Richard Mille RM 026 Tourbillon

The new RM 026 Tourbillon from Richard Mille is a perfect combination of esoteric sensibility and technical horology and dedicated to those, who values a unique combination at the highest pinnacle of watch making with high quality jewelry. The design and inspiration of this new tourbillon are inspired by the eternal themes of nature, Gaia and the passage of time. Created in a limited edition of only 15 unique pieces, this beautiful timepiece comes in 18k white gold gem-set Tonneau case.

For the RM 026 Tourbillon, two serpents created in gold adorn its precious movement, writhing and searching within the tourbillon movement whilst simultaneously holding the tourbillon movement in place.

Admire the two guys who guard the complication, a ruby & diamond encrusted 18k white gold snake and an emerald & diamond encrusted 18k white gold snake with red coral tongue. But there are several other versions available of these coupled snakes, such as precious stones or semi-precious stones encrusted or engraved stones and even enameled bodies. It took many hours and extremely precise work to engrave by hand the scales of these two exceptional jewellery pieces. Each model created is a unique piece.

Serpents in mythology have complex roles that can be either good or evil. In connection with the positive properties of Black Onyx they however take on a protective role, representing the potent guardians of temples and other sacred places. Thus, they are natural guardians of treasures or sacred sites that are intimate and require protection.

The baseplate of the watch has been created of pure Black Onyx, a variety of crypto-crystalline quartz chalcedony composed of siliceous dioxide, (SiO₂). Onyx varieties with rectilinear black and white parallel stripes are actually a part of the agate family, whereas the fully black type is what one commonly calls true Black Onyx. This is a gemstone able to deflect and channel harmful energy towards the Earth, thus providing stability. Due to this ability, Black Onyx is considered a stone of protection against negative thoughts, as well being the stone of equilibrium and inspiration.

Keeping with the technical nature of all watches created by the brand, the RM 026 Tourbillon utilizes a newly developed power reserve indicator that makes use of a differential gearing system, directly connected to the winding barrel. Via a red line etched on its surface, the direct turning of the 48 hours power reserve barrel allows the wearer to easily note if the watch requires winding. Coupled with an additional security system, a torque limiting crown, prevents any chance of accidental overwinding, which could possibly cause damage to the winding stem or exert extreme pressure on the mainspring barrel. The caliber RM026, with 21 jewels and beating at 3Hz, measures 30.20 mm x 28.60 mm while its thickness is only of 4.97 mm.

In the world of horology, the case of Richard Mille watches is currently considered as one of the most difficult to manufacture. This tripartite tonneau-shaped case is fully curved, which enables the watch to be ergonomic and comfortable but is time consuming during its production and requires a high level of quality control. These front and rear curves are part of Richard Mille watch cases whatever their shape (tonneau, round, rectangular). They demand ultimate precision and no stress in the metal. The bezel side and the case back have to be perfectly assembled in the case middle with no constraint, to prevent the sapphires from any damage. These manufacturing specifications required one year of research and development.

The specific tonneau shape of the RM 026 requires 47 stamping operations including 21 for the forming. Tooling takes 4 hours and the RM 026 is obtained after 255 milling operations. The finishing process requires a full day for grinding, glazing and polishing. The tripartite case is water resistant to 50 meters.

An elegant and mysterious timepiece that unites the powers of Nature with the ingenuity of Fine Watchmaking, the RM 026 Tourbillon represents the world of emotions behind Richard Mille’s thorough approach to Timekeeping.

Technical details
Tonneau case – Limited edition: 15 unique pieces, 18k white gold gem-set case.
Dimensions: 45 mm x 39.70 mm x 12,60 mm.

