richard mille - RICHARD MILLE AUTOMATIC RM 029 WITH OVERSIZE DATE
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
richard mille - RICHARD MILLE AUTOMATIC RM 029 WITH OVERSIZE DATE

RICHARD MILLE AUTOMATIC RM 029 WITH OVERSIZE DATE

richard mille
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81'500 €

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The Radical TECHNICAL

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No compromise

Tonneau case - available in titanium, 18k white gold or red gold.
The new skeletonized caliber RMAS7 with oversize date forms the heart of the new automatic RM 029.
The skeletonization process of this novel caliber took more than 10 months to finalize, as there could be no compromise in the movement’s strength or ability to withstand shocks. This meant much attention was given to testing numerous versions of the skeletonized titanium baseplate before the final pattern of cutaways was chosen. Within its case dimensions of 48 mm x 39.70 mm x 12.60 mm beats an automatic movement with oversize date mechanism inspired by the RM 011 and a rotor with variable geometry.
 
This exclusive Richard Mille design allows the rewinding of the mainspring to be adapted most effectively to the user’s activity level within sports or leisure environments. The arms of the rotor are in grade 2 titanium with specific adjustable ribs made of 18k white gold; the weight segment along the outer edge is white gold, with the rotor’s ball bearings made from a special and highly durable ceramic material.
 
The baseplate, bridges and balance-cock are made of grade 5 titanium with Titalyt® treatment. This provides the whole assembly great rigidity, as well as precise surface flatness which is essential for the perfect functioning of the gear train. The power reserve bridge is black PVD treated. Special attention to the elimination of problems caused by external shock is accentuated by the balance wheel being given Incabloc protection on both dial and movement side. In its entirety, the caliber RMAS7, with 32 jewels and beating at 4Hz, was specially manufactured to offer exceptional timekeeping properties.
 
It has a free sprung balance with variable inertia. This type of balance wheel represents the ultimate in innovation. It guarantees greater reliability when subjected to shock and also during movement assembly and disassembly, hence better chronometric results over time. The regulator index is eliminated and a more accurate and repeatable adjustment is possible thanks to 4 small adjustable weights located directly on the balance.
 
The design and execution of the entire watch bears witness to a complete conceptual approach regarding the movement, case and dial. As a result, everything has been constructed according to an extremely rigorous specification, in the manner of the analytical engineering methods used in the design of Formula 1 racing cars where the chassis and the engine are developed in complete harmony.
For example, a casing ring is no longer used and the movement is mounted on chassis mounting rubbers (ISO SW) fixed by 4 titanium screws. Features such as these are evidence of uncompromising workmanship.
The case requires 47 stamping operations to obtain its final design. Machining takes more than 4 hours and 255 milling operations, the finishing work requires a full day. Then each case has to undergo an accurate quality control during 45 minutes. The tripartite case is water resistant to 50 meters, ensured by three Nitril O-ring seals. The case is assembled with 12 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion resistant washers in 316L stainless steel. Cutting edge technology combined with elegance, exceptional lines, useful functionality and unmistakable personality: the RM 029 automatic typifies Richard Mille’s innovative design with the rotor and its variable inertia, whilst introducing new devices such as the oversize date.

Technical specifications

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS OF THE RICHARD MILLE
AUTOMATIC RM 029 WITH OVERSIZE DATE
Tonneau case - available in titanium, 18k white gold or red gold.
CALIBER RMAS7: skeletonized automatic movement with hours, minutes, seconds, oversize date and
adjustable rotor geometry.
Dimensions: 48 mm x 39.70 mm x 12.60 mm.
MAIN FEATURES
(MANY OF WHICH ARE MAJOR TECHNICAL INNOVATIONS)
POWER RESERVE
Circa 55 hours.
OVERSIZE DATE DISPLAY
Semi-instantaneous, placed in a horizontal aperture at 4 o’clock.
FREE SPRUNG BALANCE WITH VARIABLE INERTIA
This type of balance wheel represents the ultimate in innovation. It guarantees greater reliability when subjected to shock and also during movement assembly and disassembly, hence better chronometric results over time.
The regulator index is eliminated and a more accurate and repeatable adjustment is possible thanks to 4 adjustable small weights located directly on the balance.
CROWN
In grade 5 micro-blasted titanium, with double seal O-ring and collar in Alcryn.
ROTOR WITH VARIABLE GEOMETRY
- Arm in grade 2 titanium
- Flange in grade 2 titanium
- 6-positional adjustment via grade 5 titanium screws
- Ribs in 18k white gold, high palladium content
- Weight segment in white gold
- Ceramic ball bearings
- Unidirectional; anti-clockwise winding direction
This exclusive RICHARD MILLE design allows the rewinding of the mainspring to be adapted most
effectively to the user’s activity level within sports or leisure environments.
By adjusting the six positional setting of the rib’s placement, the rotor’s inertia is modified, either
speeding up the winding process in the case of minimal arm and hand movements, or slowing it down when intensive activity sports are pursued.
 
