Manual winding tourbillon movement with hours, minutes and power-reserve indicator.
After using carbon nanofibre as a technical solution in several landmark 21st century timepieces, Richard Mille decided to explore a more ethereal, emotional and feminine approach for its ladies’ collection by using a perfect piece of black onyx as the baseplate for the tourbillon movement of the RM 019 in a first for the brand.
One of the early challenges faced by the R&D team in creating this timepiece was to source flawless natural black onyx stones that were large enough to support an entire watch movement. This was a difficult task because naturally occurring onyx almost always has small encapsulations of geological debris or fault lines where breakages could occur. Another issue was working with the material itself: drilling and cutting into semi-precious stones is actually an art form that requires great expertise, special cutters and tolerances similar to those required for the production of metal or carbon-based components.
Furthermore, it also needed to withstand temperature-controlled assembly during processing. So what appears simple when held in the hand is actually quite complex to produce in reality.
The entire watch draws on emblematic Celtic symbolism in an attempt to create a dream timepiece inspired by the triskelion, a Celtic motif symbolising power, magic and the three natural elements of water, earth and air.
This stone-set Celtic motif is actually woven throughout the tourbillon movement in an outstanding piece of three-dimensional workmanship.
The reverse side of the movement is adorned with a small triskelion symbol turning in time to the tourbillon’s rotation, providing a touch of magic to the black onyx surrounding it.
This remarkable addition to the Richard Mille ladies’ collection was awarded the ‘Grand Prix de l'Horlogerie de Genève – Asia Edition,’ held in Singapore in September 2009.