Movement
– CALIBER RM026: manual winding tourbillon movement with hours, minutes and power reserve, inspired by the RM 019.
– Power reserve: Circa 48 hours. This function is displayed using a newly designed differential power reserve system, with a printed red line on a moving disc located between 10 and 11 o’clock.
– Movement dimensions: 30.20 mm x 28.60 mm
– Thickness: 4.97 mm
– Tourbillon diameter: 12.30 mm
– Balance wheel diameter: 9.12 mm
– Number of jewels: 21
– Balance: Glucydur, 2 arms, 4 setting screws, inertia moment 10 mg.cm2, angle of lift 53º
– Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
– Balance spring: Elinvar by NIVAROX
– Shock protection: KIF Elastor KE 160 B28
– Stone setting in white gold
– Barrel shaft in nickel-free chronifer (DIN x 46 Cr 13 + S) with the following characteristics: stainless- antimagnetic- suitable for tempering

Special features
– Black onyx base plate: Onyx is a variety of cryptocrystalline quartz chalcedony composed of silicium dioxide, (SiO2). The rectilinear black and white parallel stripes version is part of the agate types. The fully black type is called Black Onyx, and is said to be able to deflect harmful energy down to the earth, while providing stability. For this reason, Black Onyx is considered as a charm-stone against spells. Black Onyx also symbolizes equilibrium and inspiration.

Bridges made of Titanium: These components in grade 5 titanium with black PVD treatment. This provides the whole assembly great rigidity, as well as precise surface flatness which is essential for the perfect functioning of the gear train.

Variable inertia: The free-sprung balance provides better reliability in the event of shocks, movement assembly and disassembly. It also guarantees better chronometric results over an extended period of time.

Ceramic end stone for the tourbillon cage: This reflects a technical and long-term view towards the elimination of wear phenomena, resulting in improved technical tribology.

Torque limiting crown: This additional security system prevents from accidental overwinding, which could cause damage to the winding stem or putting extreme pressure on the mainspring barrel. The crown is set with precious stones or semi-precious stones depending on the version.

Barrel pawl with progressive recoil: This device permits a profitable winding gain (circa 20 %), especially during the winding start. It is also helpful in the distribution of the mainspring’s internal tension.

Case
In the world of horology, the case of Richard Mille watches is currently considered as the most difficult to manufacture. This tripartite tonneau-shaped case is fully curved, which enables the watch to be ergonomic and comfortable but is time consuming during its production and requires a high level of quality control. These front and back curves are part of the Richard Mille watch case regardless of their shapes (tonneau, round, rectangular). They demand ultimate precision and no stress in the metal.

The bezel side and the case back have to be perfectly assembled in the case middle with no constraints, to prevent the sapphires from any damage. These manufacturing specifications required one year of research and development.

The specific tonneau shape of the RM 026 requires 47 stamping operations including 21 for the forming. Tooling takes 4 hours and the RM 026 is obtained after 255 milling operations. The finishing process requires a full day for grinding, glazing and polishing. The tripartite case is water resistant to 50 meters, ensured by two Nitril O-ring seals. The case is assembled with 12 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion resistant washers in 316L stainless steel. On certain models of the RM 026, the bezel, middle case and back are set with precious stones following the harmony of the two coupled snakes embracing the movement.

Interior flanges
– Upper flange in black carbon fiber, with the hours index set with diamonds.
– Lower flange in black carbon fiber. with the minutes index in white color.

Crystal
Bezel side: In sapphire (1800 Vickers) with anti-glare treatment (both sides)
Thickness: 1.20 mm
Case back: In sapphire with anti-glare treatment (both sides)
Thickness: at the center 1 mm and outer edges 1.73 mm

Finishing

Movement
– Anglage and polishing by hand (excluding Onyx and black treated parts)
– Locking sections hand polished
– Sapphire blasted milled sections
– Lapped and polished contact points
– Burnished pivots
– PVD treatment (excluding Onyx)

Steel parts
– Sapphire blasted surfaces
– Satin finished surfaces
– Anglage and polishing by hand
– Burnished sections

Gear wheels
– Concave chamfering with a diamond tool
– Circular finished faces
– Surface treatment or rhodium-plating (before cutting the teeth)
– Minimum correction applied to the wheels in order to preserve geometry and performance

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