANCE-COCK MADE OF TITANIUM
The manufacture of these components in grade 2 titanium allows the whole assembly to be given great rigidity, as well as perfect surface flatness which is essential for the perfect rotation of the geartrain. Finish: PVD treatment.

DOUBLE SPRING BARREL
The double spring barrel system helps to improve the stability of the torque over time, with more turns, reduced pressure and friction on the teeth, the bearings and the pivots, resulting in improved performance.

DATE DISPLAY
Semi-instantaneous. Aperture at 7 o’clock. Calendar disc in sapphire crystal, treated with non-reflective coating on both sides.

GRADE 5 TITANIUM SPLINE SCREWS
Allow better control of the screwing torque. These screws are not very sensitive when handled during assemblies and dismantling, and are guaranteed to have good ageing properties.

OTHER CHARACTERISTICS AND PERFORMANCE FEATURES



ANGLE OF THE BALANCE WHEEL PALLET PIN: 53°

STEM WITH 3 POSITIONS
• manual rewinding
• hand-setting with stop
• date adjustment

JEWELLING: 31 jewels

BALANCE SPRING: Flat for extremely precise adjustment. In NIVAROX alloy

FREQUENCY: 28.800 A/h

RELIABLE TIME MEASUREMENT

POWER RESERVE: 55H

OSCILLATOR
• Balance wheel in glucydur with 3 arms
• Moment of inertia:4.8 mg/cm2
• Monocrystal ruby pallet stone
• Pallet wheel with 20 teeth

SHOCK ABSORBERS: Incabloc for bottom plate and cock

INDEX ASSEMBLY: Triovis N°2 on the left

HAND-FITTING: Height 5

FRAME: Bottom plate and bridges in hand-ground titanium, wet sandblasted, PVD treated

BARREL-ARBOR: in AP 20 steel

GEARTRAINS
• Sandblasted and rhodium-plated wheels
• Bevelled and hooped wheels
• Diamond-polished sinks on the bridge side
• Pinions with undercuts

SCREWS AND BOLTS
• Polished head and spline head
• Outer edge and screw slot bevelled and polished
• Rounded and polished tip

STEEL PARTS
• Drawn tops and sides
• Hand-polished bevels

PALLET BRIDGE
• Drawn top and side
• Diamond-cut shells
• Diamond-cut edge

PRESENTATION



WATCH-CASE
This was the subject of an entire year of research and development. With regard to production, and for each case, 68 stamping operations are necessary on the three main components(bezel, middle-part, case-back). The machine tooling process demanded 8 days of adjusting the machines for the bezel, 5 days for the middle-part and 5 days for the case-back. Prior to this process, work on the methods of carrying out the range of operations would have taken 120 hours, the drawings for the tools 130 hours, and implementing them 180 hours. Each rough case involves 202 machining operations. The design and execution of this watch demonstrate a holistic approach to the movement/case/dial. As a result, everything has been constructed according to an extremely rigorous specification, after the data processing of a Formula 1 car, where the chassis and the engine are developed in complete harmony. For example, the casing ring is no longer used, and the movement is mounted on chassis mounting rubbers (ISO SW) and fixed by 4 titanium screws. All this is evidence of the outstanding quality of workmanship. Case in 3 parts. Water-tightness ensured by three Nitril O-ring seals. Tube:driven in/glued Assembly with 12 spline screws in grade 5 titanium. Abrasion-resistant washers in copper-nickel-zinc alloy.
Water resistant to 50 meters.

CROWN
• In grade 5 micro-blasted titanium
• Double seal O-ring
• Collar in Alcryn

CRYSTAL
Bezel side:in sapphire (1800 Vickers) with anti-glare treatment (2 sides). Thickness: 1,20 mm.
Case-back: in sapphire with anti-glare treatment (2 sides).
Thickness:
• at the centre:1 mm
• exteriors:1.73 mm

DIAL
In sapphire (thickness:0.40 mm) with anti-glare treatment, protected by 8 silicone braces inserted in the upper and lower grooves.

FLANGE (upper and lower)
In carbon fibre. Metal pins filled with approved luminous material.

BRACELET
In leather or crocodile, reinforced with a metal plate. Linked to the case by a Ryton insert, a material that has outstanding resistance.

• Ref: RM005

Recommended public retail prices

• Titanium: 31 100 € ttc
• Pink Gold: 31 100 € ttc
• White Gold : 34100 € ttc
• Platinum: 58 000 € ttc


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Opinion of The Watch Quote™


A sufficiently rare pleasure deserves to be highlighted by The Watch Quote. Wearing a RICHARD MILLE is of course a question of money, but not exclusively so… it is also, and above all, the absolute pleasure for every lover of modern watch mechanics to contemplate an exemplary architecture and movement, set off by the design of every part that goes into the making of the watch. The beauty and contrast of the materials, strength of the screw, hands and all its movements make the RICHARD MILLE an exceptional and out -of-the-ordinary object even at entry level…

Strong points
• Concept
• Personality, character
• Finish

Weak points
• Price*

Our rating: *****

*To understand better the high price of a RICHARD MILLE, you only have to compare it to that of a prestige sports car or other top of the range model. Every one of the elements that goes into it, is developed and perfected entirely by hand (often involving hundreds of hours of very meticulous work by true artists) to bring you an exemplary reliability in whatever conditions you care to put it through. Parts that do not survive the draconian controls at every stage of manufacture won’t be used, which guarantees that your watch is destined to work non-stop for two or three years without servicing. Imagine your Ferrari or Porsche after over 2,500,000 kms (1,553,500 miles) with no servicing (that being the distance it would have covered after three years of 24H24 driving at an average of100 Km/h (just over 60 mph)! While on the subject, have you thought about having your favourite watch serviced?

We would like to thank Messieurs Richard Mille et Laurent Picciotto (Chronopassion Paris for their invaluable assistance in enabling us to share our passion with you.

Thierry Castagna / The Watch Quote™
Photos Luc Virginius

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