Swiss luxury watchmaker Richard Mille honours the gorgeous Hollywood actress Natalie Portman with a new timepiece. The Richard Mille Tourbillon RM 19-01 Natalie Portman, first unveiled at SIHH 2014, will be produced in limited edition of 20 pieces in 18K white or red gold gem-set case. This exceptional jewellery timepiece houses CALIBER RM19-01, a high end manual winding tourbillon movement with hours, minutes and power reserve indicator.
The power reserve 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.
The whole baseplate of the RM 19-01 is machined from 18K white gold, polished by hand and then black rhodium-plated. Taking the spider web as its motif, the baseplate is then decorated and set with hundreds of black sapphires, an aesthetic feat obtained through the long and delicate work of the gem-setter.
For this first collaboration, Natalie Portman set her mind on an image combining strong associations and complex undertones expressed by a diamond studded and encrusted tracery based upon the image of a spider. This predator insect fascinates us with its strong symbolic power as noted by the abundant myths and stories about spiders to be found in every civilization and across all continents, often in relation to feminine energy and creativity. A mistress of fate and weaver of reality, the spider is the symbol of the soul but also freedom. The rhodium-plated white gold spider, set with diamonds, forms an integral part of the movement. The opisthosoma, the abdominal part of the spider’s body, stiffens the tourbillon bridges and its legs support the two barrels.
The manufacture of bridges in grade 5 titanium with black PVD treatment allows the whole assembly to be given great rigidity, as well as precise surface flatness which is essential for the perfect functioning of the gear train. The free-sprung balance with variable inertia and a terminal-curve spring guarantee greater reliability in case of impacts and during movement assembly and disassembly, thus achieving better chronometric results over time.
The barrel pawl with progressive recoil permits a profitable winding gain (circa 20%), especially during the winding start. It is also aids in the distribution of the mainspring’ internal tension. The spline screws in grade 5 titanium for the bridges permits better control of the torque applied to the screws during assembly. These screws are therefore unaffected by physical manipulation during assembly or disassembly and age well.
The complex 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. Both front and back curves are part of the Richard Mille watch case regard less of their shapes (tonneau, round, rectangular). These curving bezels with their characteristic shape demand ultimate precision with no stress in the metal. These manufacturing specifications required one year of research and development.
The specific tonneau shape of the RM 19-01 requires 47 stamping operations including 21 only for preparation. Tooling takes 4 hours and the RM 19-01 is obtained after 250 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.
The spline screws in grade 5 titanium for the case permits better control of the torque applied to the screws during assembly. These screws are therefore unaffected by physical manipulation during assembly or disassembly and age well. The Torque Limiting Crown is an additional security system that prevents from accidental overwinding, which could cause damage to the winding stem or put extreme pressure on the mainspring barrel.
CALIBER RM19-01: manual winding tourbillon movement with hours, minutes and power reserve indicator
Power Reserve: Circa 48 hours (±10%)
Baseplate in Gem-Set White Gold
Spider in Gem-Set White Gold
Bridges in grade 5 titanium
Free sprung balance with variable inertia
Barrel Pawl with Progressive Recoil
Spline screws in grade 5 titanium for the bridges
– Movement dimensions: 30.20 x 28.60 mm
– Thickness: 4.97 mm
– Tourbillon diameter: 12.30 mm
– Balance wheel diameter: 10 mm
– Jewels: 21, set in white gold chaton., angle of lift 53°
– Balance: Glucydur, 2 arms and 4 setting screws, inertia moment 11.5 mg cm
– Frequency: 21’600 vph (3 Hz)
– Balance spring: ELINVAR by Nivarox®
– Shock protection: KIF ELASTOR KE 160 B28
– Barrel shaft: in nickel-free Chronifer (DIN x 46 Cr 13 + S), with the following characteristics: stainless – antimagnetic – suitable for tempering.
Tripartite tonneau-shaped case
18K white or red gold gem-set
Dimensions: 46.40 x 38.30 x 12.45 mm
Water resistant to 50 meters
Two Nitril O-ring seals
12 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion resistant washers in 316L stainless steel
Torque Limiting Crown
Upper flange: in metal, with the hours index set with diamonds.
Lower flange: in metal, with the minutes index in white color.
Bezel side: in sapphire (1,800 Vickers) with anti-glare treatment (both sides).
Thickness: 1.20 mm
Caseback: in sapphire with anti-glare treatment (both sides).
Thickness: at the center 1.00 mm and outer edges 1.73 mm
– Anglage and polishing by hand
– Locking sections hand polished
– Sapphire blasted milled sections
– Lapped and polished contact points
– Burnished pivots
– PVD treatment
– Sapphire blasted surfaces
– Satin finished surfaces
– Anglage and polishing by hand
– Drawn outer faces
– 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