This year’s SIHH 2011 international trade show is almost upon us and Richard Mille PR department has just informed yours truly at WorldWatchReview.com that tomorrow the Swiss-based maker of ultra-luxury timekeepers is going to present its ultra-thin RM 033 Extra Flat collection. The new family will comprise three versions: in rose and white gold, as well as one in extra-lightweight titanium. While the more expensive versions look cool, it is the version in titanium that of more interest to us: the gold ones may look cool, but the one crafted from feather-weight grey alloy looks bad-ass in all of its mildly oversized glory.
Richard Mille is usually associated with brutal-looking, bulky sports watches. However, the Swiss brand also has some experience in making ultra-thin models: the kind that they prefer to call “extra flat.”
Next week they will officially reveal their new Richard Mille RM 033 Extra Flat model, which is only 6.3 mm thick. Sporting an impressive diameter of 45.7 millimeters, the timepiece looks like you can cut glass with it.
The RM 033 owes its thinness to the new RMXP1 self-winding movement equipped with monoblock platinum micro-rotor (the precious metal is used in this case not only to make the RM 033 even more exclusive but also because platinum is approximately 11 percent denser than gold and allows for more efficient winding, which is important here since the oscillating weight is so small.)
Although extensively skeletonized, the caliber is only 2.60 mm thick, which makes it one of the thinnest automatic movements equipped with a micro-rotor winding system (it is on par with the PF 700 that powers the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 model and is only 0.25 mm thicker than Calibre 1208P automatic movement that animates the ultra-thin Piaget Altiplano.)
The movement is still capable of storing enough energy to keep the watch going for as long as 42 hours.
As usual for the brand, the RM 033 features a barely legible skeletonized face with the oversized Roman numerals engraved right on the transparent dial. However, the hour and minute hands, as well as five-minute markings, feature an adequate amount of Superluminova on them and make sure that the dial can be read even in total darkness.
The round titanium case with integrated lugs looks somewhat strange, as does the massive deployment clasp in this context, but the gadget will surely find its audience among those looking for a sporty timekeeper with an ultra-lean, yet prominent body.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Richard Mille
Richard Mille RM 033 Extra Flat specification
Price (MSRP): $70,000 (Also available in 18-karat red gold for $85,000, and in 18-karat white gold for $90,000)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber RMXP1, 2.60 mm thick, in-house, skeletonized, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 21,600 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Titanium, brushed
Size: 45.70 mm
Case height: 6.30 mm
Dial: Black, skeletonized
Hands: Titanium, luminous
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black rubber on massive titanium deployment clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective