Manual winding tourbillon movement with hours and minutes.
Limited edition of 30 pieces
Following the structural trend that set the design of the RM 009 Felipe Massa, Richard Mille pushed the limits of architectural characteristics even further by presenting a tourbillon movement with a tubular structure.
It was the first time in the history of watchmaking that anyone had departed from the concept of a solid metal baseplate, replacing it with a structure made of Phynox tubes.
The new and original tourbillon movement with minimalist structure and impressive lines has never been seen before and the RM012’s contemporary and extremely complex tubular construction has perfect visual harmony.
The RM012 is a model that represents the best in technical, architectural and aesthetic detail.
It required two years of development and four prototypes before the final, successfully completed version was produced. As for the movement assembly, this required several months due to the many extremely delicate operations required.
One of the strengths of the RM 012 is its apparent fragility as it has an apparently weightless chassis. And yet this structure, one composed only of tubes, is more rigid than many movement baseplates with a more reassuring solid aspect. But make no mistake about this, a great deal of research has gone into obtaining maximum rigidity despite the absence of material – rigidity being an extremely important factor for Richard Mille. One of the principal difficulties of this process was to insert the tubes in Invar, a highly resistant stainless steel and then join them together three dimensionally. At the same time, the pivot angle needed to be calculated with extreme precision, the strictly perpendicular axes respected and all this with tolerances of a micron – a challenge verging on folly in such small dimensions.
Another technical feat lies in the working parts and tourbillon that are completely integrated into the tubular structure which replaces the usual functions, ordinarily found in the movement baseplate.
Worth noting also is the incredible resistance of the RM 012 to temperature variations, corrosion and shocks.
With dramatic lines inspired by architecturally engineered structural forms, the tubular, angled configuration of the RM 012 offers optimal stiffness and torsional rigidity with exceptional resistance to thermal change and corrosive elements. It is unique in the manner in which it unites the functions of the watch’s baseplate with those of the movement and bridges into a technically coherent and visually inseparable totality.
The RM 012 launched in 2006 led to Richard Mille being awarded the Aiguille d'Or at the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève as well as the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie – Asia Edition due to its revolutionary concept.