Technicity, performance, extreme resistance have been Richard Mille’s maxims since he started out on this adventure.
The RM 001 presented behind the scenes of Baselworld 2001 by the creator, throwing the watch without remorse onto the ground to prove to his future retailers and partners that this tourbillon caliber was unique, a legendary and immediate success, all these stories are part of the RM 001. However, this piece is much more than the first successful model of a brand, it is the one which allowed Richard Mille to put his foot in the first rung of the ladder and onto a permanent development process serving a brand that definitely doesn’t do things like the others.
The RM 001 is the pre-series of what would become the RM 002, then RM 003 etc. It served as the full-scale laboratory for Richard Mille and Renaud & Papi and the technical solutions chosen by their design office. It laid the foundations for what would become the brand and also imposed lines instantly recognised by thousands today.
He broke away from all that was technically done at the time, the architecture of the tourbillon movement was designed for optimal maintenance and extreme shock resistance. Case and movement were conceived simultaneously without any casing ring mounting. This design was quite unique at this time. A time when the tourbillon regulator was also considered as a fragile organ, impossible to wear out of special occasions.
This movement, a real unique prototype, was first assembled around a German silver baseplate for cost and development reasons. Rare at that time, a black PVD treatment was applied to it. This engine coating reduces the need of lubrication and provides a much harder protection, highlighting the care taken in the construction and finishing. Rhodium-plating gives a similar result, however the use of PVD was totally innovative in watchmaking. Eleven watches equipped with a German silver baseplate would be produced before the first successful production of a titanium baseplate which earned the brand its reputation of being the leader in the use of innovative materials. Titanium baseplates, a truly technical achievement, would now be a Mille standard and would be assembled on the last 6 pre-series watches.