RICHARD MILLE

RM 56-02 Sap­phire Tourbillon (2014)

Adore Gems & Timepieces - - FEATURE -

The third and most re­cent it­er­a­tion in Richard Mille’s line of sap­phire tourbillon time­pieces is the RM 56-02 that fea­tures a case, cen­tre bridges, tourbillon and bar­rel made en­tirely out of sap­phire crys­tal, as well as a move­ment sus­pended from an elab­o­rate ca­ble and pul­ley sys­tem. The spe­cially de­vel­oped sin­gle sus­pen­sion ca­ble is braided to 0.35mm thick and ma­nip­u­lated via pul­leys sit­u­ated at the move­ment’s four cor­ners and ad­di­tional points along its pe­riph­ery. A ratchet at nine o’clock reg­u­lates the ten­sion of the ca­ble, while an ar­row-shaped in­di­ca­tor at 12 o’clock al­lows easy ex­am­i­na­tion of the tight­ness of the cord. This move­ment con­struc­tion was orig­i­nally used on the RM27-01 Rafael Nadal watch with the sole pur­pose of with­stand­ing shocks and hard hits. Man­u­fac­tur­ing the curved three-part case was par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult be­cause sap­phire crys­tal is an ex­tremely hard and scratch-re­sis­tant ma­te­rial. Ex­perts Stet­tler in Lyss, Switzer­land milled and ground the case from blocks of sap­phire crys­tal, which cracks eas­ily. It takes 40 days of round-the-clock ma­chin­ing to pro­duce one RM 56-02 case while the move­ment bridges re­quire an ad­di­tional 400 hours of ma­chin­ing and fin­ish­ing. Only 10 pieces of the watch will be made.

The first watch made en­tirely in sap­phire crys­tal Price: US$2.02 mil­lion

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