Following in the footsteps of Richard Mille’s RM 052 Skull collection launched in 2012, the new RM 52-01 Skull model features the skull design that has come to symbolise the Richard Mille brand: an anti-conformist approach focused on creativity and development, where each new timepiece embodies a call for a watchmaking revolution. This model stands out both for its choice of materials and the way it has been crafted.
The RM 52-01 Skull is equipped with the RM052 manual winding tourbillon caliber built on a baseplate in PVD-treated grade 5 titanium. The PVD-treated titanium provides excellent rigidity and perfectly flat surfaces, and has been subjected to a range of tests before being approved. But that is where comparisons with the RM 052 end: the skull and back of the skull are now sculpted from 5N red gold and are hand-bevelled. For the case, Richard Mille has used an unprecedented composite material known as nano-ceramic.
Following research on the bezels of the RM 055 and RM 011 Silicon Nitride, the Jura-based watchmaker has developed advanced expertise in ceramics, excellent skills in the design of complex shapes and, most importantly, has managed to produce ceramics of unrivalled quality by reducing the porosity of the raw material.
TZP was chosen for the RM 52-01’s bezel and case back. This low-density material (6 g.cm3) is highly scratch-resistant and has a low thermal conductivity coefficient. Made from 95% yttrium-stabilised zirconium, TZP has a pronounced grain that provides the perfect finish. The bezel and case back can therefore be microblasted and the corners hand-polished.
For the case middle, Richard Mille decided to use carbon nanotubes for their proven ability to protect the tourbillon movement nestled in the centre against impacts. Bonded to a black polymer, the carbon nanotube case middle helps to reduce the watch’s weight. The three-part case is very light and jet-black in colour. It is assembled using an average of 20 spline screws in grade 5 titanium. The DLC-treated torque-limiting crown provides the finishing touch. The RM 52-01 is released as a limited edition of 30 nano-ceramic timepieces featuring an 18K red-gold skull.