ONE OF THE MOST COMPLICATED RICHARD MILLE WATCH
RM 039 TOURBILLON CHRONOGRAPH AVIATION
Manual winding tourbillon movement with hours, minutes, seconds at 6 o'clock, UTC function, oversize date, flyback chronograph, central seconds and minute counters, 12-hour totaliser at 9 o'clock, countdown mode, function selector and power-reserve indicator.
Limited edition of 30 pieces
Circa 70 hours (± 10%) without the chronograph running. Actual power reserve results will depend on chronograph usage.
The baseplate is crafted in grade 5 titanium, a biocompatible, highly corrosion-resistant and remarkably rigid alloy, which enables the gear train to function effortlessly.
The alloy is 90% 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 skeletonised baseplate and bridges were subjected to intensive and complete validation tests to optimise their resistance capacities.
The architecture of this movement enables the coherent and rational arrangement of components. It avoids superfluous superimpositions and features technical solutions that optimise the incorporated functions.
Due to the extreme technical complexity of the RM 039, Richard Mille requested a particularly in-depth examination of its day-to-day use and evolution over time This optimisation process improved the chronograph adjustment sequences for starting, stopping and resetting to zero, as this module is subject to severe constraints due to its dual function. A flyback chronograph module – with a central display for minutes and seconds – not only makes the flyback function possible, but also means that the minute hand can be used for countdown. This also means, however, that even the slightest malfunction of the mechanism must be eliminated to avoid bringing the entire movement to a halt. Nevertheless, this quest to perfect the function sequences of the flyback chronograph has made possible greater margins of error in manipulation
With a press of the countdown pusher, the RM 039 can count down a predetermined duration between two navigational points.
Once the countdown pusher is pressed to display ON in the aperture at 8 o'clock, the pusher at 4 o'clock will allow quick adjustments of the hand between 60 minutes and 01 minute.
When the countdown time has been set, pressing the pusher at 10 o'clock will start the chronograph. When the minute hand reaches zero, the display at 7 o'clock automatically switches to OFF.
At any moment, the countdown function can be reset to zero with the flyback function by pressing the pusher at 8 o'clock.
The Richard Mille movement engineers, together with the watchmakers at Audemars Piguet Le Locle, carried out several years of research in view to developing the calibre RM039 even further. The aim was to ensure superlative ageing of the movement and perfect operation of the display and functions, without disregarding any of the complications or the essential concept behind the watch.
Through their investigations, they increased the safety devices protecting each moving component. The result is an optimally reliable and smooth functioning of the extremely complex flyback/countdown assembly.
OVERSIZE DATE DISPLAY
Semi-instantaneous, placed in a white-outlined horizontal aperture under 12 o'clock.
The RM 039 Aviation E6-B features the display of a second time zone by means of a red and black hand. This can be easily adjusted using the function selector.
Similar to a car’s gearbox, a push-button located at the centre of the crown makes it possible to select the winding, neutral, hand-setting and UTC-setting functions with a simple push.
A hand at 4 o'clock displays the selected function: W (Winding) – N (Neutral) – H (Hands) – U (UTC, setting the UTC hand).
The power-reserve indicator shows the number of hours of energy left in the mainspring before the watch must be wound again.
Movement diameter: 38.95 mm
Thickness: 8,05 mm
Number of jewels: 58
Balance wheel: Glucydur®, 2 arms and 4 setting screws, moment of inertia 11.50 mg•cm2, angle of lift 53º
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
The four-part case of the RM 039 is very difficult to produce. 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 takes a full day for each case. The 5 pushers, their components and the crown of the RM 039 require 10 days of machining, during which they undergo numerous tests for water-resistance and quality control, followed by the hand brushing and polishing of the entire case.
All of these stages are vital in producing the characteristic ergonomic quality of Richard Mille watches.
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 bi-directional rotating bezel, both marked with several complex indicators. 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/kms/gallons/litres/ft/kg/lbs) quickly. During flight preparation, the E6B slide rule thus remains the most accurate device for determining required 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.
This patented stem-crown assembly of the RM 039 provides total protection of the movement from external influences, as the crown is not connected to the heart of the movement.
Integrated into the case, it is impossible to displace, but still allows the watchmaker to manipulate it with ease. It is an ideal solution for safeguarding the long life of the mechanism.