Monochrome Watches
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Richard Mille RM 56-02 Sapphire Tourbillon

| By Frank Geelen | 4 min read |

In 2012 Richard Mille introduced the RM 056 Sapphire Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph, which was the first wrist watch with a case that was manufactured in pure sapphire. Last year they surpassed this with the RM 56-01, which has not only a sapphire case, but movement bridges and baseplate as well. An unparalleled achievement, which also reflected in its price tag of more than 1,5 million Euros. Later this year, during the Watches & Wonders fair in Hong Kong, Richard Mille will introduce the RM 56-02 Sapphire Tourbillon.

The new Richard Mille RM 56-02 Sapphire Tourbillon takes design cues from the mechanical architecture of the RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal and its cable suspended movement. By incorporating this cabled movement design within a world of transparent sapphire, an ultimate expression of weightlessness and transparency is evoked within the world of extreme horology. The case itself, entirely made of sapphire crystal, takes 40 days (24/7) of continuous machining to be produced and 400 more hours are required to create the bridges.

Richard Mille RM 056 Sapphire - 2

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In this fashion the baseplate of the RM 56-02, created from grade 5 titanium, is entirely suspended within the sapphire watchcase by specially developed single braided cable of only 0.35mm thickness, woven within a system of 4 pulleys on posts at the movement’s corners and another 6 pulleys placed along the movement’s periphery. The tension of the cable is perfectly controlled by a miniature ratchet at 9 o’clock. This entire cable unit is attached to a separate indicator located below 12 o’clock allowing an easy visual inspection of the cable tension, to ensure that it is always operating within the designated norms. The cable system allows an extremely good protection against shocks and vibrations (in the RM 27-01 Nadal, the movement can resist to forces up to 5000G).

Richard Mille RM 056 Sapphire - 4

Sapphire is not only used for the case but also for the movement. In this case Richard Mille’s engineers have added to the previous use of sapphire movement parts a new design of winding barrel bridge, tourbillon and center bridges in sapphire, thus giving an in-depth view on all the technical elements of the skeletonized ‘engine’. The movement itself is build around a one-minute tourbillon escapement located at 6. As for every watches created by Richard Mille, we found here the usual but highly distinctive features, such as the spline screws in titanium or the fast rotating barrel that allows a more constant delivery of force and that gives energy to the watch for 45 hours.

Richard Mille RM 056 Sapphire - 3

The RM 56-02 will be released in a limited edition of 10 examples worldwide.


Watches & Wonders will once again open its doors to visitors and professionals at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) from 30 September to 2 October 2014. Richard Mille is delighted to be associated with this trade fair, which is now considered to be one of the most important and influential in Asia.

Richard Mille has offered its enthusiastic support to the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie in promoting this event dedicated to watchmaking culture and Swiss expertise. The brand sees the event as a highly fitting tribute to the thousands of collectors in the region who are passionate about complex mechanisms and Swiss Haute Horlogerie.

For the fair’s second edition, the watchmaker from Les Breuleux in Switzerland, will oversee a 300 m² boutique set up for the occasion in the heart of the HKCEC. The famous glass sculpture representing the calibre RM008 marks the monumental entrance that leads into a luxurious space, adorned with ebony, leather, glass and steel with an atmosphere of calm refinement – an ideal environment for visitors to observe the detail and technique of Richard Mille watches. They will also be able to admire the richness of the 2014 collection and discover the many facets of the brand.

2014 is the Year of the Woman for Richard Mille, with a strong focus on the feminine side in the RM 07-01 and RM 037 calibres as well as the RM 19-01 Natalie Portman and RM 51-01 Tiger and Dragon Michelle Yeoh.

New products have also been developed with the brand’s partners from the world of top-level sports: the calibre RM 36-01 G-sensor tourbillon with Sébastien Loeb, the world-famous rally driver; the RM 011 and RM 50-01 tourbillon with Romain Grosjean, the official driver of the famous British Formula One Lotus F1 team; the RM 35-01 mechanical calibre with Rafael Nadal, the current tennis number one; the RM 61-01 with Yohan Blake, the world athletics champion; and finally the new RM 38-01 G-Sensor with Bubba Watson, the American golfer and winner of two Augusta Masters.

No less complex in their approach are the RM 60-01 Regatta and the RM 11-02 GMT, an enhanced version of the iconic RM 011. And in another more poetic vein altogether, the RM 63-01 Dizzy Hands, which allows the wearer to stop time at will…

In a world exclusive to Watches & Wonders, Richard Mille will present two new tourbillon calibres in a limited edition – a key feature of this new collection that is bound to arouse particular interest.

Head to Hong Kong between 30th September and 2nd October to discover the new Richard Mille collection.

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