With its easily recognizable exterior, the 2011 Richard Mille RM 010 Black Night is an ultimate toy for a wealthy person who wants something extraordinary but doesn’t want to go either with something as ‘ordinary’ as a Patek Philippe or a Vacheron Constantin nor something as outrageous as a tourbillon-equipped Hublot. The only problem with it is that, for some far-from-obvious reason, the watchmaker decided not to sell the gadget in the United States, which is a pity.
Together with its recently released RM 010 Boutique Special timepiece, Richard Mille has also introduced a limited-edition RM 010 Black Night model.
As usual for the brand, the Black Night features that sporty exterior that somehow manages to stay dressy allowing you to wear this beautiful timekeeper not only with a polo shirt but also with a tuxedo. Frankly, I don’t know why the brand didn’t make its way into the James Bond franchise. I can see only two reasons here: either they just don’t really want to, or the studio owning rights to the movie feels that the gadget’s power reserve of just 50 meters is not enough for an elite field agent. Well, perhaps they are right.
Like its sibling, the RM 010 Black Night is powered by the RM 005-based RM 010 automatic caliber that features their proprietary variable geometry winding rotor.
The only difference between the base movement and its more recent incarnation is that the RM 010 is meticulously skeletonized and looks good both through the sapphire display back and the transparent dial. In fact, the open-worked base plate of the mechanism is the dial, but more on that below.
The open-worked movement is installed in a 48.00 x 39.30 mm tonneau-shaped stainless steel case with matte black DLC treatment. The coating, by the way, not only looks cool but also makes the timekeeper’s body virtually scratch-proof (of course, it doesn’t mean that you have to try to destroy it with a screwdriver).
As it is the case with most of their barrel-shaped designs, the length here is a bit misleading, but in a good way: why dealing with most watches, you have to factor in length on lugs (and they often make a modestly sized timekeeper unbearable for a normal person), here the lugs are integrated so, measuring 48 millimeters from lug to lug, the RM 010 doesn’t take too much space on an average wrist. Well, perhaps its thickness of almost 18 millimeters top to bottom may be a bit too much for some, but, for a piece powered by a self-winding caliber, it is not that bad.
Visually, you can tell the Black Night from the Boutique Special thanks to the former’s red dial ring.
Like it often happens with watches that feature different sorts of skeletonization on their faces, the dial here, as beautiful as it is, makes legibility suffer to a degree. While the Arabic numerals that are printed in white paint on the sapphire front crystal look clear enough (I guess, you can thank your powerful brain for that since, as you move your hand, the letters seem to hover over the dial thus attracting more attention and making themselves easier to read), the blacked-out hands with relatively small patches of Superluminova on their tips are lost over the maze of black and dark-grey parts comprising the movement.
Availability and Price
Unlike its sister model, which is available only in RM’s Paris boutique, the Black Night version is going on sale not only in Europe but also in some ex-Soviet states, the Middle East, and even Africa.
Also, the RM 010 Black Night is issued in a limited lot of 20 pieces: twice as much as the Boutique Special version. The brand plans to offer them at a pretty steep price of €62,000. The rest is pretty much the same.
Build quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Richard Mille
Richard Mille RM 010 Black Night specification
Price: €62,000 / $100,000
Movement: Automatic, Caliber RM 010, skeletonized, in-house, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Power reserve: 55 hours
Case: Stainless steel, black DLC
Dimensions: 48.00 mm x 39.30 mm
Case height: 13.84 mm
Dial: Black, skeletonized
Hands: Steel, skeletonized
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black rubber strap with a black DLC-treated buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflective on both sides