Richard Mille’s first internal chronograph — RM 72-01

Because Richard Mille has a deep relationship with racing, the chronograph has naturally become one of his signature complications. Mille began to get involved in the field of chronographs in 2004. At that time, he and Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi (APRP) developed the RM 004 minute-second chronograph and RM 008. The two watches are essentially the same, but equipped with Powerful tourbillon. These have always been my two favorite watches, and they represent design masterpieces in terms of the movement structure and the beauty of the watch itself. Both of these are manually wound watches, not only equipped with a power reserve indicator, but also with the quality of the mainspring’s torque, which is actually more important.

Mille’s first automatic chronograph was the legendary RM 11 in 2007. This larger and stronger watch is equipped with the Vaucher movement, which first appeared in the RM 005 as its basic movement. The special feature of this movement is that it uses a variable inertia rotor, which means that depending on where you set the winglet that connects the rotor winding mechanism, you can make it more or less more efficient. Interestingly, the person who came up with this idea was actually Giulio Papi’s father, who worked at Vaucher, partly owned by Hermès. Mille combined this movement with a module developed by Dubois-Dépraz, which has a chronograph and an annual calendar that can automatically compensate for 30-day and 31-day changes in the month. RM 11 has become one of Mille’s flagship watches. Some versions of such coveted RM 11-03, such as the blue quartz TPT Jean Todt version, are priced at an astonishing 250% higher than the retail price.

The impressive thing about RM 72-01 is that despite its small size, it has a huge visual impact. In fact, it is full of all the Mille images we know and love-the shape of a wine barrel, the spline screws that pass through the case from front to back, the huge rubber-coated push rod recessed to look like a huge F1 intake pipe In the guard, and a huge oversized rubber-coated crown. The dial adopts a wonderful evolution of the traditional chronograph layout, with an independent continuous seconds subdial, a 60-minute counter and a 24-hour counter. All color coding and labels are characterized by extreme clarity. One of the design booms that we see more and more in recent Mille watches is color coding, which can visually separate time from timing information, which is both practical and powerful. This is a step up from the new RM 65-01 automatic minute and second chronograph. The point is, until you wear it on your wrist, the RM 72-01 looks like your typical ultra-dynamic Mille watch, radiating futuristic machine technology energy from 100 meters. But what’s amazing is that when you wear it on a man’s wrist, although its proportions are slightly reduced, it does not lose a bit of this power; when you wear it on a woman’s wrist, it is simply beautiful.

RM 72-01 was launched at the end of 2020. It looks like a typical super dynamic Richard Mille watch, exuding futuristic machine technology from a distance of 100 meters.

The RM 72-01 dial adopts a wonderful evolution of the traditional chronograph layout. It has an independent sub-dial with continuous seconds, a 60-minute counter and a 24-hour counter. All color coding and labels have extremely high clarity. The color coding can be Visually present time and chronograph information with a practical and powerful appearance.

In a promotional campaign launched by Richard Mille for RM 72-01, both men and women wore this watch.

Beating inside the fantastic RM 72-01 is a watch movement, which is one of the coolest chronograph movements around. Salvador Arbona, who Mille appointed as his technical director, hopes to approach the CRMC1 movement (Caliber Richard Mille Chronograph 1) by solving some of the problems that have traditionally plagued chronographs. This is how the chronograph works normally. As you know, the barrel of a watch contains a barrel spring, which is basically the fuel tank of the watch. Through the reduction gear, every fraction of a second is provided with power to the oscillator through the escapement. The wheel before the escape wheel is the fourth or second wheel. As the name suggests, it rotates every minute, so it provides the number of seconds.

In a traditional chronograph, this wheel is connected to a coupling rod. Coaxial with the second wheel, usually on the lever, is-for lack of better terminology-the second second wheel. This wheel provides power to the wheels with the same transmission ratio and is called the drive wheel. When the chronograph is activated, the coupling rod moves to make the drive wheel contact with the chronograph second wheel installed in the center. On the side of the dial, the chronograph seconds hand begins to rotate. With each revolution, the chronograph wheel activates a mechanism that pulls the minute counter forward. swiss copy watch

RM 72-01 is powered by the CRMC1 movement (Caliber Richard Mille Chronograph 1), which also happens to be Richard Mille’s fully self-produced movement and the world’s first chronograph movement with two swing pinions.

Salvador Arbona, Richard Mille Movement Technical Director. The CRMC1 movement is the world’s first chronograph with two swing pinions.

Salvador Arbona, who oversees the progress of the brand’s internal movement plan, said: “Well, the chronograph is an extremely parasitic device. It consumes a lot of power, and as the power reserve begins to decrease, it will increase the susceptibility of the mainspring. Variable torque. Therefore, if you turn on the chronograph indefinitely, the amplitude of the balance wheel and the basic timing functions of the watch will be affected. Solutions such as vertical clutches have been implemented, but this is aimed at larger scales and more industries Applied.”

In fact, in the maintenance process of the vertical clutch movement, the usual method is to disassemble and replace the clutch part. Arbona continued, “Therefore, we decided to use another solution called a swing pinion, which has three main advantages. The first is that it is a more direct and simple system; energy is delivered from the gear directly from the second wheel. To the chronograph wheel. Secondly, because it is simpler and takes up less space, you can do smaller movements. Thirdly, it does not affect the timing function. However, what I want to say is a warning, because our movement is The world’s first chronograph equipped specifically for this with two oscillating pinions.”

The CRMC1 movement distributes torque among the various counters of the chronograph. The second wheel and minute wheel of the movement (A) are thus permanently interlocked with the lower teeth of the two swing pinions (B). When the joysticks move, their upper teeth (C) are connected to the seconds hand and minute wheel (D) of the chronograph, and engage or disengage according to whether the chronograph is started or stopped (E).

This is how the CRMC1 movement works. The second wheel drives a oscillating pinion that tilts slightly when in its rest position. When it is activated, it will move to engage the chronograph wheel. Arbona said: “Another area where the chronograph loses power is the system that drives the minute counter through the second wheel.” To solve this problem, Arbona created a reduction gear directly from the barrel to drive a small gear to time the minutes. The counter provides power.

He explained: “In this way, the torque directly from the barrel (maximum power) is divided into three parts: the chronograph function, which also provides power for the chronograph; to the chronograph minute counter; and, using the reduction gear, directly Connected to the hour counter. Since the hour counter rotates so slowly, there is no need to create a swing pinion [for it]. But the end result is that the parasitics of the system is much less and it does not affect the basic timing performance of the movement. “

Leaving aside all these technical achievements, one thing I think people haven’t talked about enough is how amazing the movement design of the Richard Mille copy watch is. CRMC1 is a good example. As more and more brands are inspired by the architecture of Mille’s modern skeleton movement, you will see more and more examples throughout the industry. But no one did this with the same imagination and skill as Mille. For example, take a look at the skeletonization of the complete traverse balance bridge on CRMC1. Take a look at the stunning hand-polished bevels, countersinks and angles applied to the skeletonized grade 5 titanium bridge. Appreciate the surface treatment of the rotor, because this is an area where Richard Mille retains all the traditional skills of fine watchmaking. For me, the result is a highly innovative and imaginative watch, both in terms of stunning design and technical substance.