Haute Complication: Richard Mille RM 11-03 Jean Todt
In the caliber RMXP1, the titanium baseplate and bridges are first sandblasted, then hand-polished. The baseplate is coated in Titalyt®, a protective coating for titanium that increases hardness and enhances corrosion resistance. The end result is a sleek, matte finish, gray in color with hints of brown. This contrasts well with the black PVD coating (such as increased corrosion resistance) on the brushed titanium bridges, which fasten the equipment train to the base plate. The comparison enhances the depth and dimensionality of this movement — especially difficult to perform having an abysmal movement. Nicely done.The quantity of skeletonization done on the baseplate — the part of the movement visible through the sapphire crystal – is not extensive. I’d describe it as partly skeletonized. To me, a totally skeletonized movement ought to be open and airy during, allowing one to seem totally through the movement. Together with the cal. RMXP1, this complete transparency is seen in just a few areas — mostly at 5:30 and 9 o’clock. The bridges found via the caseback are fully skeletonized, allowing a user to view virtually all of the well-finished gears in action.The ribs located throughout the motion are in fact functional structural components, as used in the motors of Formula 1 racecars. They improve the rigidity and strength of their motion for improved shock resistance (remember these seven technical principles I mentioned previously?) . Like the way an engine is secured in a F1 racecar, four big spline screws fasten the movement to the situation in conjunction with rubber O-rings, improving shock resistance within the use of a more traditional case ring.
One thing that did bother me was the sharp edges found on the narrow bottom of the bezel along with the caseback, both of which extend beyond the mid-section of the circumstance. I had been anticipating well-finished, beveled edges on these surfaces too, especially considering the RM 033’s high retail cost. Otherwise, the concluding found on all other surfaces has been nothing short of unique to my eyes.The sapphire crystal features a large, slanted oval opening in its centre, surrounded by stylized, translucent Roman numerals. At first, I didn’t like this offset oval, but it grew on me. I still don’t love it, but others, especially girls, I am in the minority. The dial is coated using anti-glare treatment to reduce reflections, just enjoy the sapphire crystal and caseback above and beneath. Consequently, the F1-inspired architecture of the movement can be clearly admired in any way times while the watch is worn.A easy watch, signaling only the hours and minutes, the RM 033 has superb white golden hands. With their apartment dauphine shape, they are each coated with 2 staggered, trapezoid-shaped areas of luminous material. The top surfaces possess a brushed finish, while the outer edges are sharply beveled and mirror polished on all sides, allowing incident light to radiate brilliantly. When light hits them at the right angle, they look like miniature lightsabers – an effect I loved observing as often as possible.The RM 033’s extra-thin situation is enabled from the Richard Mille grade RMXP1, a 2.6 mm thick, self-winding motion with platinum micro-rotor.
One of the first people to prominently wear a Richard Mille was Jean Todt. It was the beginning of a deep friendship between the charismatic watchmaker and the racing car legend. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jean Todt’s illustrious career, Richard Mille created a collection of limited editions, and among them this beautiful RM 11-03 Jean Todt.
Eye-catching is the beautiful blue color of the case, with some white accents incorporated in them. This extremely light composite material is created by stacking 600 layers of silica, each only 45 microns thick, and impregnate them with a blue resin. After being heated to 120 degrees celsius, the material is machined into its final shape.
Even very small things like torque screws that you may not detect are designed to our exacting specifications. The usage of more expensive to cut mill and complete titanium can be used for many motion parts instead of traditional German silver. ‘Naked’ moves show every detail to its proprietor, so that no defects can be concealed, and we offer the most ergonomic fit into the wrist having difficult to produce curved cases and fitting straps.It is said that together with the RM 001 Tourbillion a fresh age of watchmaking started. What is it that Richard Mille added to the industry?It has been a shot throughout the bow of this ship so to speak. Here was a high end tourbillon, made in a titanium case, with many titanium motion parts, together with the movement open from the front and the back, in a brand new style of tonneau situation that hugged the wrist unlike any other. It had high rated chronometric results combined with a layout and design that utilized the mechanics and meeting of the watchcase as elements of a new and advanced yet subtle terminology of design in horology. There was nothing similar to it, before or after.Why is your Richard Mille watch regarded one of the priciest watches?Normally from the watch industry, you produce a model using a projected price point and target market planned in advance. The ‘ceiling’ on the projected cost point dictates how the implementation of the last watch will turn out. In our situation, it’s the exact opposite state. We create an uncompromised vision of how it ought to be, and that’s it. In the end of the afternoon, all the manufacturing, planning, R&D and material costs involved are added up and the price point is calculated according to the real and direct costs incurred.
The movement is equally innovative and eye-catching, crafted from a grade 5 titanium alloy, with a PVD coating, featuring a high-tech finish. While the RM 11-03 Jean Todt has an avant-garde feel to it, old school craftsmanship is utilized as well, as is evident by the hand chamfered and polished bridges, as well the locking sections. Interesting to note is that the RM 11-03 Jean Todt not only features an oversized date aperture at twelve o’clock but also automatically adjusts for months with 30 or 31 days, making it an annual calendar.
