By marrying the performance of a sports watch with the elegance of a round timepiece, Richard Mille has successfully merged two diametrically opposing characteristics. Overseen by Julien Boillat, the Richard Mille watch exteriors teams have reinterpreted the collection’s first ultra-thin round watch: the RM 033, which was introduced in 2011.
‘We believe it is both essential and logical to pay the same care and attention to evolving our collections as to the original creation of our models. In embodying the brand’s intended vision of extreme versatility, the RM 033 is a watch for everyday and any day. We have reinterpreted its aesthetics without disservice to the original version by accentuating its lines. Meanwhile, the exterior decoration, case and dial have been reworked to project a sportier vibe. The RM 33-02 thus achieves a delicate synthesis of so-called ‘lifestyle’ style and sporty style,’ shares Julien Boillat.
The taut lines of the case combine the curves of a tonneau shape and the elegance of a round form with a subtle allusion to sporty style in the design of the hollows. This first round Carbon TPT® automatic watch exhibits a Carbon TPT® bezel and caseback alongside a satin-finished red gold caseband. The design of the strap prolongs that of the two indentations positioned unusually at 6 and 12 o’clock in a highly original way. These new vanishing lines also contribute to the dynamics of this already extremely bold case.
The sporty, round, RM 33-02 timepiece is powered by the skeletonised RMXP1 calibre in grade-5 titanium. Regulated by a variable-inertia balance oscillating at 3 Hz, this calibre is wound by an off- centre platinum micro-rotor that considerably reduces the movement’s total thickness to 2.60 mm.
Yet this thinness in no way inhibits the architectural expression intrinsic to the brand. The wet sandblasted and Titalyt®-treated baseplate, the microblasted, stretched and satin-finished surfaces, and the anglage—all produced entirely by hand—accentuate volumes by playing with shadow and light thanks to the highly graphic skeletonisation. The exterior elements and hour-markers further add to this complex sense of depth and power. In 5N gold hour-markers on two rigid titanium rails fixed between the flange and the movement. The dial, which spans the entire calibre, accentuates the volumes while the typography of the oversized numerals adds a dynamic element to the watch’s easy readability.
By juxtaposing soft gold with the strength of Carbon TPT®, and by combining the graphic codes of the lifestyle and sports spheres for both males and females, Richard Mille clearly communicates a desire to combine allegedly contradictory worlds within a single watch. The RM 33-02 Automatic is available as a limited edition of 140 timepieces.