Manual winding, extra-flat tourbillon movement with hours, minutes, power-reserve and function indicators.
The RM 017 tourbillon was the first rectangular case shape in the tourbillon range, continuing the development of the rectangular case first launched with the RM 016.
As with each Richard Mille watch, the RM 017 symbolized the Haute Horlogerie values of both tradition and excellence. As a consequence the bridges, screws and even the hands were hand-finished. With dimensions of 49.80 mm x 38.00 mm x 8.70 mm, the RM 017 extra flat tourbillon retains all the wrist fitting curvature and tapering towards 12 and 6 o’clock that every Richard Mille fan has come to expect.
The caliber RM017, with 23 jewels and beating at 3Hz, measures 31.20 mm x 29.45 mm while its thickness is only of 4.65 mm. As a consequence the RM 017’s manual winding movement set new standards as one of the thinnest tourbillon constructions ever created.
In addition, the RM 017 tourbillon used a baseplate and bridges created from ribbed, grade 5 titanium with a black PVD coating. The manufacturing of these titanium components is extremely time consuming due to the hardness of the material and the fact that titanium is flammable during processing thus requiring additional safety precautions during manufacture.
The baseplate and all titanium parts of this extra flat tourbillon design had been subjected to separate and extensive validation tests to insure optimal strength requirements.
The function indicator of the RM 017 also continued Richard Mille’s passion for mechanical innovation. This concept, based upon a car’s gearbox, offers the selection of three possibilities as the crown is pulled outwards: Winding (W), Neutral (N) and Handsetting (H). With this special gear system, stressful forces placed upon the crown are minimized, and any possible interference of the crown’s functions with the movement is made impossible.
This efficient gear system is further extended via a safety system with blocking gear and a torque limiting crown to prevent any possibility of the extra flat, manual winding movement of being damaged by over winding.
The RM 017 portrayed the current collection’s themes of motor sport and sailing, reflected in sleek, discreet lines that are among the thinnest of the collection.
The case represented an uncompromising approach, with extensive attention to all details of the case design with numerous stamping and machining operations required for the three main components (front bezel, back bezel and caseband). More than 18 days of machine adjustment were required and more than 400 hours of technical research and drawing before production can begin. Each case required 202 separate machining operations. The case of the RM 017 required 39 swaging operations including 16 striking, 270 milling operations. The machining lasts 4 hours and 15 minutes. Concerning the finishing work, 1 day was needed for grinding, glazing and polishing.
Cutting edge technology combined with elegance, exceptional lines, useful functionality and unmistakable personality, the RM 017 extra flat tourbillon typifies everything that Richard Mille stands for.