The movement relies on a skeletonised baseplate and bridges made of grade 5 titanium. There’s also the highly complicated RM 50-01 ACJ split tourbillon, made in co-operation with Airbus Corporate Jets. This involved a combination of allusions to the materials, shapes, colors and visual element of the aircraft, and of course, most significantly the very high mechanical complexity of this movement, which echoes the complexity of the aircraft’s mechanical design. The hottest Rafael Nadal watch, the RM 35-02 automatic is offered in two variations of case, in Quartz-TPT Red or at carbon NTPT, it’s a total showstopper! Together with the amazing RM 67-01 extra flat automatic, we all wanted to create an elegant everyday timepiece, and kept the classic, curved tonneau form but we went to great efforts to keep the movement design and layout elements highly detailed, retaining our three dimensional approach. The above RM 68-01 Cyril Kongo Tourbillon and much more coming soon…You see, I almost never sit still for long.What would you think the high-end watch industry lacks now and how can you think that it could be developed?The heritage behind watchmaking should not be ignored and should be retained and cherished. But that being said, if new materials, concepts and strategies for the future of this watch industry are not utilised and developed, then I believe there’s a possibility that the sector is going to be left behind or side-lined by other impulses. That’s the reason why almost everyone looking for quite luxurious Swiss timepieces are looking at small and independently owned brands, in addition to independents, in order to locate fantastic examples of haute hologerie now.
Of course, the flyback chronograph is the main complication in this watch. Powered by automatic manufacture caliber RMAC3, it features two main spring barrels, providing the watch with a 55-hour power reserve. It also features Richard Mille’s signature variable geometry rotor, another testimony to the sportive character of this Richard Mille.
Combining all, it seems that Jean Todt couldn’t have wished for a more fitting tribute to the five decades in which he ascended as a motorsport greatness, as well as a better token of respect, admiration, and friendship from Richard Mille himself.
The Richard Mille RM 11-03 Jean Todt is limited to 150 pieces, and exclusively available at the Richard Mille Boutiques
Unusually, all observable jewels, together with the exception of the anchor’s pallet stones are artificial sapphires, rather than more traditional synthetic rubies. Their apparent color blends in smartly using the colours of the movement.Richard Mille launched the initial timepiece out of his eponymous watch brand in 2001. Sixteen decades after, the brand has made an indelible mark on the luxury watch industry using its avant-garde designs, its pioneering use of space-age substances, and its partnerships with some very high profile fans and endorsers. I caught up with Richard in the Bridge, a vintage car and art collectors’ occasion in the Hamptons for which the brand serves as a presenting sponsor ( and which indicated the U.S. debut of its revolutionary RM 50-03 McLaren F1 watch), where we sat for a brief but enlightening interview. I am not in fact obsessed with consistently introducing new materials, because I want the brand to be somewhat serious. I hate gimmicks. I will introduce a new material only if there’s a reason, a goal — not only for the sake of having these new materials because it’s hot or better for your promotion. Everything must have a reason. I believe my customers enjoy that. Also, we’re still a fairly young brand, however we provide a last-minute guarantee, such as against shocks. So, I have to be quite serious in my advancements, I must be quite consistent in making sure I am using materials that are extra-resistant to shocks since if I make a mistake, it costs me a great deal of money.
Cyril completely knows the art world, however he wishes to do things his own way, and he does not like to adhere to the mainstream. We both are tuned to the same wavelength. If you search for an artist, then you need to realise that not each artistic possibility can be implemented physically within a wristwatch, and not every artist is well prepared to take up certain challenges. In addition, an artist should feel comfortable working with all of the limitations, therefore it requires a lot of energy and time to research, initiate and execute tasks similar to this one. Kongo took up the challenge and enjoyed it fully with an excellent outcome. For the first time, an artist has moved his universe of the tremendously large into the core of a watch movement at a symbiotic way, which makes it bigger than life, a universe unto itself.Last year that the RM 19-02 Tourbillion Fleur was the showstopper at SIHH 2015, and it was our favourite. Tell us about this year’s novelties.To get the fullest information, our site is actually the best supply, and we all work very hard indeed to keep it perfectly updated and enlightening for this reason. I would need a complete page to enter every detail of all the new pieces here, but a fast listing in any case would cover the new fountain pen, the S05, made from NTPT carbon using its retractable nib construction. The fountain pen took nearly four years to research and develop before emerging as an exceptional, highly technical, one-of-a-kind thing.
In 2002, I was leafing through a wristwatch magazine as soon as an unusual advertisement caught my attention. “A Racing Machine on the Wrist” was the headline. It was an ad for Richard Mille’s first watch, the RM 001 Tourbillon. Having a fully exposed, three-dimensional movement along with a curvaceous tonneau-shaped circumstance, it was unlike any other opinion I had seen previously. When I saw the aesthetic inspiration behind the movement and case layout — the structures located inside a Ferrari Formula 1 race car engine — I knew I was looking at something revolutionary.I would soon find out the RM 001 was fabricated by none other than Audemars Piguet’s Renaud et Papi branch, to Richard Mille’s specification, combining the greatest levels of watchmaking, conventional hand decoration and finish, together with Richard Mille’s groundbreaking use of new materials, titanium, in a motion. It provided breathtaking style and the highest degree of material. And it was an instant success.Driven with a laser-focused eyesight — “uncompromised high performance” — that the brand’s evolution of watches is underpinned by seven specialized tenets, such as superior ergonomics, modular structure, and built in shock absorption, to mention only three. Richard Mille virtually magically synthesizes the architectures of things like Formula 1 racecars and luxury yachts to watches that are made to be worn at the most extreme conditions.As a result, Richard Mille single-handedly crushed the belief that luxury watches have to be heavy, ushering in the concept of luxury “lightness.” Similar to the design philosophies used in motorsports and cycling, Mille’s concentrate on lightness enhances shock resistance for optimal timekeeping in stressing surroundings.