The ballet of the SIHH (the Geneva watch fair) novelties just began. One of the first to come with a new timepiece is Richard Mille, a brand that we do love here at Monochrome-Watches for its exclusivity: unusual design and spirit, exclusive materials, astonishing finishing, distinctive complications and innovations. If most of the watches made by Richard Mille are highly masculine, with a strong design, the brand also knows how to create more reasonable (by RM standards of course) watches. And that’s what the new Richard Mille RM 33-01 Automatic is, a round, thin watch with a less sporty approach.
Don’t be fooled by our introduction. When we say that the Richard Mille RM 33-01 Automatic is reasonable, we have to keep in mind that we are talking about a RM. Don’t imagine that the movement is simple or less finished. Of course, it is not as crazy as a Richard Mille RM 022 Aerodyne Dual Time Zone – with its dial and movement’s plates made of carbon nanotubes – or as innovative as the Richard Mille RM 56-02 Sapphire Tourbillon – with its case and movement made in sapphire crystal. Those are dream machines, only produced in very limited editions. The new RM 33-01 Automatic is more down to earth, but still impressive.
The Richard Mille RM 33, as a collection, is not especially new. It has been presented in 2011 as the extra-flat watch of the collection, with a skeletonized micro-rotor movement (thus a self-winding caliber), an overall height of only 6.30mm but a simple hour / minute display. For the 2015 edition of the SIHH, Richard Mille has a new interpretation of one of its most elegant and dressed watches, with a movement slightly more complicated. The new skeletonized calibre RMXP3 still rely on an off-centered micro-rotor in platinum to wind the barrel. What is new is the the small-second displayed at 6 and the date window at 7, with a fully open-worked disc. The in-house movement is made from grade 5 titanium, which is wet sandblasted and electroplasma- treated, the surfaces microblasted, drawn and satin-finished and the anglage entirely worked by hand.
Where the previous RM 33 extra-flat uses Roman numerals, the Richard Mille RM 33-01 Automatic has Arabic indexes, which seems to give a more sporty feeling. The case, due to the added complications, is slightly thicker, at 9.20mm, however still very reasonable. The diameter is impressive at 45.70mm but the very short lugs and the curved case-back are bringing a surprising comfort (at least, it was the case on the extra-flat RM 33). The case is made of three parts (bezel, case-band and case-back) assembled by 14 titanium spline screws. It shows a fully brushed finished with elegant polished beveled angles. The rubber coated crown is also quite a piece of engineering.
The Richard Mille RM 33-01 will be available in grade 5 titanium, 18K red gold or 18K white gold with a caseband in grade 5 titanium. It is mounted on a rubber strap secured with a folding clasp. The price has not been revealed yet but stay tuned on Monochrome, as we will cover, as every year, the SIHH: live photos, hands-on thoughts, live report.
More about Richard Mille on the Official Website of the brand.