Richard Mille’s tireless quest for innovation culminates in the RM 65-01 Automatic Split-Seconds Chronograph
A true embodiment of Richard Mille’s identity – the best of watchmaking expertise at the service of extreme technical developments, showcased by (three-dimensional) architecture as complex as it is distinctive – the RM 65-01 is in fact the most complex timepiece to ever leave the brand’s workshops. Not only did the automatic split- seconds chronograph require five years of development, but it also represents the culmination of nearly two decades of pushing the boundaries of contemporary haute horlogerie.
A reliable and precise, robust and resistant measuring tool with innovation to spare, the RM 65-01 fully embodies the watchmaker’s technical approach thanks to the combination of several additional functions, a very specific architecture and an extremely high-end aesthetic with sophisticated titanium finish techniques.
“This wonderful challenge in the mechanical watchmaking world demanded patience, technicity and perseverance. Complications were also introduced, like a push-button for rapid movement winding – in addition to the more traditional crown winding – and also the addition of the function selector on the crown, a first for an automatic watch. This layout is very ergonomic for the winding, time and date functions,” explains Salvador Arbona, Richard Mille’s Technical Director for Movements.
For starters, the RM 65-01 has a high frequency balance with variable inertia – 5 Hz, or 36,000 vibrations per hour – developed for superior timekeeping accuracy over an extended period and precise stopwatch calculations to 1/10th of a second. The integrated movement, with its 6-column wheel architecture and vertical coupling, was developed in partnership with Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier and can be seen through the base.
A mechanical cathedral receives its energy from a fast-rotating barrel that maintains ideal torque for energy transmission for the full duration of its 60-hour power reserve while the barrel’s automatic winding also ensures the watch sustains optimal torque while worn on the wrist. This is further enhanced by the variable geometry of the calibre’s oscillating weight segment, which makes it possible to change the rotor’s inertia for improved winding yield.
To ensure the RM 65-01’s capacity to function under any circumstances, it was subjected to a battery of merciless tests from shock and drop simulations to accelerated 10-year ageing phases for all functions, by way of waterproof tests and magnetic field resistance trials. But that’s not all. The Richard Mille engineers also created an elegantly detailed case that brings durability, functionality and comfort; added the aforementioned complications; and developed a new gearbox in the form of a function selector housed in the crown.
Available in grey Quartz TPT, Carbon TPT, 5N red gold and titanium, the RM 65-01 fully embraces the brand’s ancestral codes while affirming its own identity. “This project perfectly illustrates Richard Mille’s philosophy of constantly pushing technical boundaries to create innovative watches that include the latest watchmaking developments with a functional, practical and high-performance approach,” says Arbona. “Our watches are designed to be worn and used, whatever the circumstances. And also to be admired, like an instrument that inspires strong emotions.”