richard mille -  RM 11-02 AUTOMATIC FLYBACK CHRONOGRAPH DUAL TIME ZONE
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
richard mille -  RM 11-02 AUTOMATIC FLYBACK CHRONOGRAPH DUAL TIME ZONE

RM 11-02 AUTOMATIC FLYBACK CHRONOGRAPH DUAL TIME ZONE

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RM11 GMT

This new release RM 11-02 represents a subtle development of this ever-popular Richard Mille model that has been a favorite since its inception more than 7 years ago. This automatic caliber of the 

RM 11-02 is a technical evolution of the RM 011, with the original caliber RMAC1 superseded by the caliber RMAC2 with added features. In addition to the functions of the Flyback chronograph, annual calendar with oversize date, 60 minute countdown timer and 24 hour totalizer, the RM 11-02 adds a UTC feature for the indication of a second time zone with a Super-Luminova filled hand. The PVD treated titanium movement is fitted with two winding barrels and an automatic winding rotor with variable geometry supplying circa 50 hours of power reserve.

For those familiar with the original RM 011 case, this new timepiece is easily recognizable by the additional pusher at 9 o’clock, used for setting the second time zone. This specially shaped and engraved pusher, as well as those placed at 2 and 5 o’clock for the chronograph start/stop and reset functions, is fully in line with the highly recognizable design cues of the RM 011 collection with etched lines inspired by the pedal surfaces of racing cars. Matching these thematic cues, Richard Mille has also designed a very precisely machined crown in grade 5 titanium evoking a clutch mechanism, surrounded with an Alcryn collar for excellent tactile contact.

For the creation of the distinctive Richard Mille tonneau formed case, with its ergonomically fitting curves and dramatic arcs, many hours of preparation are required even before the actual milling procedures can begin. The tripartite case entails some 86 preliminary stamping and striking operations to ready the case parts for cutting and milling. The actual machining process is preceded by some 50 hours of machine setup and programming before all systems are go for the more than 300 separate operations that need to be executed. State of the art, CNC 5-axis machines working with an accuracy of a few microns are a necessity for the creation of the multiple curves and arcs established in Richard Mille’s case design aesthetic. The movement at the heart of the RM 11-02 is attached to the case with 4 silicon braces providing additional shock resistance and sealed with 20 spline screws and nitrite seals to ensure the water resistance of the RM 11-02 to 50 meters.

 

Technical specifications

CALIBER RMAC2: automatic winding movement with hours, minutes, running seconds at 3 o’clock, oversize date,

month, Flyback chronograph with central seconds counter and minute countdown timer at 9 o’clock, 24 hour totalizer

at 6 o’clock, UTC function and adjustable rotor geometry.

Dimensions: 50.00 x 42.70 x 16.15 mm.

 MAIN FEATURES

POWER RESERVE

Circa 50 hours (±10%).

Actual power reserve results will depend on the period of time the chronograph is utilized.

BASEPLATE, BRIDGES MADE IN GRADE 5 TITANIUM

The manufacture of these components in grade 5 titanium with black PVD coating allow the whole assembly to be

given great rigidity, as well as precise surface flatness, essential for the perfect functioning of the gear train.

FLYBACK CHRONOGRAPH

By using the pusher between 4 and 5 o’clock, the running chronograph can be reset without first having to stop the

mechanism. This was originally developed for pilots in order to not waste time (and therefore accuracy) from stopping,

resetting and starting the chronograph whilst crossing a navigational point.

While the chronograph function is activated, the hours and minutes show up the elapsed time thanks to the counter at

6 and 9 o’clock, the seconds are indicated by the central hands.

Function :

The user can start or stop the chronograph function via the pusher located between 1 and 2 o’clock.

The flyback function can be continuously reset by depressing the pusher located between 4 and 5 o’clock.

COUNTDOWN

Located at 9 o’clock, the hand is replaced by a skeletonised 60 minutes-marked disc. The user can read minutes

elapsed but also remaining minutes.

