Flying has always been one of our passions and we had long dreamt of making a watch—one that would be as comprehensive and complex as possible—to meet the requirements of aircraft pilots.
The complexity of the tourbillon model, which took at least seven years to develop—four years longer than planned—enabled us to address many issues in terms of the functions. Directly based on the RM 039 Tourbillon, this automatic model has many of the functions and complexities of its big brother.
The RM39-01’s movement is designed as a flight navigation instrument. This highly technical and extremely sophisticated watch is a modern interpretation of a device that is essential for any experienced pilot: the E6-B slide rule.
The perfect blend of watchmaking and aeronautics
This highly technical and extremely sophisticated watch is a modern interpretation of a device that is essential for any experienced pilot: the E6B slide rule, invented in the 1930s in the United States by Lieutenant Philip Dalton.
RM 39-01 Automatic Winding Flyback Chronograph Aviation
Automatic winding movement with hours, minutes, seconds at 3 o’clock, oversize date, month, flyback chronograph with central seconds counter, minutes and countdown counters at 9 o’clock, hour counter at 6 o’clock, UTC function and variable-geometry rotor.
Circa 50 hours (± 10%), 45 hours with the chronograph running.
Actual power reserve results will depend on how much the chronograph features are utilised.
The baseplate and the 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 enhances the material’s mechanical properties, which explains its frequent use in the aerospace, aeronautics and automobile industries.
The baseplate of the RMAC2 calibre has been optimised to achieve an extremely low weight/resistance ratio.
The skeletonised baseplate and bridges have been subjected to intensive and complete validation tests to optimise their resistance capacities.
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, to avoid wasting time (and therefore accuracy) by stopping, resetting and starting the chronograph whilst crossing a navigational point.
Located at 9 o’clock, the hand is replaced by a skeletonised disc marked with 60 minutes. The pilot can read both minutes elapsed and remaining minutes.
The RM 39-01 Aviation E6-B can display of a second-time zone by means of a hand filled with Super-LumiNova®. The time zone can be easily adjusted pressing the pusher at 8 o’clock.
OVERSIZE DATE DISPLAY
Semi-instantaneous, placed in a red horizontal aperture below 12 o’clock with automatic adjustment for months of 30 or 31 days.
Semi-instantaneous indicator with Arabic numerals placed between 4 and 5 o’clock.
This exclusive Richard Mille design makes it possible to effectively adapt rewinding of the mainspring to the user’s activity level, in sporting or non-sporting environments.
By adjusting the placement of the 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.
• Central flange in grade 5 titanium
• 18K white gold weight segment
• Weight segment with 6 possible positions adjusted
by screws in grade 5 titanium
• 18K white gold wings
• Ceramic ball bearings
• Unidirectional anti-clockwise winding
Movement diameter: 39.15 mm
Thickness: 9.00 mm
Number of jewels: 68
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)
Three-position stem: Manual winding, date adjustment, time setting
This multi-segmented structure of the RM 39-01 case is very difficult to make.
After a turning operation lasting 1 hour and 40 minutes, no fewer than 800 milling operations taking several hours are required. Machining demands nearly 11 hours of separate operations. This is followed by a meticulous quality control procedure that occupies a full day for each case.
The 3 pushers, their components and the crown of the RM 39-01 require 10 days of machining, during which they undergo numerous tests for water-resistance and quality control, followed by hand brushing and polishing of the entire case. All of these stages are vital in producing the characteristic ergonomic quality of Richard Mille watches.
BIDIRECTIONAL BEZEL WITH E6-B SLIDE RULE
This highly technical and extremely sophisticated watch is a modern interpretation of a device that is essential for any experienced pilot: the E6-B slide rule, invented in the 1930s in the United States by Lieutenant Philip Dalton.
The E6B slide rule requires no power supply, making it an extremely safe-flight instrument for pilots, even today.
The E6-B slide rule features a fixed bezel and a bi-directional rotating bezel, both marked with several complex indications. It can be used to read and calculate fuel consumption, flight times, ground speed, density altitude and wind influence, and to convert units of measurement (knots/km/gallons/ litres/ft/kgs/lbs) quickly. During flight preparation, the E6B slide rule therefore remains the most accurate device for determining fuel load and density altitude (essential for take-off and landing).
Read off is facilitated by the addition of a movable pointer incorporated into the case that pops-up when a release button is pressed, thus ensuring a more accurate readout.
In order to prevent accidental in-flight activation of the chronograph, Richard Mille has incorporated a locking crown which, with a twist of the ring, fixes the pushers and crown in place. The green and red markers indicate whether the lock is deactivated or on.
• Baseplate and bridges in hand-ground PVD treated grade 5 titanium, wet sandblasted and hand-drawn finished by hand,
• Burnished pivots
• Diamond-polished sinks on the bridge side
• Pinions with undercuts
• Sapphire-blasted and hand-drawn surfaces
• Screw slot and screws bevelled and polished with rounded and polished tip
• Sand-blasted and rhodium-plated, bevelled wheels (before cutting)
• Minimal corrections applied to the wheels in order to preserve geometry and performance
This type of balance wheel represents the ultimate in innovation.
It guarantees greater reliability when subjected to shock, and during movement assembly or disassembly, hence better chronometric results over time.
The regulator index is eliminated and a more accurate and repeatable calibration is possible thanks to 4 small adjustable weights located directly on the balance.
The double-barrel system helps to improve the torque stability over a longer period.
This is achieved by dividing the stored energy across two winding barrels instead of one, thereby reducing pressure and friction on the teeth, the bearings and the pivots, resulting in improved long-term performance.
These type of screws permit better control of the torque applied to the screws during assembly. They are unaffected by physical manipulation during assembly or disassembly and age well.