This highly complex piece has achieved the remarkable feat of combining the technical sophistication of a Richard Mille tourbillion movement with an ultra modern design, all enclosed in a case of a mere 8.7mm total thickness. Allying functionality with comfort and elegance, the RM 017 Tourbillon associates the best of Swiss watch making tradition with innovative and novel solutions, both in the choice of materials and the overall design of the watch.
Nothing has been left to chance in the design of the RM 017 Tourbillon. Each part has been carefully created so that it meets Richard Mille’s requirements in terms of rigidity, reliability and precision.
That’s why the movement plate is made out of grade 2 titanium with a black PVD coating, thus providing the assembly great rigidity and an excellent flatness of surface, essential for the perfect functioning of the gear train. The ceramic endstone for the tourbillon cage is another technical response to the phenomena of wear and the result of an in-depth study of friction and its effect on the longevity of the components. Always in search of optimal reliability, the RM 017 Tourbillon introduces a barrel pawl with progressive recoil, a system which avoids overtightening of the spring when winding and which removes any risk of knocking the escapement.
The RM 017 Tourbillon makes use once again of the function selector developed by Richard Mille based on a car’s gearbox. The selected mode – winding, neutral or handsetting – is displayed by a needle situated at 4 o’clock.
The marked technical character is set off by a hand polished finish. The case alone is evidence of the attention paid to the smallest detail in the manufacture of its three main components, bezel, case middle and back. Each unpolished case involves 202 separate machining operations. The RM 017 Tourbillon case is evidence of Richard Mille’s overall approach in which movement and case are developed together in total consistency, in order to ensure rigidity and optimal performance. A theme that is dear to the brand, all of whose watches, even the most complicated, can adapt to use in extreme conditions.
The RM 017 Tourbillon manages to associate an architectural design with total ergonomy and comfort. The strap, a perfect fit for the wrist, offers at the same time proportions that are innovative and perfectly balanced, without disturbing the lines in any way.
Limited Edition – 50 pieces.
Caliber RM 017 – manual winding extra flat tourbillon movement with hours, minutes, power reserve, indicator and function indicator.
Dimensions – length 49.80 mm x 38.00 mm x 8.70 mm.
Main features (Many of which are major technical innovations) – Titanium baseplate – These components are manufactured in grade 2 titanium with black PVD coating. As a consequence the whole assembly is given great rigidity, as well as precise surface flatness which is essential for the perfect functioning of the geartrain.
Power reserve – Circa 70 hours.
Variable inertia, free sprung balance – The free-sprung balance provides better reliability in the event of shocks, movement assembly and disassembly. It also guarantees better chronometric results over an extended period of time.
Fast rotating barrel (6 hours per revolution instead of 7.5) – 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 is also helpful in the distribution of the mainspring’s internal tension.
Safety system with blocking gear – This system protects the roller jewel of the balance as well as the winding barrel from possible overwinding.
Function indicator – In a manner similar to a car’s gearbox, the function indicator allows one to see the winding, neutral and hand setting positions as the crown is pulled out. Each position is indicated via a hand at 4 o’clock displaying the following functions: W (Winding) – N (Neutral) – H (Hands).
Ceramic endstone for the tourbillon cage – This reflects a technical and long-term view towards the elimination of wear phenomena, resulting in improved technical tribology.
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.
Winding barrel teeth and third-wheel pinion with central involute profile – The central involute profile of the winding barrel teeth and pinion provides an optimal pressure angle of 20°. This promotes effective rotary motion and allows for compensation of possible variations in the engagement of the going train, thus insuring excellent torque transmission with a distinct improvement in performance.
Other features – Movement dimensions – 31.20 x 29.45 mm. Thickness – 4.65 mm. Tourbillon diameter – 12.30 mm. Balance wheel diameter – 10 mm. Number of jewels – 23. Balance – Glucydur, 2 arms, 4 setting screws, inertia moment 10 mg.cm2, angle of lift 53º. Frequency – 21,600 vph (3 Hz). Balance spring – Elinvar by Nivarox. Torque indicator with reference measurement in dNmm. Shock protection – Kif Elastor KE 160 B28. Stone setting in 2N gold. Barrel shaft in nickel-free chronifer (DIN x 46 Cr 13 + S) with the following characteristics – stainless- antimagnetic- suitable for tempering.
Case – It is a counterpoint to the existing collection’s themes of motor sport and sailing, reflected in its discreet lines that are one of the thinnest in the collection, yet with the same wrist fitting curvature and taper as the rest of the assembly it represents a further transformation of the tonneau shape suitable for all occasions. It still retains the same characteristics and attention to detail of case design with numerous stamping and machining operations required for the three main components (bezel, middle section and case back). More than 18 days of machine adjustment are required and more than 400 hours of technical research and drawing before production can even start. Each case requires 202 separate machining operations. The design and execution of this watchcase typifies the complete conceptual approach to all parts of the movement, case and dial. As a result, everything has been constructed according to an extremely rigorous specification. For example a casing ring is no longer used and the movement is mounted on chassis mounting rubbers (ISO SW) fixed by 4 titanium screws. Features such as these are evidence of uncompromising workmanship. The tripartite case is water resistant to 30 meters, ensured by two Nitril O-ring seals. The case is assembled with 12 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion resistant washers in copper-nickel-zinc alloy.
Spline screws in grade 5 titanium for the case – 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.
Torque limiting crown in titanium – This additional security system prevents from accidental overwinding, which could cause damage such as winding stem breaking or too much pressure on the barrel spring.
Interior flange – In carbon fibers, with index points filled with approved luminous material.
Dial – In sapphire (thickness: 0.30 mm) with anti-glare treatment (both sides), protected by 8 silicon braces inserted in the upper and lower grooves.
Crystal – Bezel side – In sapphire (1800 Vickers) with anti-glare treatment (both sides). Thickness – 1.15 mm. Case back – In sapphire with anti-glare treatment (both sides). Thickness – At the center 1.05 mm and outer edges 1.39 mm.
Finishing – Movement – Anglage and polishing by hand. Locking sections hand polished. Sapphire blasted milled sections. Lapped and polished contact points. Burnished pivots.
Steel parts – Sapphire blasted surfaces. Anglage and polishing by hand.
Gear wheels – Concave chamfering with a diamond tool. Circular finished faces. Gilding (before cutting the teeth). Minimum correction applied to the wheels in order to preserve geometry and performance.
Source: Richard Mille