Richard Mille is known for its very high-end and technical watches, but also for the ambassadors that are wearing them. What differentiates RM’s emissaries from those using other brands is how they are involved, and how they are pushing these watches to the limit. A nice example of a Richard Mille ‘action watch’ is this white, skeletonized, lightweight but highly resistant RM 055 used by the professional golfer Bubba Watson. And all of that cutting-edge innovation of form comes with the incredible finish of the manufacture.
3 weeks ago, Rafael Nadal won Roland Garros with a 19 grams tourbillon on the wrist. Romain Grosjean wears his RM 011 NTPT over his racing suit while driving at 320km/h in a Formula 1 car. Roberto Mancini uses its custom made RM 011 to time football games. That is the way Richard Mille selects ambassadors: people that can prove how efficient, reliable and light their watches are. And the same goes for this white RM 055 worn by Bubba Watson, one of the top international golfers. As calm as golf can seem, every fairway addict knows: never use a mechanical watch while golfing! The vibrations that your arm and wrist suffer can potentially destroy the movement.
If you look at the movement, it is extremely skeletonized and feels really light, not to say brittle. All the bridges are very thin and opened to show every technical element of the movement (which weighs only 4.3 grams). But you’d be wrong to think it wouldn’t resist to a simple impact. The strength and resilience of the Richard Mille RM 055 Bubba Watson comes from its construction. If you look closely at the dial, you’ll notice that the movement is held by 4 shock absorbers that create a link between the external framework and the movement itself, so it’s protected against (nearly) all vibrations.
At first glance, the movement is a simple 3 hands – hours, minutes and seconds. However, Richard Mille is not content to do simple! In order to add weight and some stiffness, the bridges and baseplate are made in grade 5 titanium, coated with black PVD. The finish is made up to Haute Horlogerie standards: hand polished bevelled angles, grain finish on straight parts, wet sanded by hand on titanium parts, burnished pivots, screw slots and screws bevelled and polished. In order to preserve the structure and resistance of all the parts, watchmakers pay a great attention to only have very minimal corrections when finishing the parts. That creates a mixed aesthetic of traditional watchmaking blended with modernity.
The Calibre RMUL2 boasts 55h hours of power reserve thanks to a double barrel mechanism that helps improve torque stability by reducing pressure and friction on the gears. The result is a better chronometric performance overall for the power reserve. As always, Richard Mille uses here unique spline screws in titanium for the bridges. These screws offer a better control of torque when assembling and disassembling the movement.
The Richard Mille RM 055 Bubba Watson comes with the iconic RM design, a 3 parts tonneau shaped case held by 20 titanium spline screws. The immaculate white case is made of 2 different materials. The bezel is made of matte ATZ, a ceramic obtained from aluminium oxide powder tubes injected at a pressure of 2,000 bar. It offers a very high resistance to scratches and an unchangeable colour. The case band and caseback are made of grade 5 titanium with a white protective rubber coating that is injected at high pressure around the titanium. It offers a very effective defense against vibrations, in order to protect the movement.
On the wrist, the Richard Mille RM 055 Bubba Watson is a very intriguing object. The colour of the case and the transparency of the dial create a technical feeling that serves the purpose of the watch, being used in rough conditions. The combination of an integrated rubber bracelet, an unusually light weight considering the massive size, and the curved shape of the caseback, results in a really pleasant watch to wear – comfortable and perfectly balanced. The RM 055 is available in white but also in black, as a limited edition, for € 91.000-Eur.