UTC FUNCTION

The RM 11-02 features a UTC hand that can be used either as a second time zone indicator by means of a hand filled

with Super-LumiNova. It can be easily adjusted using the pusher at 9 o’clock.

OVERSIZE DATE DISPLAY

Semi-instantaneous, placed in a red outlined horizontal aperture under 12 o’clock with automatic adjustment for months

of 30 or 31 days.

MONTH DISPLAY

Semi-instantaneous indicated by Arabic numerals, placed between 4 and 5 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 small adjustable

weights located directly on the balance.

ROTOR WITH VARIABLE GEOMETRY

- Arm in grade 2 titanium

- Flange in grade 5 titanium

- 6-positional adjustment via grade 5 titanium screws

- Ribs in 18K white gold, high palladium content

- Weight segment in tungsten/cobalt alloy

- 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 whether it be sporting or non-sporting environments. By adjusting the setting of the rib’s placement, the

rotor’s inertia is modified to either speed up the winding process in the case of leisurely arm movements, or slow it

down when sporting activities are pursued. As a result, this invention allows the movement’s winding mechanism to be

optimized and personalized to the owner’s lifestyle.

DOUBLE BARREL SYSTEM

The double barrel system contributes to the torque stability over a longer period. This is achieved by using more rotations

of the barrel, there by reducing pressure and wear on the teeth, bearings and pivots, hence an improved long-term

performance.

SPLINE SCREWS IN GRADE 5 TITANIUM FOR THE MOVEMENT

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 x 38.45 mm

- Thickness: 9.00 mm

- Jewels: 68

- Barrel arbor – in AP 20 steel

- Balance: Glucydur, 4 arms, inertia moment 4.8 mg.cm2, angle of lift 53º

- Frequency: 28’800 vph (4 Hz)

- Balance spring: ELINVAR by Nivarox®

- Index assembly: Triovis N°2

- Shock protection: INCABLOC 908.22.211.100 (transparent)

- Escapement wheel jewels: Rubifix (transparent)

- Stem with three positions: manual winding, date, handsetting

CASE

With regard to the production of the RM 11-02 case, 68 different stamping operations are required for the three main

components (bezel, middle section and case back). The machine tooling process requires 8 days of adjusting the

machines for the bezel, 5 days for the middle section and 5 days for the case back. Prior to this process, developing

a methodology for carrying out this series of operations took 120 hours, the drawings for the tools 130 hours, and

implemention 180 hours. Each rough case involves 202 separate machining operations.

The design and execution of the watch demonstrates a complete conceptual approach to the movement, case and dial.

The casing ring is no longer used and the movement is mounted on chassis mounting rubbers (ISO SW) fixed by 4

titanium screws.

The tripartite case of the RM 11-02, satin-finished, is water resistant to 50 meters, ensured by two Nitril O-ring seals.

The case is assembled with 20 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.

FLANGES

In carbon fiber filled with an approved luminescent material.

CROWN

In grade 5 titanium, microblasted with double seal O ring and collar in Alcryn®.

DIAL

In sapphire (thickness: 0.40 mm) with anti-glare treatment (2 sides), protected by 8 silicon braces inserted in the upper

and lower flanges grooves.

CRYSTAL

Bezel side: in sapphire (1800 Vickers) with anti-glare treatment (2 sides).

Thickness: 1.50 mm

Case back: in sapphire with anti-glare treatment (2 sides)

Thickness: at the center 1.20 mm and outer edges 2.04 mm

FINISHING

MOVEMENT

- Baseplate and bridges in titanium, wet sandblasted, PVD treated

- Anglage and polishing by hand

- Locking sections hand polished

- Burnished pivots

- Diamond polished sinks

- Pinions with undercuts

- Sandblasted and rhodium-plated, beveled wheels

STEEL PARTS

- Sapphire blasted surfaces

- Anglage and polishing by hand

- Screw slot and screws beveled and polished with rounded

and polished tip

WHEELS

- Concave chamfering with a diamond tool

- Circular-decorated faces

- Gilding (before cutting the teeth)

- Minimal corrections to preserve the geometry of

the wheels and their performance

 

 

 

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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