Watch & Jewellery
FOR THE COMPLEX CHARACTER: Richard Mille's RM 65-01 Automatic Split-Seconds Chronograph
Text by Kee | Photos courtesy of Richard Mille
20.03.2021
Richard Mille touts this as the most complex self-winding chronograph watch in its portfolio
Richard Mille touts this as the most complex self-winding chronograph watch in its portfolio
Richard Mille touts this as the most complex self-winding chronograph watch in its portfolio
Richard Mille touts this as the most complex self-winding chronograph watch in its portfolio
Richard Mille touts this as the most complex self-winding chronograph watch in its portfolio
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You’re probably wondering how complicated Richard Mille’s wristwatches are. Hold that thought because its latest release of the RM 65-01 Automatic Split-Seconds Chronograph has been dubbed as the most complicated self-winding calibre to ever leave its workshop... for now.

If you’re sentimental about dates, know that this is Richard Mille’s 20th year in the business of being the OG disruptor of luxury watchmaking. Even when the watch industry is said to be suffering, Richard Mille continues to thrive with the sole reason that its beast mode-championing wristwatches aren’t catered for just anyone. Each piece is more complicated than the next, with a price tag that’s perhaps unthinkable even if you’ve just made your first mill. Make no mistakes; Richard Mille could sell ice to eskimos but the marketing spiel is backed up by wares that have been forged with far superior finesse than even another diamond-encrusted timepiece. Most importantly, the market is not overflowing with its wristwatches with an annual production said to be in the region of 5,000. Having spent the large part of 2020 whetting collectors’ appetites on chronographs, the year-end release of the RM 65-01 Automatic Split-Seconds Chronograph was by its own admission the most complex self-winding calibre it has forged. And mind you, its watchmaking developmental process could take just as long as finalising the ageing process of a prized wine. This new release took five in its workshop and not for cosmetic reasons as it is still instantly recognisable as a Richard Mille wristwatch with its iconic and empowering tonneau shape, showy skeletonised dial work, and shock-protected tiger stripe-like Carbon TPT case. It has gone to the trouble of making its first self-winding chronograph with a split-time function in order to re-engage with the racing element that true collectors demand. In order to achieve this, several adjustments had to be made, namely running on a high frequency balance of 36,000 vibrations per hour, to achieve durability over a lengthier period of time and readings that are accurate to a tenth of a second. (We don’t have to tell you that’s some serious micro-marking of time often reserved for the pros.) While Richard Mille has placed a high amount of consideration into putting accuracy at the forefront of its specs, which means a faster rotating barrel to release more energy, it still holds a decent level of storage at its peak (60 hours). In order to combat the drainage of energy, a new feature has been added for wearers to power-up quicker apart from traditional means. Via a rapid winding pusher at 8 o’clock, one can quickly rearm the watch the moment that stored power is on the low side – a perfect remedy when the watch hasn’t been worn for awhile and you require a quick fix without removing your watch. It is said to require roughly 125 compressions to fully wind the watch, but chances are, one doesn’t require a full charge as the rotor continues to perform its winding duty as you go about your tasks. The rotor itself isn’t common as it is using an adaptive version so as to cater to the activity choices of its wearer. What that means is that the rotor can be adjusted by a watchmaker to take up one of three variable positions in order to control the speed of the winding process (i.e. deskbound folks have different needs than a sprinter). Richard Mille hasn’t limited this chronograph though you can expect only a small portion to be produced annually. And here’s the less complex bit to digest: the RM 65-01 Automatic Split-Seconds Chronograph will cost you at least US$310,000.

www.richardmille.com

 

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