Richard Mille, Airbus Corporate Jets, and Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi have teamed up to produce a new vibrating mechanical traveler’s wristwatch. The result of five years of research and development, the RM 62-01 combines airliner aesthetics and materials with a new, silent alarm grand complication.
A vibrating alarm is a very useful function for traveler’s watches because it can keep the wearer on time without bothering others in public spaces. It’s such a common feature on quartz watches and mobile phones that it may seem surprising that it’s an extreme rarity on mechanical watches.
This is because getting a mechanical watch to vibrate requires a very complex mechanism that not only requires a lot of power to work, but the vibrations quickly take their toll on the mechanism. This means that the movement needs to be intricate and precise, and it also needs to be very robust.
For the RM-62, the vibration is produced by a single piece of white gold that acts as a rotating weight calibrated to oscillate at 5,400 rpm. It’s run by a dedicated winding barrel that can power the alarm for 12 seconds. To recharge the function, the wearer presses 12 times on a pusher at the eight o’clock position and the function’s power reserve can be seen at seven o’clock.
Along with the vibrating alarm, the RM 62-01 also has a GMT function that lets the watch follow a second time zone along with the usual hours and minutes. There is also an oversized date indicator at 12 o’clock, an am/pm indicator at six o’clock, a function selector, and a power-reserve indicator at 11 o’clock.
Meanwhile, the torque-limiting crown prevents the movement from being overwound and has a special pusher in the middle that acts as a five-position function selector that allows the crown to be used for winding, time setting, alarm setting, GMT-hand setting, or be left in a neutral position. A disc at three o’clock displays which mode has been selected.
The RM62-01 contains 816 components, including two barrels and a tourbillon cage. At its heart is the manually-wound, 77-jewel, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) RM-61-01 caliber with a free-sprung balance to protect against shocks and is powered by a fast-rotating barrel designed for even power delivery.
The movement’s skeletonized baseplate and balance are made from a black PVD-treated titanium alloy, which consists of 90 percent grade 5 titanium, six percent aluminum, and four percent vanadium and is commonly used in the aerospace, aeronautics and automobile industries.
Because of the vibration problem, the RM62-01 is Chronofiable A8 certified, which involves a six-month testing protocol to assess shock resistance involving forces of up 100 g. To maintain the integrity of the movement, Richard Mille used special titanium spline screws that are tightened using torque screwdrivers, making the screws less susceptible to loosening during assembly and operation.
All of this is sealed in a case of layered Carbon TPT made out of 600 layers of carbon fibers only 30 microns in width that have been fused under pressure and heat before machining and then the parts assembled using titanium Torq-Set screws and case back.
The RM 62-01 is available in 30 units for only US$1,225,000 each.
Source: Richard Mille