Manual winding tourbillon movement with hours, minutes, power-reserve indicator, torque indicator and function selector.
The RM 021 Tourbillon Aerodyne is the first watch to be created with a baseplate of titanium and honeycombed orthorhombic titanium aluminide with a carbon nanofiber core. It marks the entrance of the theme of air, space and supersonic speed to the brand’s imagery and inspiration.
It was a long-standing dream held by Richard Mille to use such a material in the design of a watch, although the challenge was almost insurmountable and the potential benefits relatively small. And yet, despite the complexity of his goal, this extraordinary result was achieved in 2009.
Orthorhombic titanium aluminides are group of alloys, developed from the main class of titanium aluminides, which possess a specific crystalline molecular structure ordered on the orthorhombic phase of Ti2AlNb. Its use within a honeycombed geometrical pattern was originally the subject of research by NASA for application as a core material of supersonic aircraft wings, where resistance to extremely high temperatures and torsion is paramount.
The alloy in this honeycombed form has unparalleled stiffness, a low thermal expansion coefficient and exceptional torsion resistance.
The actual shape of the baseplate itself as seen from the dial side resembles the trench-like V- shaped profile of a flying wing aircraft where the wing tips are positioned higher than the central body of the aircraft itself. The winding barrel and the tourbillon are both placed in the central depth of this aerodynamic structure, balancing on light and airy bridges.
This manual winding tourbillon movement boasts a 70 hour power reserve, which is indicated on the power reserve barrel located between 11 and 12 o’clock. The dial also boasts hours, minutes, torque indicator and function selector.