The RM 030 represents real progress in terms of performance. To develop a declutching rotor system – a dynamic continuation of the torque sensor already used in our tourbillon watches – had long been a dream of the brand.
The technical concept, here applied to an automatic watch, is closely linked to automotive mechanics. The innovation we hoped to achieve was to combine automatic clutching and declutching control of the winding system with a torque sensor, thus ensuring an ideal degree of spring tension for the perfect supply of torque to the movement.
A further advancement in the world of automatic watches
The RM 030 is characterized by a sophisticated declutching rotor system, a continuation of the torque sensor that the brand developed for its tourbillon watches.
RM 030 AUTOMATIC
Skeletonised automatic-winding movement with hours, minutes, seconds, date, winding indicator, power-reserve indicator and declutchable variable-geometry rotor.
Circa 55 hours (± 10%).
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 increases the material’s mechanical properties, which explains its frequent use in the aerospace, aeronautics and automobile industries. The baseplate of the RMAR1 calibre has been optimised to achieve an extremely low weight/resistance ratio.
The skeletonised baseplate and bridges were subjected to separate and extensive validation tests to ensure they met rigorous strength requirements.
• 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 level, 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.
PATENTED DECLUTCHABLE VARIABLE-GEOMETRY ROTOR
The traditional winding systems found in the watchmaking industry, based on a flange sliding inside the winding barrel after full winding has been completed, allows harmful debris to build up inside as the flange brakes on the winding barrel’s interior over time, especially when the wearer is active. This, in turn, can deleteriously affect chronometric results.
To avoid such adverse effects, Richard Mille spent 4 years developing the concept and design of a rotor that declutches automatically.
With this system, the winding barrel is automatically disconnected from the rotor’s winding mechanism as soon as the spring is fully wound.
When the power reserve reaches 50 hours, the rotor is declutched automatically thanks to a specially developed gear system. As a result, the rotor is disengaged from winding the barrel. Conversely, when the power reserve decreases to 40 hours, the rotor is automatically clutched, and the watch starts another winding phase until the indicator reaches 50 hours. This solution allows both the movement and the oscillator to operate at the best ratio of constant torque/power providing optimal chronometric performance.
It is possible to check on these phases thanks to the rewinding indicator located at 12 o’clock, which keeps the user informed whether the rotor is operating in winding phase (on) or is disengaged (off). Typical of Richard Mille, the declutchable rotor is a major innovation in both its conception and miniaturisation, which represents an extraordinary technical challenge in and of itself.
POWER-RESERVE INDICATOR AND DATE DISPLAY
Located on a scale at 9 o’clock, the power-reserve indicator shows the number of hours of energy left in the mainspring before the watch stops.
Semi-instantaneous ans placed in a vertical aperture at 7 o’clock, the calendar disc of sapphire crystal is treated with non-reflective coating on both sides.
Movement dimensions: 30.25 x 28.45 mm
Thickness: 5.67 mm
Number of jewels: 40
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)
Three-position stem: Manual winding, date adjustment, time setting
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, 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 grade 5 titanium screws. Features such as these provide evidence of uncompromising workmanship.
The case of the RM 030 requires 86 preparatory operations, including 49 striking operations, before cutting and milling phases for the three main components (bezel, caseband, caseback) can begin. Machining involves 20 hours of setting and alignment, as well as 30 hours for programming.
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.
This security system prevents accidental overwinding of the watch, which can cause damage to the winding stem or place extreme pressure on the barrel spring.
• Baseplate and bridges in hand-ground grade 5 titanium, wet sandblasted, Titalyt® treated
• Barrel bridges PVD coated
• Burnished pivots
• Pinions with undercuts
• Sapphire blasted and hand-drawn surfaces
• Screw slots and screws bevelled and polished with rounded and polished tip
• Anglage and polishing by hand
• Sandblasted and rhodium plated, bevelled wheels (before cutting the teeth)
• Minimal corrections applied to the wheels in order to preserve geometry and 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.
The free-sprung balance offers better reliability in the event of shocks, 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 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.