Test Bench

Richard Mille RM008

The Watch Quote™ - January 26th, 2004

In 1999, Richard Mille “ the genius watchmaker of the third millennium,” threw himself into a mechanical adventure that defied all the laws of modern watch-making. He started work on the RM008 project, the most complex watch he has ever produced. La Cote de Montres™ had an exclusive opportunity to test this exceptional watch, now on sale on Earth, and we can now share our impressions with you.

Richard Mille RM008 under the magnifying glass


An impossible meeting

It is only too obvious that we will be the only people who can enable you to take advantage of the test bench at this level of technology.

We were able to seize the opportunity thanks to your enthusiasm for your favourite site; because that same enthusiasm convinced Mr. Richard Mille himself to share a few of his secrets with you.

Elitist though it may be, the jewel in the Richard Mille collection required over five years of study, ébauches, and both human and material investment. The result is a true work of art at the cutting edge of technology, a Formula One of modern horology that only the happy few will ever have the chance to admire or wear.


The challenge

The first challenge imposed by the RM008 was to make a split second fly-back chronograph with 444 pieces and a tourbillon with variable inertia composed of 77 pieces in a mechanical hand-wound watch.

Quite obviously, at this level of technology, perfection is called for at every stage of manufacture of the time-piece. Taking this into account, we include photos that speak for themselves.


Advanced technology

Rather than a long explanation, here is a detailed list of technical specifications.

Hand wound, with mechanical movement.
Functions: Hours, minutes, winding duration, couple indicator, split-second fly-back chronograph, functions indicator.

WINDING DURATION: 70 hours (shown on left side of spring drum)

CHRONOGRAPH with column wheel in titanium
The modern architecture of the RM 008 enables a logical and rational arrangement of the pieces that go to make up its movement. It avoids any unnecessary superposition and allows optimum use of the functions and technical solutions adopted. For example, the geometrical path of the column wheel that commands the various balancing mechanisms was studied to ensure a perfect simultaneity of the movements and was developed to ensure that the watch could always be adjusted correctly with faultless repetitiveness of functions.

Starting the chronometer: a push on the left side button at 8 o’clock sets off the chronograph and a second push stops it. One push on the button at 10 o’clock restarts the hands.

One of the characteristics of this function is that it almost entirely eliminates the jumping movement of the hands. A number of studies have led to the creation and manufacture of clutch wheels and bascules in titanium, to reduce inertia. The development of the pieces of the new generation split second fly back makes it possible to reduce energy consumption and eliminate jumping.

How it works: one push on the right hand side button at 4 o’clock enables an intermediary time to be read, (with the chronograph engaged). A second push enables the hand to fly back to the chronograph hand.

Shows spring drum spring tension, and optimises chronometry of movement. Below 53dNmm, (above (Newton/ mm) the spring is judged not to be tight enough, whereas above 65dNmm too much tension will affect the mechanics, and may even damage them. These figures are indicated on the numbered zone at the left of the spring drum.

Guarantees greater reliability in the case of impact or during building or dismantling the movement, while getting the best results from the chronometer. The raquette has been eliminated to allow for finer and more repetitive time adjustment.

RAPID ROTATING SPRING DRUM (6 hours per turn instead of 7,5 hours)
The RM 008’s rapid rotating spring drum prevents the spring from sticking and the excellent delta form of the spring improves performance.

Allows a significant 20% gain in rewinding and eliminates too much tension on the spring drum catch.

A special spiral curve was developed to reduce displacement of the centre of gravity while the watch is working.

A new in line escapement track reduces friction.

This development enables building and dismantling of a module from behind without removing the hands and the dial, as well as its construction or manipulation outside the movement. In case of defects, the time-setting bloc can be changed while keeping the plate complete.

The position of each function is shown by a needle at 4 o’clock. An ingenious system which also prevents any damage to water resistance and eliminates excess tension by maintaining the holding bit in a neutral position.

A new development to make maintenance easier.

Improves time-setting functions and friction, which are replaced by rolling friction.

SPLINE SCREWS IN GRADE 5 TITANIUM FOR BRIDGES (Hand-threaded with cold chisel.)
Enable improved use of screwing torque and have minimum sensitivity to manipulations during building and dismantling, thus improving the ageing process.

On the wrist

It’s hard to express the immense feeling of exclusivity that the watch brings. No comparison can yet be made with any other known time-piece in terms of either design or mechanics.
The RM008 affords its owner immeasurable happiness along with the pleasure of every instant.
It helps to know how much the watch cost. Because if was simply a matter of getting out your latest new titanium Amex card to pay your favourite sales person, it would be simple. Quite apart from that painful operation, you’d have to take days off work just to stare at it non-stop. But even then, there’s no guarantee you’d find one on sale.

Distinguished and sporty, the robustness of the RM008 is up to every test. They say Mr. Richard Mille may throw his to the ground just to prove it. That’s the kind of incomparable time-piece that we’d love to be able to present to you more often.

The Watch Quote opinion

Congratulations and hats off to Monsieur Mille. Continue to breath your genius into the world of modern horology and satisfy the happiness of your customers by making more pieces of the exceptional quality of the RM 008 for a long time to come.

Strong points:

• A piece of the very highest quality of watch-making
• Rarity and exclusivity
• Unusual design

Weak points:

• The price
• Its rarity

Our Verdict : *****

 1     2     3     4     5   

Technical specifications

DIAMETER30.2 x 28.6 mm
BALANCE WHEELGLUCIDUR, 2 arms, 4 regulating screws
POINT OF INERTIA10mg cm2. Angle of levee: 53°
COUPLE INDICATORStandard reinforced spring
SHOCK ABSORBERKE Kif Elastor 160 B28
SPRING DRUM TREEstainless steel, anti-magnetic Chronifer. Can be soaked
FINISHING OF EBAUCHEAngles and blocking hand polished, micro-shot milling
STEEL PIECES micro-shot milled or with satin finish, angling hand polished
CUTTINGextremities stoned (or something or just leave it out) and polished, pivots rolled and burnished
COGWHEELSdiamond mouldings, circular softeners on the faces, gilding before cutting of the cogs
BRACELETrubber with tongued buckle in gold

Recommended retail price tax included: 415,500 Euros

Also in pink gold

We would like to thank Monsieur Richard Mille and the Chronopassion store for their precious assistance, which has enabled us to share this passion with you.

Thierry Castagna / The Watch Quote™
Photos Luc Virginius

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