THE TOURBILLON RICHARD MILLE RM 56-01 SAPPHIRE

This is a see-through watch for 1.600.000 CHF. The last masterpiece I had a hand on was the Richard Mille RM 56-01. The watch is fully transparent, completely made out of Saphire. Here are the technical specifications and some picture I made…

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS OF THE TOURBILLON RICHARD MILLE RM 56-01 SAPPHIRE Limited edition of 5 pieces in sapphire.

CALIBER RM56-01: manual winding tourbillon movement with hours, minutes, power reserve indicator, function selector and torque indicator.

Dimensions: 50.50 x 42.70 x 16.75 mm.

MAIN FEATURES

POWER RESERVE

Circa 70 hours (±10%) displayed on a numeric scale to the left of the barrel.

BASEPLATE, CENTRE BRIDGE AND THIRD WHEEL IN SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL

The baseplate has been entirely removed and replaced by large, transparent plates that support the entire movement. The rhomboid crystalline structure of synthetic sapphire crystal Al2O3 has a high melting point of 2,303 Kelvins and a linear-expansion minimal thermal coefficient (6 x 10-6), which combined offer exceptional stability even in the most extreme conditions. Its resistance to abrasion is also eight times greater than that of steel.

The third wheel and centre bridge are also made from sapphire crystal. The sapphire crystal of the centre bridge is ribbed to enhance the rigidity of the whole construction, while lightening the structure.

All the parts of the RM 56-01 made from sapphire crystal have been treated with an anti-glare coating, and have also been subjected to strict testing to optimise their resistance capabilities.

TORQUE INDICATOR

Supplies information about the mainspring’s tension, thus permitting the optimalization of the chronometric functioning of the movement. Below 53 dNmm, the spring is considered to be too slack, while above 65 dNmm, the excessive spring tension can adversely affect the mechanism’s operation, or else actually endanger it. (These indications appear on the numerical zone to the right of the barrel).

FUNCTION SELECTOR

In a manner similar to a car’s gearbox, a push-button located at the center of the crown allows one to select the winding, neutral and hand setting functions with a simple push. A hand at 4 o’clock displays the selected function: W (Winding) – N (Neutral) – H (Hands).

FREE SPRUNG BALANCE WITH VARIABLE INERTIA

This type of balance wheel which represents the ultimate in innovation, guarantees greater reliability when subjected to shock and also during assembly and dismantling of the movement, thus achieving better chronometric results over time.

FAST ROTATING BARREL (6 hours per revolution instead of 7.5 hours)

This type of barrel provides the following advantages:
- The phenomenon of periodic internal mainspring adhesion is significantly diminished, thereby increasing performance, – Provision of an excellent mainspring delta curve with an ideal power reserve/performance and regularity ratio.

BARREL PAWL WITH PROGRESSIVE RECOIL

This device permits an appreciable winding gain (circa 20 %), especially during the start of winding. It also aids in the even distribution of the mainspring’s internal tension.

MODULAR TIME SETTING MECHANISM FITTED AGAINST THE CASE BACK

Provides the following advantages for longevity and maintenance:
- Since the component is mounted outside of the movement, the time setting assembly can be changed without

affecting the integrity of the baseplate in the event of a possible defect or during maintenance,
- The mounting and dismantling of this module from the back will not require the removal of the hands and the dial.

IMPROVED TIME-SETTING SYSTEM (back of the movement)

By replacing engaging friction by rolling friction, the time-setting function is smoother.

WINDING BARREL TEETH AND THIRD-WHEEL PINION WITH CENTRAL INVOLUTE PROFILE

The wheel with a central developing profile and a pressure angle of 20° promotes rolling movement more effectively, compensates differences between centers, ensures excellent torque transmission and a distinct improvement in performance.

SPLINE SCREWS IN GRADE 5 TITANIUM FOR THE BRIDGES

This permits better control of the torque applied to the screws during assembly.
These screws are therefore unaffected by physical manipulation during assembly or disassembly and age well.

