The silence hovering over the outskirts of Le Mans has been eerie these last two years. Anyone familiar with the world’s most iconic historic racing event will know that every second July, the whole town vibrates to the sound of scorched tarmac in the distance. The legendary race, Le Mans Classic will not only return in 2022, but exceptionally will also be held the next year as well. Indeed, 2023 will mark the centenary of the very first race on the Le Mans 24 Hours track.
Usually, 700 historic racing cars take to the legendary Bugatti circuit, together with 8,500 other vehicles assembled in the club areas. The event next year is more than likely to top the event’s record of 135,000 spectators from 2018. Richard Mille has been a partner ever since the inception of Le Mans Classic in 2002 and has created the brand’s 8th model dedicated specifically to this event, a limited edition of 150 timepieces, the RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic. Aficionados will instantly recognise the timeless green and white color combination of one of the world’s greatest historic racing events.
A mechanical celebration
Day or night, this limited edition gets fans and drivers alike back where they belong - out on the circuit, crossing the legendary Le Mans black and white chequered flag in perfect time.
RM 029 AUTOMATIC LE MANS CLASSIC
Skeletonised automatic winding movement with hours, minutes, seconds, 24-hour display, oversize date and variable-geometry rotor.
Limited edition of 150 pieces
Around 55 hours (± 10%).
These components in grade 5 titanium with Titalyt® treatment confer great rigidity on the whole assembly, as well as precise surface flatness, essential for the perfect functioning of the gear train.
The oversize date bridge is PVD-treated in black.
The skeletonised baseplate and bridges were subjected to separate and extensive validation tests to ensure they met rigorous strength requirements.
Placed at 2 o’clock and driven by the hour wheel.
OVERSIZE DATE DISPLAY
Semi-instantaneous, placed in a horizontal aperture at 4 o’clock.
• Arm in grade 5 titanium
• High palladium content 18K white gold weight segments
• Weight segment with 6 possible positions adjusted by screws in grade 5 titanium
• Ceramic ball bearings
• Unidirectional, anti-clockwise winding direction
This exclusive Richard Mille design makes it possible to effectively adapt rewinding of the mainspring to the user’s activity evel, in sporting or non-sporting environments. By adjusting the six-position rib, the rotor’s inertia is modified to either speed up the winding process in the case of leisurely arm movements, or to slow it down during sporting activities.
Movement dimensions: 30.25 x 28.45 mm
Thickness: 4.14 mm
Number of jewels: 32
Barrel arbour: AP 20 steel
Balance: Glucydur®, 4 arms, moment of inertia 4.8 mg•cm2, angle of lift 53°
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Balance spring: elinvar by Nivarox®
Shock protection: INCABLOC 908.22.211.100 (transparent)
Escapement wheel jewels: Rubifix (transparent)
Stem with three positions: Manual winding, time setting, date adjustment
The design and execution of the watch demonstrate a holistic approach to conception of the movement, case and dial. The case is made from green Quartz TPT® and white Quartz TPT®, two remarkable materials with a unique finish obtained by layering hundreds of sheets of silica fibres using an automated process that changes the orientation of the weft between layers.
The front bezel sports the characteristic double Le Mans stripes. These have been created from separate pieces of white Quartz TPT® that have been inlaid into the green Quartz TPT® bezel – a first for the brand.
The tripartite case is water resistant to 50 metres, ensured by 2 Nitrile O-ring seals. The case is assembled using 12 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion-resistant washers in 316L stainless steel.
• Baseplate and bridges in hand-ground, wet sandblasted grade 5 titanium with Titalyt® treatment
• Anglage and polishing by hand
• Locking sections polished by hand
• Burnished pivots
• Diamond-polished sinks
• Pinions with undercuts
• Sapphire-blasted surfaces
• Anglage and polishing by hand
• Screw slot and screws bevelled and polished with rounded and polished tip
• Concave chamfering with a diamond tool
• Circular-decorated faces
• Rhodium plating (before cutting the teeth)
• Minimal corrections to preserve the geometry of the wheels and their performance
The double-barrel system helps to improve torque stability over a longer period. This is achieved by distributing the stored energy across two winding barrels instead of one, which increases the number of rotations and reduces pressure on the teeth, bearings and pivots, resulting in better long-term performance.
This type of balance wheel represents the ultimate in innovation. It guarantees greater reliability when subjected to shocks and also during movement assembly or disassembly, hence better chronometric results over time.The regulator index is eliminated, and a more accurate and repeatable setting is possible thanks to 4 small adjustable weights located directly on the balance.
This permits better control of the torque applied to screws during assembly. These screws are therefore unaffected by physical manipulation during assembly or disassembly and age well.