That’s something we are used to tell you: world timers are certainly the most practical watches around. In our actual way of life, having on your wrist and in a glance the time of the major cities around the world is extremely convenient, especially for frequent travelers and for people working in international environment. So what is it about to mix this complication with a watch from Richard Mille? We had a clue 2 years ago, with the RM 58-01 Tourbillon World Timer (a very complicated and expensive one…) but it’s now time to have some new trails, with the (slightly) simpler Richard Mille RM 63-02 World Timer Automatic.
Unlike the majority of the watches manufactured by the brand, the Richard Mille RM 63-02 World Timer Automatic is a round watch – when most RM watches features the now iconic tonneau shape. However, it doesn’t prevent this novelty to feel like the rest of the collection, meaning being a “racing machine on the wrist“. The new RM 63-02 is round but it is still sporty, masculine, robust and highly technical – and of course, very high-end. The reason for a round case is simple and is driven by the main complication implemented in this watch: the world-timer. Classicaly, a world-time display requires 3 things: a display of the local minutes and hours in the centre of the dial, a rotating 24-hour ring around the centre of the dial and a city ring with 24 major cities around the world. This ensures to have a view on what time is it all around the world. All of this is highly traditional and respects the codes of classical world-timers.
However, we’re at Richard Mille and innovation is not just an idea. It’s a motto. Thus, unlike most of the world-timers that are adjusted via a pusher or (for some) via the crown, the Richard Mille RM 63-02 World Timer Automatic features something quite practical and highly intuitive. It features a specific mechanism for adjusting the time zone, via the bezel. The rotating bezel includes a specific wheel connected to the movement that acts directly on the hour wheel. Turning the bezel ensures quicker, more accurate time-setting. the operation is simple: place the name of the desired city at 12 o’clock by turning the bezel to automatically set the local time and see the time in the 23 others international cities marked on the 24-hour bezel. To ensure a precise and comfortable manipulation, this grade 5 titanium bezel is mounted on ball bearings. Finally, the bidirectional bezel interacts directly with the heart of the movement, and ensures the water-resistance of the case (up to 30 meters).
The case of the Richard Mille RM 63-02 World Timer Automatic is, as said, quite different from the other watches from RM. However, its construction is as complicated and with the same attention to details. Almost 200 parts are required to create it. It is made of grade 5 titanium with straight satin finish and polished beveled angles on the lugs, the crown protection and the flanks. The 47mm x 13.85mm case is assembled with 12 spline screws in grade 5 titanium, a hallmark of Richard Mille. The crown is also made from the same material and covered with a blue insert for a better grip – even this crown can’t be pulled out. The setting and winding are indeed done by the crown but after having selected the right position by pushing the push-piece at 4. An small window on the dial (at 3:30) indicates W (Winding) – N (Neutral) – H (Hand setting).
We can’t really talk about a dial here as the entire face of the watch shows the movement, with highly skeletonized plates and bridges. The hands are typical to Richard Mille, with large chamfers and a straight brush finish. Time is pointed by indexes printed on a sapphire crystal that covers the movement. The final indication of the watch is a large date displayed by 2 skeletonized discs at 12. Well, this Richard Mille RM 63-02 World Timer Automatic is probably not the easiest watch to read but you’ll have to admit that the view from the front is really impressive and technical, with all these opening on the titanium plates, with a matt black finish and shining polished surfaces around the apertures.
The back of the Richard Mille RM 63-02 World Timer Automatic reveals a new movement, the Calibre CRMA3. It features a self-winding capacity, via a skeletonized central rotor made of gold (again with quite an impressive finish). It boasts 50 hours of power reserve and has baseplate and bridges made of grade 5 titanium and covered with an electroplasma treatment to improve the rigidity. It shows the actual finish of the RM watches, meaning haute horlogerie standards: satin-finished surfaces, hand polished chamfered edges, hand polished sinks, diamond polished angles on the wheels and a mainplate (on the front) micro-blasted, chamfered and polished by hand.
The price is like the watch, rather impressive: $145,000. www.richardmille.com.