richard mille - RM 037
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
richard mille - RM 037

RM 037

richard mille
Show price
87'500 €

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See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion

This automatic winding caliber created from skeletonized grade 5 titanium sports an oversize date at 12 o'clock and a function window at 4 o' clock. Two subtly shaped pushers are located at 4 and 10 o’clock. The pusher at 4 o'clock allows one to select the winding (W), neutral (N) and hand setting (H) functions with a simple push. An aperture located at 4 o'clock shows the function selected. The second pusher, at 10 o'clock, controls date changes, for instance when one is traveling or needs to correct the date for months with 29, 30 and 31 days. A simpler and easier method of correcting the date would be impossible to imagine. The RM 037 is fitted with a new crown mechanism, patented by Richard Mille for its own movement.Traditionally, the crown is attached directly to the movement which means the watchmaker will need to insert the stem at the point of assembly. The direct connection between the movement and crown can therefore sometimes be the cause of damage to the movement in the case of a sharp knock to the crown. The engineers at Richard Mille have been able to find a solution to this problem on the RM 037 and the crown is now separated from the case. This means the stem is no longer required and the risk of losing the crown or breaking the stem in the movement after a knock is minimalised. The crown is available in polished grade 5 titanium, red gold or white gold with double seal O-ring and collar in Alcryn. The design and execution of the watch demonstrates a complete conceptual in approach to the movement, case and dial. As a result, everything has been constructed according to extremely rigorous specifications, rather like the analytical engineering methods used in the design of Formula 1 racing cars where the chassis and the engine are developed in total union. 44 different stamping operations are required for the three main components of the case (bezel, caseband and case back). The machine tooling process requires 2 days of adjustment for the bezel, 2 days for the caseband and 2 days for the case back. The empty case requires more than 255 tooling operations and more than 5 hours of glazing and polishing in the final stage. The complex shape of the case is obtained thanks to a 5 axis machine. On each case, the “Richard Mille” engraving on the back and situated on the inside curve requires 45 hours. The tripartite case is water resistant to 50 meters, ensured by 2 Nitril O-ring seals. The case is assembled with 20 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion resistant washers in steel 316L. Many details form the signature of the RM 037, such as a power reserve of 50 hours, a new rotor with variable geometry, a free sprung balance with variable inertia, the extensive use of spline screws throughout the movement … Extreme technique, sophistication and hand-finished in the great tradition of Swiss watchmaking … the new in-house caliber CRMA1, is an exceptional piece which exemplifies the innovative style which is Richard Mille.

Technical specifications

Who's who

When he talks about Richard Mille, Laurent Picciotto doesn’t say “I” and “he”, but “we”. Just two letters say it all – well, almost. As far as Chronopassion is concerned, this is not about any old brand, but a shared history: that of two men who originally met in Rue Saint Honoré “to chat together for a couple of hours a week – then, five, ten, twenty or thirty hours,” before bringing out the first RM001 one year later. Be that as it may, the friendship between Laurent Picciotto and Richard Mille doesn’t stretch back for decades, to their schooldays, or anything like that. “We first came across each other at the time when Richard was working at Mauboussin, on the first tourbillons developed by the brand,” recalls the owner of Chronopassion. When – as yet unaware of the fact that he was to become “RM” for the world at large – Mille left Mauboussin to launch his own brand, he consulted Laurent Picciotto. Not only did he consult him, he took on board his thinking, and ultimately enlisted Picciotto as a partner when he set up his company. The brand spirit was already in their minds – an uncompromising timepiece, featuring a completely new design, outstanding materials and a brand new assembly technique. Once the specifications had been established, the two men contacted Renaud & Papi to implement production. They were to become RM’s third partner; today, some fifteen years later, they are still crafting its collections. The line taken ahead of presentation of the first timepiece was equally hard-nosed. “Nobody knew Richard, we didn’t really want to make a big thing out of Renaud & Papi and we ourselves had no story to tell at all. In other words, we were swimming completely against the tide,” recalls Laurent Picciotto. “We first attended BaselWorld in 2000. We placed the watch on the table and said ‘There you are, that’s all we’ve got to say, it’s an RM001, yours for €176,000.’ And it worked.” Indeed, the pricing policy was the subject of much debate, right from the outset. “Looking back, it’s easy to say that the approach was the right one,” explains Laurent Picciotto. “But twelve years ago, we’d sometimes break out in a cold sweat thinking about it. Richard and I were both completely focussed on the watch, scarcely paying attention to the final bill until the first one was finished. When we totted it up and it came to over 170,000 euros, there was a bit of a hush. The silence between us was far more eloquent than any number of words could have been. For a while we wondered whether we had overreached ourselves. But it wasn’t long before we were right back with our initial motives – an RM should brook no compromise.” Richard Mille did not hesitate to take this radical approach right to the limit. “When he met a client who had doubts about how sturdy the RM was – whereas that had always been a strong point in its design – Richard would take off his own and throw it on the floor. That was his way of saying ‘I’ve said as much, and now I’m proving it’”, recalls Laurent Picciotto with a smile. “It would certainly make quite an impression!” Looking back, the Richard Mille brand has surpassed even its own designers’ expectations. Having emerged at a time when the market was not yet offering a new brand or revival every couple of months, it surprised everybody. Later on, a lot of independent watchmakers took a similar direction, saying to themselves “If Richard has managed, I can too.” RMs are still as radical as ever, though. Laurent Picciotto sums it up. “Some signs never lie. We’ve never yet seen a client pick up an RM whose first words were ‘it reminds me of a...’ Some fifteen years on from the RM001, nobody’s got anywhere near finishing that sentence.”

Journalist : Olivier Müller (11/2012)

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