Precision, lightness and resistance are intimately bound by materials and architectural constructions. We have always capitalized on engineering materials from fields way beyond watchmaking. These new and technical materials are recognized today in Haute Horlogerie for their aesthetic and their mechanical properties.
The RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne has set the highest limits for watchmaking both in terms of its design, mechanical inventiveness and use of materials.
Toughness to spare
We were intent on achieving extreme lightness on the RM 21-02 and we succeeded in constructing it on a honeycomb structure. The objective was to juxtapose and laser-weld each tiny cell. This achievement on such a microscopic scale is a major technical tour-de-force.
RM 21-02 Manual Winding Tourbillon Aerodyne
Manual winding tourbillon movement with hours, minutes, function selector, power-reserve and torque indicators.
Limited edition of 50 pieces
Around 70 hours (± 10%).
HAYNES® 214® is a nickel-chromium-aluminium-iron alloy, designed to provide the optimum in high-temperature oxidation resistance for a wrought austenitic material, while at the same time allowing conventional forming and joining. Intended principally for use at temperatures of 955°C and above, 214® alloy exhibits resistance to oxidation that far exceeds that of virtually all conventional heat-resistant wrought alloys at these temperatures.
Combined with a Carbon TPT® core, the honeycombed geometrical pattern of HAYNES® 214® offers unparalleled stiffness, a low thermal expansion coefficient and exceptional torsion resistance.
BRIDGES MADE OF GRADE 5 TITANIUM
Bridges are crafted of grade 5 titanium, a biocompatible, highly corrosion-resistant and remarkably rigid alloy, which enables the gear train to function effortlessly. The alloy is 90% grade 5 titanium, 6% aluminium and 4% vanadium. This combination further increases the material’s mechanical properties, which explains its frequent use in the aerospace, aeronautics and automotive industries.
FREE-SPRUNG BALANCE WITH VARIABLE INERTIA
This type of balance wheel guarantees greater reliability in the event of shocks and during movement assembly or disassembly, and also guarantees better chronometric results over time. The regulator index is eliminated, and a more accurate and repeatable calibration is possible thanks to 4 small adjustable screws located directly on the balance.
In a manner similar to a car’s gearbox, a push-button located at the centre of the crown makes it possible to select the winding, neutral and hand-setting functions with a simple push. A hand at 4 o’clock indicates the selected function.
The power-reserve indicator shows the number of hours of energy left in the mainspring before the watch must be wound again.
This indicator supplies information about the mainspring’s tension, thus permitting an optimisation of the chronometric functioning of the movement. Below 5.3 N.mm, the spring is considered too slack, while above 6.5 N.mm, excess tension in the spring can adversely affect the mechanism’s operation, or actually endanger it.
Movement dimensions: 30.20 x 29.20 mm
Thickness: 7.14 mm
Tourbillon diameter: 12.30 mm
Balance wheel diameter: 10.00 mm
Number of jewels: 27
Balance: Glucydur®, 2 arms, 4 setting screws, moment of inertia 10 mg•cm2, angle of lift 53°
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Balance spring: elinvar by Nivarox®
Shock protection: KIF Elastor KE 160 B28
Barrel shaft: nickel-free Chronifer® (DIN x 46 Cr 13 + S) with the following characteristics: stainless – antimagnetic – suitable for tempering
CASE MADE OF QUARTZ TPT®, CARBON TPT® AND TITANIUM
From the case and dial to each piece of the movement, the design and execution of the watch demonstrate a holistic approach to conception of the movement, case and dial.
As a result, everything has been constructed according to extremely rigorous specifications. The casing ring is eliminated, and the movement is fixed to the chassis with four grade 5 titanium screws and silent blocks (ISO SW).
The bezel is made of Carbon TPT® and Quartz TPT®, two exclusive materials with unique appearances. Their remarkable surfaces display extremely regular undulations, as they are composed of multiple layers of parallel filaments obtained by dividing carbon fiber or silica threads. These layers, with a maximum thickness of 45 microns, are impregnated with matrices then woven on a special machine that modifies the direction of the weft by 45° between layers. Heated to 120°C at a pressure of 6 bars, these materials are then ready to be processed on a CNC machine in Richard Mille’s case factory.
Quartz TPT® is also used for the caseback while the caseband is made of satin-finished grade 5 titanium with pillars in Carbon TPT®.
The tripartite case is water resistant to 50 metres, ensured by 2 Nitrile O-ring seals. The case is assembled with 20 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion-resistant washers in 316L stainless steel.
• Anglage and polishing by hand
• Hand-polished locking sections
• Sapphire-blasted milled sections
• Lapped and polished contact points
• Burnished pivots
• Sapphire-blasted surfaces
• Hand-polished anglage
• Concave chamfering with a diamond tool
• Circular-finished faces
• Rhodium-plating (before cutting the teeth)
• Minimal corrections applied to the wheels in order to preserve geometry and performance.
This type of barrel provides the following advantages:
• The phenomenon of periodic internal mainspring adhesion is significantly diminished, thereby increasing performance.
• Provision of an excellent mainspring delta curve with an ideal power reserve/performance and regularity ratio.
It provides smooth time-setting functions by eliminating engaging friction, replacing it with rolling friction.
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.