Sleek Stunners

The new­est ad­di­tions to Richard Mille’s Ex­tra Flat col­lec­tion are as thrilling as a spin around the track with a For­mula One driver

Hong Kong Tatler - - | Tatler Focus Richard Mille -

Don’t be mis­led by the ti­tle—they may be “flat” but there is noth­ing dull about these stun­ning new time­pieces from Richard Mille. As the name sug­gests, the Ex­tra Flat col­lec­tion is even more stream­lined and aes­thet­i­cally ap­peal­ing than be­fore, fea­tur­ing the im­pres­sive cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy for which the brand is renowned.

As well as elab­o­rate bridge work and a predilec­tion for ex­pos­ing as much of the move­ment as pos­si­ble, the lux­ury Swiss watch­maker also uses case and base­plate ma­te­ri­als that can be found in For­mula One cars, aero­space tech­nol­ogy and rac­ing yachts. Watch­mak­ing is sel­dom more thrilling—in­deed, Richard Mille’s watches have earned head­lines such as “A Rac­ing Ma­chine on the Wrist.”

This zeal for in­no­va­tion has seen the Swiss watch­maker cre­ate a num­ber of im­por­tant and iconic de­signs over al­most two decades in the in­dus­try. Among those in the orig­i­nal Flat col­lec­tion is the RM 016, which was in­tro­duced in 2007 and be­came known for its dis­tinc­tive char­ac­ter. With the same at­ten­tion to de­tail and tech­ni­cal ex­e­cu­tion as its pre­de­ces­sors, it ush­ered in a new phase in the brand’s his­tory.

One of the most fas­ci­nat­ing as­pects of its de­sign is that the man­u­fac­ture and as­sem­bly of three sec­tions of the case in­volves a stag­ger­ing 202 sep­a­rate op­er­a­tions. It was fol­lowed in 2009 by the RM 016 Ti­t­alyt, which saw the watch­maker break new ground. The grade-five ti­ta­nium cas­ing is treated in a process us­ing elec­tro-gal­vanic ox­i­da­tion, which tough­ens the sur­face to re­sist scratches and even cor­ro­sion.

The evo­lu­tion of the range con­tin­ues with the new RM0 16 Ex­tra Flat Au­to­matic, which has a rec­tan­gu­lar case and an iden­tity of its own. The shape and dis­creet lines (the thinnest yet at 8.25mm) make it stand out from the ex­ist­ing col­lec­tion, but it re­tains that cov­etable wrist-fit­ting cur­va­ture—some call it sen­su­ous—that Richard Mille col­lec­tors have come to ex­pect.

What’s more, the watch’s de­sign al­lows the

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