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Richard Mille will make only 50 of this nearly $1 million watch

It's a modern twist on a beloved Richard Mille watch

Richard Mille R21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne inside
Richard Mille

If the stylish James Bond were a watch, he’d be a Richard Mille watch—daring, sophisticated, and in a league of its own. The latest masterpiece from the brand, the RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne, is a testament to the audacious spirit of luxury horology. Let’s dive into the horological realm where Richard Mille reigns supreme.

Craftsmanship beyond conventions

Richard Mille is not in the business of creating watches for men; they’re in the business of crafting horological marvels. The RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne is a prime example. Its tonneau-shaped case, measuring a precise 42.68 x 50.12 x 14.30 mm, is a symphony of engineering artistry. The case is not just a housing for the movement; it’s a work of art, an aerodynamic ode to precision.

At the heart of this mechanical masterpiece beats a manual winding tourbillon, showcasing Richard Mille’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of watchmaking. The tourbillon, replacing engaging friction with rolling friction, ensures smooth time-setting functions, making every moment count. It’s not just a watch; it’s a dance of gears and screws orchestrated with precision.

The RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne is not for the faint-hearted; it’s for those who dare to be different. Its complex design, showcased in a skeletonized display, challenges the norms of watch aesthetics.

Engineering marvel: Achieving extreme lightness

The quest for extreme lightness led to the RM 21-02 construction of a honeycomb structure. In a remarkable display of precision, every minuscule cell underwent meticulous alignment and intricate laser fusion, achieving a remarkable triumph that surpasses the boundaries of the infinitesimally small—a genuine masterpiece of technical prowess.

At its core beats the Calibre RM21-02—a manual winding tourbillon movement that orchestrates hours, minutes, a function selector, power reserve, and torque indicators.

Richard Mille 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne
Richard Mille

Materials defying conventions: HAYNES 214, Carbon TPT, and Titanium

The baseplate, a honeycombed orthorhombic structure made of HAYNES 214 with a Carbon TPT core, showcases the brand’s expertise in unconventional materials. This nickel-chromium-aluminium-iron alloy ensures high-temperature oxidation resistance, a characteristic vital for the watch’s durability. Bridges made of grade 5 titanium, a biocompatible alloy, enhance the gear train’s efficiency, drawing inspiration from aerospace engineering.

The torque indicator provides insights into the mainspring’s tension, optimizing the movement’s chronometric functioning. The movement itself boasts impressive dimensions, with a tourbillon diameter of 12.30 mm and a balance wheel diameter of 10.00 mm, a testament to meticulous craftsmanship. The bezel, crafted from Carbon TPT and Quartz TPT, exhibits unique undulations, a result of multiple layers of parallel filaments.

The million dollar question

Now, the burning question: Why nearly a million dollars? It’s not just about telling time; it’s about owning a piece of unparalleled craftsmanship. The RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne is an investment in artistry, a fusion of technology and tradition that transcends the ordinary. It’s not just a watch; it’s a legacy.

The Richard Mille RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne is not a watch for everyone. It’s for those who appreciate the fusion of art and engineering, those who understand that a timepiece is not just a tool but a reflection of one’s personality. With only 50 in existence, it’s a limited-edition masterpiece that goes beyond the realms of conventional luxury.

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Sarah Veldman
Sarah has been a freelance writer for over 7 years now, having started while she was living out of a suitcase and traveling…
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