For this year, the Swiss watchmaker updates their RM 017 collection with an even more technologically advanced Richard Mille RM 017 Tourbillon Extra Flat hand-wound wristwatch that now comes in an ultra-thin case crafted from 18-carat red gold measuring less than nine millimeters from top to bottom.
While the new Richard Mille RM 017 Tourbillon Extra Flat watch will feature the same razor-sharp, slightly curved lug-less case (well, it’s not really “lugless” since the places of rubber strap attachment are integrated into the case itself,) the hand-wound Caliber RM 017 tourbillon movement that powers the timekeeper seems to be slightly reworked for this version.
The main difference is that this version of the caliber has the original baseplate that was made of carbon nanofiber material ditched in favor of one made of titanium.
The new material is not that “revolutionary” as the carbon nanofiber, but is apparently a lot less expensive to manufacture and easier to work with. Also, I have an impression that they decided to use the light-weight metal alloy in order to make the base plate a tiny bit thinner, even if a trifle heavier.
The dial, still a pretty messy thing to look at, is now a trifle more legible than the one on the original model. Also, I can’t help to notice that in real life the way the gears, the tourbillon carriage and other parts of the moving guts are visible through two years of sapphire are absolutely mesmerizing. You can actually put the watch on a (preferably) really expensive desk and watch it go for hours. I mean, if you ever wanted a device that would help you with meditation, this ultra-expensive gadget will fit te bill.
Kudos goes to the successful combination of skeletonized hour and minute hands that are crafted of red gold, and of dark grey components of the movement made of titanium and steel.
The oversized Roman numerals are still completely lost among all the rotating, vibrating and stationary parts of the RM 017 movement, but, again, the overall legibility is increased.
As usual, this is going to be a limited edition model.
The Swiss watch brand plans to produce only 50 numbered copies of the watch. No info on pricing* and availability, yet.
See also: Richard Mille RM 028 Diving Watch
* UPDATE ON PRICE: Still can’t say anything about international availability, but it was reported that on the US market the watch will retail for $400,000 USD. Richard Mille is an expensive brand, everybody seems to know that, but even with this information the price looks -ahem- fairly impressive.
Photos: Richard Mille
Richard Mille RM 017 Tourbillon Extra Flat manual-wind watch specification
Price: $400,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Hand-wound (manual,) Caliber RM 017, ELINVAR balance spring, antimagnetic barrel shaft in nickel-free Chronifier, in-house, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 21,600 vph
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, tourbillon
Power reserve: 72 hours
Case material: Red gold, 18-carat
Bezel material: Red gold 18-carat
Case shape: Rectangular, curved profile
Bezel shape: Rectangular
Case size: 49.80 mm x 38.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 8.70 mm
Dial: Slate Grey, skeletonized, power reserve indicator at 2 o’clock
Hands: Red gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black rubber
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire