Tonneau case – available in magnesium-aluminium alloy.
After having won in 2010 the trio of masters tournaments that are Roland Garros, Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows at the wrist of Rafael Nadal, Richard Mille has now developed the RM 035, a by-product with a movement weighing just 4,3 grams.
The manual winding, skeletonized caliber RMUL1 beating at the heart of the RM 035 represents the first manual winding movement in the Richard Mille collection to have Chronofiable® certification.
The Chronofiable® test, developed at the beginning of the 80’s by the CCF SA (centre de contrôle de la fiabilité de l’horlogerie Suisse, taken over in 1985 by the Laboratoire Dubois SA), was devised to expose timepieces to an accelerated ageing test simulating over 21 days, the equivalent of 6 months effective wear. This is achieved by the execution of a long series of tests such as the initial monitoring of the movement functions, an additional rate, the amplitude test taken at two temperature levels (0°C and 50°C), the monitoring of the power reserve and the winding velocity. Included in this artificial ageing cycle test are extensive linear and angular accelerations as well as some 20,000 shocks ranging from 250 to 5500 m/s2 (9.81 m/s2 = 1g). The last step is a final monitoring phase applying the same elements than during the initial monitoring.
Conditions like these attest unequivocally to the ability of the RMUL1 caliber to withstand an array of extreme conditions without experiencing any effects on its performance. The skeletonization process of the RM 035 movement, which weighs in at a mere 4.3 grams, took one year to finalize, as there could be no compromise in the movement’s strength or ability to withstand shocks under the rigors of Chronofiable® certification. This meant much attention was given to testing numerous versions of the skeletonized titanium baseplates before the final form of skeletonization was chosen. The PVD treated, skeletonized titanium baseplate, with combined bridges and balance-cock of titanium Titalyt®, insures excellent rigidity and accurate surface flatness.
The caliber RMUL1, with 24 jewels and beating at 4Hz, has a free sprung balance with variable inertia.
This type of balance wheel represents the ultimate in innovation. It guarantees greater reliability when subjected to shock and also during movement assembly and disassembly, hence better chronometric results over time. The regulator index is eliminated and a more accurate and repeatable adjustment is possible thanks to 4 small adjustable weights located directly on the balance.
Everything has been constructed according to an extremely rigorous specification, in the manner of the analytical engineering methods used in the design of Formula 1 racing cars where the chassis and the engine are developed in complete harmony. For example, a casing ring is no longer used and the movement is mounted on chassis mounting rubbers (ISO SW) fixed by 4 titanium screws. This shows the emphasize placed on no compromising regarding the high level of quality.
The RM 035 case is made of an extremely rugged and light alloy called magnesium-aluminium. This alloy is composed of 90% magnesium and 8.9% aluminium. Magnesium has a density of 1,74 g/cm3, which means it is one of the lightest metals used for construction. After a long and delicate machining phase, this alloy is given an electro-plasma oxidation treatment. The resultant coating is a cristalline oxide ceramic with a high ratio of high resistant composites such as MgAl2O4 spinels. The blackish color is due to light-resistant spinels that are chemically inert, that is to say magnesium oxides and aluminium oxides with a particular structure. This improves both hardness and scratch resistance in this alloy as well as its wear and corrosion properties. This treatment applied to magnesium-aluminium is biocompatible and is applied in aerospace, automotive industries and the medical sector.
The case of the RM 035 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 RM 035 is the first Richard Mille watch Chronofiable® certified, which represents a new milestone in the conquest for long lasting performance in extreme conditions.
[Chronofiable® is a registered trademark belonging to the Laboratoire Dubois SA]