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Richard Mille RM 011 Felipe Massa Flyback Chronograph

June 17, 2013

This is the newest version of the Richard Mille RM 011 Automatic Flyback Chronograph “Felipe Massa.” It is now available in an ultra-light carbon composite case. It is powered be a caliber RM 011-S skeletonized automatic movement with adjustable rotor geometry. The functions include hours, minutes seconds, flyback chronograph, 60-minute countdown timer and annual calendar with date and month. The case measures 50 mm x 40 mm x 16.5 mm.

The chronograph allows the wearer to start or stop the chronograph via the pusher located between 1 and 2 o’clock, and its flyback complication allows it to be continuously reset — without stopping the chronograph like is required on standard chronographs — by pushing the second button located between 4 and 5 o’clock.

The RM 011-S features an annual calendar function which means no adjustment is needed for 30 or 31 day months (only February needs to be manually adjusted). The date is prominently displayed in an oversized aperture at 12 o’clock. The month is displayed by Arabic numerals in an aperture that sits at a 45-degree angle between 4 and 5 o’clock.

The RM-011-S beats at 4Hz, has 62 jewels and a power reserve of 55-hours. The dial consists of a .40 mm sapphire crystal with anti-glare treatment (2 sides), protected by 8 silicon braces inserted in the upper and lower grooves. This allows a view into the movement from the front. The dial side of the watch is protected by a curved 1.20 mm sapphire crystal with a double anti-reflective treatment. The case back is in sapphire with anti-glare treatment (2 sides). It has is curved and has a thickness of 1 mm at the center and 1.73 mm on the outer edges.

Unique to Richard Mille automatic watches is a variable geometry rotor which:

“…allows the rewinding of the mainspring to be adapted most effectively to the user’s activity level whether it be sporting or non-sporting environments. By adjusting the setting of the rib’s placement, the rotor’s inertia is modified to either speed up the winding process in the case of leisurely arm movements, or slow it down when sporting activities are pursued. As a result, this invention allows the movement’s winding mechanism to be optimized and personalized to the owner’s lifestyle.”

Richard Mille timepieces are highly technical, the watch case for example, took an entire year of research to develop. It requires 68 different stamping operations for the three main parts: the bezel, middle section and case back. As opposed to using a casing ring, the movement is mounted on a chassis mounting rubbers and fixed by 4 titanium screws. The case is water-resistant to 50 meters, ensured by three Nitril O-ring seals. The case assembly utilizes 16 grade 5 titanium spline screws (12 on the front, 4 on the back) and abrasion resistant washers in copper-nickel-zinc alloy.

The main plate, bridges and balance cock are made in grade 2 titanium with a black PVD coating which increases the rigidity. A double power barrel configuration helps improve torque stability over long periods of time. Additionally, by using more rotational turns, the friction and pressure on the teeth is therefore reduced, resulting in improved performance.

Carbon fiber is used on the hour and minute tracks, the index dots are filled with luminous material.

Finishing of the movement includes: hand-ground titanium main plate and bridges, wet sandblasted and then PVD treated. Anglage and polishing by hand. The locking sections are hand polished. Pivots are burnished. The sinks on the bridge site are diamond polished. The pinions are undercut, sandblasted and rhodium plated, along with beveled wheels. Steel parts have sapphire blasted surfaces, anglage and polishing by hand, and the screw slots and screws have been beveled and polished with rounded and polished tips. The crown is in grade 5 titanium, with double seal O-ring and collar in Alcryn.

The RM-011 Felipe Massa Carbon is available in limited edition. The price is $133,000.

Richard Mille, SIHH


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