News April 2010

Tourbillon RM 027 Rafael Nadal

Developed in collaboration with Rafael Nadal who tested this watch in real world conditions and who will wear it during matches

The Watch Quote™ - April 2nd, 2010



Over the past two months, the rumour has grown and spread. The partnership between Richard Mille and Rafael Nadal is no longer a secret. We are now pleased to announce it officially and to present our watch, the RM 027, which will be worn by Rafael Nadal during his matches.

The introduction of the new RM 027 Tourbillon marks the brand’s first entry to the world of tennis courts. As with Felipe Massa who drives every F1 Grand Prix with his watch, Rafael Nadal will play all of his matches wearing his Richard Mille on his wrist, an extraordinary feat.

Following the RM 006 (42 g without strap) and the RM 009 (29 g without strap), the RM 027 weighs in at less than 20 g (including the strap) thus becoming one of the lightest watches ever produced.

Fascinated by the combination of technology, performance and practical aspects in a wristwatch, Richard Mille wished to prove once more that an extreme reduction in weight could be achieved with total efficiency and accuracy. It is from this key concept that he developed the RM 027 Tourbillon in close collaboration with Rafael Nadal, who tested the RM 027 in real world conditions and will now wear it during tennis matches. The results of this horological experiment speaks for itself: despite the abrupt, extreme movements and shocks typical of high level tennis matches, the RM 027 Tourbillon has proven its durability whilst enabling Rafael Nadal total freedom of movement.



Richard Mille has been experimenting with the concept of weight reduction in haute horology from the very conception of the brand. Richard Mille: “When I first produced tourbillons with titanium and ALUSIC cases and carbon baseplates, I was fighting against perceived value. A titanium watch could not be a luxurious timepiece as it did not weigh enough. However mentalities rapidly changed and gradually with time amateurs soon appreciated the extreme lightness of my watches whilst being associated with the best technology.”

The movement baseplate of the RM 027 Tourbillon is made from Titanium and LITAL®alloy, a high lithium content alloy containing aluminum, copper, magnesium and zirconium, possessing a density of 2.55. The addition of Lithium, one of the lightest elements, to the alloy mixture, provides great strength without adding unnecessary weight. This particular alloy is also used for the same reasons in the aerospace industry in the construction of the Airbus A380, helicopters, rockets and satellites, as well as in F1 racing cars.



The result is one of the world’s lightest mechanical tourbillon wristwatches with a movement weight of just a mere 3.83 grams.

The RM 027 watchcase, composed of a composite containing large amounts of carbon, provides a tough and resilient enclosure for the tourbillon movement at its center. The back bezel and caseband are monobloc to ensure total lightness. The glass; the bezel and the flange in carbon have remarkable properties of stiffness and torsional rigidity.

The RM 027 Tourbillon is a limited edition of 50 pieces with an ultra light strap in polycarbonate, flexible and extremely comfortable.

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Richard Mille Rm 027 tourbillon

Technical specifications


Richard Mille has developed the RM 027 Tourbillon in collaboration with Rafael Nadal who tested this watch in real world conditions and who will wear it during matches.
Caliber RM 027: manual winding tourbillon movement with hours and minutes.
Dimensions: 48 mm x 39.70 mm x 11.85 mm
Weight of the movement: 3.83 g
Weight of the watch without strap: circa 13 g

Main features
(many of which are major technical innovations)

Titanium baseplate with bridges of aluminum lithium
The movement of the RM 027 Tourbillon is made from titanium and LITAL®alloy, a high lithium content alloy containing aluminium, copper, magnesium and zirconium, possessing a density of 2.55 g cm3. The addition of Lithium provides to the mechanism more flexibility and greater shock resistance. This alloy is also applied in aerospace on the Airbus A380, helicopters, rockets, satellites as well as in Formula 1.

Power reserve
48 hours.

Variable inertia, free sprung balance
The free-sprung balance gives better reliability in the event of shocks, movement assembly and disassembly, and also guarantees better chronometric results over an extended period of time.

Fast rotating barrel (6 hours per revolution instead of 7,5)
This type of barrel provides the following advantages:
  • the phenomenon of periodic internal mainspring adhesion is significantly diminished, thereby increasing performance;
  • provision of an excellent mainspring delta curve with an ideal power reserve/performance and regularity ratio.

Barrel pawl with progressive recoil
This device permits an appreciable winding gain (circa 20 %), especially during the start of winding.
It also promotes the even distribution of the mainspring’s internal tension.

Spline screws in grade 5 titanium for the bridges and case
This permits better control of the torque applied to the screws during assembly. These screws are therefore unaffected by physical manipulation during assembly or disassembly and age well.

Winding barrel teeth and third-wheel pinion with central involute profile
The central involute profile of the winding barrel teeth and pinion provide an optimal pressure angle of 20°. This promotes effective rotary motion and allows for compensation of possible variations in the engagement of the going train, thus insuring excellent torque transmission with a distinct improvement in performance.

Case
The RM 027 watchcase, composed of a composite containing large amounts of carbon, provides a tough and resilient enclosure for the tourbillon movement at its center. The back bezel and caseband are monobloc to ensure total lightness. The glass, with anti-glare treatment, has remarkable properties of stiffness and torsional rigidity.

Other features
  • Movement dimensions: 30.20 x 28.80 mm
  • Thickness: 7.00 mm
  • Tourbillon diameter: 10.90 mm
  • Balance wheel diameter: 9.12 mm
  • Number of jewels: 19
  • Balance: GLUCYDUR, 2 arms, 4 setting screws
  • Inertia moment 11.50 mg.cm2, angle of lift 53º
  • Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
  • Balance spring: ELINVAR by NIVAROX
  • Shock protection: KIF ELASTOR KE 160 B28
  • Barrel shaft in nickel-free chronifer (DIN x 46 Cr 13 + S) with the following characteristics: stainless- antimagnetic- suitable for tempering


Finishing

Movement blank
  • chamfers with lengthwise hand-drawn finishing
  • beadblasted milled sections
  • hand-drawn upper faces

Steel parts
  • beadblasted surfaces
  • satin-brushed surfaces
  • hand-polished bevels
  • hand-drawn finishing on the upper surface
  • matt strokes on the underside
  • lengthwise hand-drawn strokes on the flanks
  • polished sinks

Profile-turning
  • lapped and polished ends
  • burnished pivots

gear wheels
  • Concave chamfering with a diamond tool
  • Circular-smoothed faces
  • Gilding (before cutting the teeth)

Minimum manual correction to the wheels undertaken in order to preserve geometry and performance

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