AT THE CUTTING EDGE OF AIR TRAVEL & MECHANICS
Despite the difference in scale between a watch and an aircraft, we see these two objects as highly similar in terms of their functioning, requirements and processes. Thousands of hours spent on R&D are necessary for each one to see the day. Ultra-light and super-resistant materials ensure their solidity and performance. Sophisticated structural arrangements are chosen to ward off the intense vibrations they are subjected to. Uncompromisingly stringent certifications vouchsafe their durability. The meticulous application of fastidious procedures is a necessary condition of their quality. And their design aspect makes for marvellous machines that are a never-ending source of inspiration!
A PARTNERSHIP MADE-TO-MEASURE
If ever two worlds were destined to meet at the acme of innovation, those worlds are aviation and horology, both on a quest to master space and time.
Aeronautics has always held a special place as an inspiration for Richard Mille and the company’s vision of 21th century horology reveals close parallels with the former’s extreme conditions. The ability of our watches to function in hostile conditions, to resist considerable forces and to withstand wear and tear has led us to test our innovations by subjecting them to a ‘torture chamber’ we built at our manufacture. Like aviation, which demands a safety margin of 120%-150%, we want our watches to exceed all norms in terms of their functionality.
The mission Airbus has always upheld of transporting passengers through the air with a maximum of safety and comfort has pushed the company’s technical specialists to the forefront of aeronautic design. The name alone evokes unprecedented approaches to the design of aircraft built by the prestigious subsidiary Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) for exclusive private clients.
Launched in 2016, the collaboration between ACJ and Richard Mille had already born fruit in the form of the RM 50-02 Tourbillon ACJ. The technical prowess exhibited by the mechanism inside this watch are a breath-taking illustration of both the superlative engineering and shared values the two companies have in common.
RM 62-01 TOURBILLON ACJ
A new grand complication developed by Richard Mille with Audemars Piguet Le Locle, this specialist alarm is the result of five years of research and development. Its principle rests the automatic trigger, at the programmed time, of a vibrating signal produced by the rotation of an oscillating weight. Machined from a single piece of white gold, this weight is precisely calibrated to oscillate at 5,400 rpm.
Thanks to its dial and two hands, the alarm may be adjusted to the nearest minute of a full 24 hours, using the function selector situated at 3 o’clock. An on/off indicator at 5 o’clock completes the mechanism.
The maximum duration of the vibration, which has a dedicated barrel, is 12 seconds. It can be recharged by pressing a 12 times on the pusher at 8 o’clock. The power reserve can be viewed on a scale situated at 7 o’clock.
5-POSITION FUNCTION SELECTOR
A pusher located at the centre of the crown makes it possible to select among five different functions with a simple push: winding, hand setting, alarm setting, UTC setting and neutral position.
A disc at 3 o’clock displays the selected mode against a light-coloured ground: N (Neutral) — W (winding) — T (time setting) — U (UTC hand setting) — A (Alarm setting).
Located at 6 o’clock is a disc indicating whether the time displayed is Ante Meridiem (AM) or Post Meridiem (PM).
- Movement dimensions: 31.92 x 31.99 mm
- Thickness: 7.75 mm
- Tourbillon diameter: 12.30 mm
- Balance wheel diameter: 10.00 mm
- Jewels: 77
- Balance: Glucydur®, with 2 arms and 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 in nickel-free Chronifer® (DIN x 46 Cr 13 + S), with the following characteristics: stainless – antimagnetic, suitable for tempering
TORQ-SET® SCREWS FOR THE CASE
Like the blades of a propeller, the four arms that characterise a Torq-Set® screw head converge on the centre in an offset cruciform manner with curved trajectory. This type of screw is employed in the aerospace industry to ensure optimal control and transmission of torque. Superior to a traditional Phillips screw, its form also ensures flawless positioning for quick assembly and disassembly under any conditions.
The crown incorporates a special security system to prevent accidental overwinding, which could cause damage to the winding stem or place extreme pressure