OTHER FEATURES

  • Movement dimensions: 33.20 mm x 30.90 mm
  • Thickness: 5.36 mm
  • Tourbillon diameter: 10.90 mm
  • Balance wheel diameter: 9.12 mm
  • Number of jewels: 28
  • Balance wheel: Glucydur, with 2 arms and 4 setting screws, moment of inertia 10 mg.cm2, angle of lift 53°
  • Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
  • Balance spring: ELINVAR by Nivarox®
  • Torque indicator, in dNmm
  • Shock protection: KIF ELASTOR KE 160 B28
  • Stone setting in white gold
  • Barrel shaft in nickel-free Chronifer (DIN x 46 Cr 13 + S), with the following characteristics: stainless – non-magnetic –temperedCASEThe entire case – front bezel, caseband, back of the RM 56-01 are cut and milled from solid blocks of sapphire. No external structures are used to support the assembled parts. Sapphire is known as a particularly scratch-resistant material with a hardness of 1800 Vickers. Made of aluminium oxide (Al2O3) crystals, it is transparent thanks to its molecular composition.The machining of such components was the biggest challenge faced by Richard Mille Watches, a challenge made all the more difficult as the sapphire machining process is exceptionally delicate. Although extremely tough, sapphire does not allow for even the slightest error during milling and cutting. Creating a case of this quality took over 1000 hours of machining, of which 430 hours were spent on pre-forming the case components and 350 hours on polishing the whole watch case. For excellent optical properties, the front bezel and the back bezel have been treated with an anti-glare coating.The tripartite case is water resistant to 30 meters, ensured by two Nitril O-ring seals.
    The case is assembled with 24 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion resistant washers in 316L stainless steel.SPLINE SCREWS IN GRADE 5 TITANIUM FOR THE CASEThis permits better control of the torque applied to the screws during assembly.
    These screws are therefore unaffected by physical manipulation during assembly or disassembly and age well.FLANGEIn titanium, with a black galvanic treatment and index filled with an approved luminescent material.DIALIn sapphire (thickness: 0.40 mm) with anti-glare treatment (both sides), protected by 8 silicon braces inserted in the upper and lower flanges grooves.

BEZEL AND CASE BACK

Bezel side: in sapphire (1,800 Vickers) with anti-glare coating (on both sides) Thickness: 2.50 mm
Case back: in sapphire with anti-glare coating (on both sides)
Thickness: 2.50 mm

STRAP IN AEROSPACE NANO®

The partnership between Biwi SA and Richard Mille has led to the development of a material that uses the latest nanotechnology to provide unparalleled resistance and transparency: Aerospace nano®
The nano-strengthening properties of this innovative material are generated during its production. Its elastic behaviour and natural water-resistance give it a silky feel and provide optimal comfort. The RM 56-01 strap has inaugurated a new class of materials.

FINISHING

MOVEMENT

- Hand-polished beveling
- Hand-polished locking-sections
- Microblasted milled sections
- Lapped and polished contact points – Burnished pivots

STEEL PARTS

- Wire-drawn and microblasted surfaces – Hand-polished beveling
- Drawn outer faces

SAPPHIRE PARTS

  • Baseplate polished on either side then treated with an anti-reflective coating
  • Ribbed centre bridge with opaque indentations, polished on both sides then treated with an anti-reflective coating
  • Third wheel polished on both sides GEAR WHEELS
  • Concave chamfering with a diamond tool
  • Circular-decorated faces
  • Gilding (before cutting the teeth)
  • Minimal corrections to preserve the geometry of the wheels and their performance

 

It was really not easy to take pictures of the new Richard Mille watch under the conditions at the SIHH. A much to “yellow” light at the booth made it difficult for me to find the right white balance set up. Guys I hope  you like my photographs, they are the best I could do for you … :-)

I focused on many little details with my macro, so please enlarge the pictures by clicking on them …

 

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2 Comments

  1. Debashish says:

    I think you are the luckiest person on earth! I wish I was there with you & check out these “Fab Watches”!

  2. Log says:

    Great report, fantastic pictures! Thanks!

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