BY DHANANJAY PATHAK
Richard Mille is a brand that specializes in producing rugged high-horology timepieces that have been designed to perform and survive even under the most challenging conditions. The brand’s latest timepiece is the RM 17-01 Tourbillon Brown Cermet. This new watch uses innovative materials and interesting color choices to create a bold and striking expression of the RM17-01.
Right off the bat, what grabs attention on this watch is its warm dark brown case. The Tonneau-shaped case has been crafted from Cermet, a composite material that is a combination of ceramic and Titanium. So, what this means is that the Brown Cermet should be lightweight and easy to wear on the wrist, and highly resistant to scratches. Cermets are used in the manufacture of resistors, and capacitors because of their ability to withstand high temperatures. Some Cermets are even used in the aerospace industry as they can resist high-velocity impacts of orbital debris more effectively than traditional materials such as aluminum.
The case measures 40mm in diameter, has a lug-to-lug distance of around 48mm, and is around 13mm thick. It is water-resistant to 50 meters and features some signature design elements that include 12 titanium spline screws that help in holding the three-part case together.
The sapphire dial allows the wearer to enjoy a great view of the heavily skeletonized mechanical powerhouse that drives this watch. Printed on top of the dial are bold Arabic numerals, and placed on the outer periphery is a tall rehaut that has been presented in green to complement the brown tone of the case. Furthermore, the minute track has been printed in yellow to offer a nice contrast and pop of color. To read the time the watch is equipped with a sharp sword-shaped handset. There is a power reserve indicator between 1 and 2, and a function indicator sits that helps in identifying the current position of the crown sits at 4.
The in-house hand-wound movement powering the RM17-01 has been thoughtfully skeletonized to showcase its complex machinery. For instance, the wearer can see the fast-rotating barrel at 12 and the Tourbillon at 6. The baseplate and the bridges are crafted of grade 5 titanium, a biocompatible, highly corrosion-resistant, and remarkably rigid alloy, which enables the gear train to function effortlessly. The alloy is 90% grade 5 titanium, 6% aluminum, and 4% vanadium. The movement comprises 23 jewels, operates at 3 Hz, and offers an autonomy of around 70 hours when fully wound.
The new Richard Mille RM 17-01 Brown Cermet comes mated to a racing green rubber strap, and the retail price of the watch has been set at CHF 630,000. Visit Richard Mille here.