 
AUTOMATIC CALIBER RM 029
DOUBLE BARREL SYSTEM
The double barrel system contributes to the torque stability improvement over a longer period.
This is achieved by using more rotations of the barrel, thereby reducing pressure and wear on the
teeth, bearings and pivots, providing improved long-term performance.
BOTTOM PLATE, BRIDGES AND BALANCE COCK MADE OF TITANIUM
These components in grade 5 titanium with Titalyt® treatment. This provides the whole assembly great
rigidity, as well as precise surface flatness which is essential for the perfect functioning of the gear
train. The power reserve bridge is black PVD treated. The skeletonized baseplate and the bridges were
subjected to separate and extensive validation tests to insure optimal strength requirements.
SPLINE SCREWS IN GRADE 5 TITANIUM FOR THE BRIDGES
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.
OTHER FEATURES
- Dimensions of movement: 30.25 mm x 28.45 mm
- Thickness: 5.83 mm
- Number of jewels: 32
- Barrel arbor – in 20AP steel
- Balance: Glucydur, 4 arms, inertia moment 4.8 mg.cm2, angle of lift 53º
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Balance spring: Elinvar
- Shock protection: Incabloc 908.22.211.100 (transparent)
- Escapement wheel jewels: Rubifix (transparent)
- Stem with three positions: manual winding, time setting, date adjustment
CASE
The design and execution of the entire watch bears witness to a complete conceptual approach regarding
the movement, case and dial. As a result, everything has been constructed according to an extremely
rigorous specification, in the manner of the analytical engineering methods used in the design of Formula 1
racing cars where the chassis and the engine are developed in complete harmony.
For example, a casing ring is no longer used and the movement is mounted on chassis mounting rubbers
(ISO SW) fixed by 4 titanium screws. Features such as these are evidence of uncompromising workmanship.
The case of the RM 029 requires 47 swaging operations including 21 striking, 255 milling operations.
The machining lasts 4 hours. Concerning the finishing work, 1 full day is required.
The tripartite case is water resistant to 50 meters, ensured by three Nitril O-ring seals. The case is
assembled with 12 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion resistant washers in 316L stainless steel.
SPLINE SCREWS IN GRADE 5 TITANIUM FOR THE 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.
 
AUTOMATIC CALIBER RM 029
INTERIOR FLANGES (upper and lower)
In carbon fiber, with index points filled with approved luminous material.
Minute flange in black carbon fiber.
DIAL
In sapphire (thickness: 0.40 mm) with anti-glare treatment (both sides), protected by 8 silicon braces
inserted in the upper and lower grooves.
CRYSTAL
Bezel side: In sapphire (1800 Vickers) with anti-glare treatment (both sides)
Thickness: 1.20 mm
Case back: In sapphire with anti-glare treatment (both sides)
Thickness: at the center 1 mm and outer edges 1.73 mm
FINISHING
MOVEMENT
- Bottom plate and bridges in hand-ground, wet sandblasted grade 5 titanium with Titalyt® treatment
- Burnished pivots
- Pinions with undercuts
- Sandblasted and rhodium-plated, beveled wheels (before cutting)
- Minimum correction applied to the wheels in order to preserve geometry and performance
STEEL PARTS
- Sapphire blasted and hand drawn surfaces
- Screw slot and screws beveled and polished with rounded and polished tip

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
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