Recently we visited the Richard Mille in Switzerland. However it’s difficult to say that we visited THE manufacture, because there are several locations where the various parts are manufactured, finished, and assembled. Part “in-house” and partially not; so in the typical Swiss horological tradition. This gave us the chance to learn more about the brand, the manufacturing, the finishing and of course we got hands-on with some of the Richard Mille timepiece, like this extremely cool RM 11-01 Roberto Mancini. If budget permits (price is just above € 100k Euro), this is the perfect watch to accompany you to the Fifa Worldcup in Brazil.
The former footballer Roberto Mancini has an impressive list of titles to his credit, and in 2009 he started as manager of Manchester City. According to Richard Mille he’s a true ‘gentleman of football’ and he is the very image of the brand: refined, technically brilliant and creative. The RM 11-01 was designed especially for him. The RM 11-01, a variation on the RM 011, comes in a robust, but extremely comfortable, titanium case that measures 50 x 40 x 16.15mm.
Let’s face it, the RM11-01, and actually all Richard Mille chronograph, are not known for being ultra slim. Usually I have a strong preference for thin, ultra-thin, extra-plat, and this height means a red card. However… this is one of few exceptions. It won’t fit under your double cuff shirt with cuff links, but it is not made for that purpose. This is an ultra-luxurious sports watch that can be worn in action. Therefore everything, from the super smooth finished case, to the super subtle (not too subtle, but also not too stiff) rubber strap and the super user-friendly double folding clasp, is designed to create the ultimate wearing experience. I know, I’m enthusiastic, and I’m sure everyone who wears one for some hours is convinced of this “ultimate wearing experience” as well.
The RM11-01 is especially developed for timing a football match. There are two halves, each 45 minutes, plus extra time and stoppage time. During the extra time, the remaining minutes are no longer displayed to the players, coach, trainer or their manager; that means intense anxiety. Richard Mille collaborated with Roberto Mancini on the creation of the RM 11-01. This variation of the RM 011 is equipped with a flyback chronograph featuring a central minute counter and a dial divided into the periods of play.
The movement, calibre RMAC1, furthermore offers an annual calendar with an oversized date display, placed in a green outlined horizontal aperture under 12 o’clock, with automatic adjustment for months of 30 or 31 days. The month is displayed with Arabic numerals, also in a green outlined aperture, placed between 4 and 5 o’clock.
Although its operation appears simple, in reality the RM11-01 is unique in watchmaking. The dial displays match time on the basis of two 45-minute halves and up to 15 minutes of stoppage time. Pressing the pusher at 4 o’clock once actuates the flyback function and repositions the hand at 12 o’clock, ready to start the second half. If extra time is awarded, the flyback function can be re-actuated so that the watch shows the 15 minutes of extra match time and up to 5 minutes of stoppage time.
The case of the RM 11-01 is recognizable as a RM 011, featuring a similar tonneau shaped case, made in three parts from grade 5 titanium. It is water-resistant to 50 meters and the three case parts are held together by 20 spline screws, also in grade 5 titanium, and with wear-resistant 316L steel washers. Completing this extremely ergonomic case requires over 200 machining operations, and many case parts are finished by hand. The RM11-01 is available in red gold and titanium and has a retail price of € 114,500 Euro.
Specifications Richard Mille RM11-01 Roberto Mancini:
- Case: grade 5 titanium, 50.00 x 42.70 x 16.15 mm, front and back sapphire crystal with anti-glare treatment (2 sides), hand-finished, movement is mounted on chassis mounting rubbers fixed by 4 titanium screws
- Movement: calibre RMAC1, automatic winding movement with hours, minutes, seconds, flyback chronograph, central minutes counter, 12-hour totalizer, annual calendar, adjustable rotor geometry, 50 hours power reserve, two main spring barrels, free sprung balance with variable inertia, 68 jewels, 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Finishing: Baseplate and bridges in grade 5 titanium, hand-polished, wet sandblasted and PVD treated; Bridge in black anodized aluminium on the dial side; Anglage and polishing by hand; Locking sections hand polished; Burnished pivots; Diamond polished sinks; Pinions with undercuts; Sandblasted and rhodium-plated, beveled wheels
- Strap: rubber strap with double folding clasp
More info: www.richardmille.com