Today, we bring you straight from Geneva at the SIHH 2016 our hands-on live pictures and all details on the just released Richard Mille RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat. Creating a thin automatic watch has its own set of particular difficulties, but one of the dual challenges is to combine this type of movement design with the creation of a sense of visual depth within the movement.
The extreme use of skeletonization in the RM 67-01 carries many clues in this respect, however a new approach to the dial construction carries the eyes from the edges of the bezel in three layers to the central area’s hour and minute hands.
The case of this new icon in the collection represents the first time that the inimical tonneau shape has been created in an extra flat form, making it the most sleek model of the tonneau shaped Richard Mille timepieces.
The numerals in this new model have been created from solid metal and mounted on two linked and rigid titanium rails attached directly to the movement. To increase the sensation of depth, each numeral has been sculptured out of solid metal and filled with Luminova in order to provide easy night-time viewing, a first for the brand in this category of watches.
The vertical date window, now moved to the right side of the dial at 5 o’clock, is also enclosed in a window broadly outlined with Luminova. Between 1 and 2 o’clock, the function indicator for Winding, Date and Hand setting can also be seen.
Although this new timepiece is an automatic winding timepiece, it will require a little bit of winding when used for the first time or after having not been worn for a few days. The indicator moves as the crown is pulled out, thus taking the guesswork out of choosing a function only by touch or the number of ‘clicks’ as one moves the crown in and out.
The automatic movement CRMA6 created for the RM 67-01 is a new calibre of only 3.6mm thickness, designed in house by the engineers in Les Breuleux. The baseplate and bridges have been created from grade 5 titanium and finished with a combination of gray and black electroplasma treatment, with a winding rotor weight in platinum. The back of the movement continues the extra attention to creating a sense of depth with extensive skeletonization visible everywhere, including the large open worked winding barrel, rotor, going train and automatic winding mechanism bridges.
The modern architecture of the movement bares itself in a mechanical story; even the 3 slotted screws on the dial side signal to the watchmaker that they turn in opposite directions to the standard direction and the extensive use of custom made torque screws seen throughout the movement ensure exact and codified application of their correct tensing according to function and use. At the heart of the movement’s structural design is the use of involute profiles for the entire going train, instead of the standard cycloidal shaped teeth as normally used in watchmaking. Such profiles can be found in transmissions of cars and many highly efficient motors of all kinds; however their use in the field of watchmaking is rare and exceptional. Such teeth profiles allow for a more efficient transfer of energy through the going train, thus providing superior chronometric results.
The new Richard Mille RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat is equipped with a beautiful black alligator strap with rolled edges and the traditional double folding spring buckle.
On the wrist, this new watch wears true to its size and remarkably thin.
Sticker Price $85,000 USD. For more info on Richard Mille click here.