Manual winding tourbillon movement with hours, minutes, seconds, split-seconds chronograph, 30-minute totaliser, power-reserve, torque and function indicators.
The RM 008-V1 combines a tourbillon and a split-second mechanism. These two complex specifications combined together and lodged in the heart of a mechanical caliber, is a major technical feat.
Built on a grade 5 titanium baseplate, It’s been five years in development and taken up thousands of hours of study to arrive at this point. The watch itself has over 500 separate pieces.
The RM 008-V1 was in 2003 the first new design of split seconds tourbillon chronograph built in the last 40 years. It used an entirely new movement geometry in which every functional section of the split seconds chronograph movement is independently optimised, each in its specific role, comprising independent horological ‘units’ that communicate laterally.
This is an entirely different approach from the classical layered and overlapping movement sections found in classical split seconds chronograph construction. This methodology, as used in the RM 008-V1 lead to improved chronograph performance, almost eliminates the traditional stutter in the stopping and starting of the split seconds hand, and provides low friction. These effects are also aided by an extensive use of parts created in titanium allowing for a reduction in inertia and therefore less friction in the RM 008-V1 movement than typically found in classical examples.
Another unique aspect of the RM 008-V1 (and many other watches in the Richard Mille collection) is the fact that nearly every part of the movement is viewable and naked to the eye, since it is not ‘layered’ in the traditional way. For the watchmaker involved in its assembly, the RM 008-V1 still demands a state of utter calm and nerves of steel during its production. One single microscopic scratch on the face of a pinion, or one tiny false movement of the watchmaker’s hand, can mean that weeks of work must be disassembled and rebuilt all over again. This means that as the watch progresses ever closer towards its final completion, the greater the stress is upon the watchmaker.