The 2018 edition of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, also known as SIHH, offers many highlights, and not in the least due to the many new watches that are introduced, of which Richard Mille’s new RM 53-01 Tourbillon made for polo champion Pablo Mac Donough is one of the most exciting ones!
As always Richard Mille created a highly technical watch, that tackles shock absorption in a very sophisticated way. To deal with the harsh conditions during a polo match Richard Mille set out to create a robust watch, yet one that would not compromise his quest for excellence. For the case, this means that Mille used Carbon TPT, a very light and strong material that we already know from some of his previous watches. Polo is known to have scattered quite a few watch crystals, and even sapphire crystal is no guarantee to survive a watch. To tackle this, Richard Mille created the very first watch ever with a crystal made from laminated sapphire glass. Both protect the seemingly delicate, but in fact very sturdy movement inside.
One thing that did bother me was the sharp edges located on the narrow bottom of the bezel along with this caseback, both of which extend past the mid-section of this circumstance. I had been anticipating well-finished, beveled edges on such surfaces too, especially thinking about the RM 033’s high retail price. The concluding found on the rest of the surfaces has been nothing short of unique for my eyes.The sapphire crystal features a large, slanted oval opening at its centre, surrounded by stylized, translucent Roman numerals. At first, I did not enjoy this counter oval, but it grew on me. I still don’t adore it, but surveying others, especially women, I’m in the minority. The dial is coated using anti-glare treatment to reduce reflections, exactly like the sapphire crystal and caseback above and beneath. As a result, the F1-inspired structure of this movement can be clearly admired in any way times while the watch is worn.A easy watch, indicating only the minutes and hours, the RM 033 has superb white golden hands. With their apartment dauphine shape, they’re each coated with two staggered, trapezoid-shaped areas of luminous substance. The top surfaces have a brushed finish, while the outer edges are sharply beveled and mirror polished on all sides, allowing episode light to radiate brilliantly. When light strikes them at the ideal angle, they look like mini lightsabers – a result I loved observing as frequently as possible.The RM 033’s extra-thin case is enabled by the Richard Mille caliber RMXP1, a 2.6 mm thick, self-winding movement with platinum micro-rotor.
Created as a suspension bridge, the movement is placed between two grade-5 titanium base places, which are supported by a tiny braided steel cable, only 0.27mm in diameter, running through ten pulleys. This not only gives the movement its strength, but also distributes the tensions within the movement evenly. The result is not only an incredibly shock resistant watch but also a horological delight! Just examining the movement in all its details can give great joy, even more so when you realize that it actually contributes directly to the stable performance of this watch.
That performance is further guaranteed by equipping the watch with a tourbillon, fitted with a free-sprung balance with variable inertia, which Richard Mille powers by his signature fast-rotating mainspring barrel. Soon a more in-depth review on Haute Time about the technical prowess of the new Richard Mille RM 53-01 Tourbillon Pablo Mac Donough.