The latest high-tech timepiece from Richard Mille, which was presented at the annual awards of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) in Istanbul in December, is a collaboration between FIA president Jean Todt and Richard Mille. Dubbed the RM036 Jean Todt Limited Edition, it boasts a unique new mechanical g-force meter that measures the forces that drivers are subjected to on deceleration.
The g-force meter was developed exclusively for Richard Mille by Renaud & Papi, with whom the brand works closely on movement development. It is assembled directly on the main plate and can indicate g-forces of tens of g, with the scale on the meter at 12 o’clock indicating whether the deceleration is harmless (green), or whether it has reached a level that is critical for the driver (red).
Withstanding such strong forces naturally places greater requirements on the resistance of the mechanical movement that powers the watch—even more so in this case, since the RM036 movement in question is a manually-wound tourbillon. For extra rigidity, the main plate is made of carbon nanofibre and the components of grade five titanium and ARCAP.
Another particularity of this movement is that the entire time-setting mechanism is separated from the main plate, which means that it can be removed from the watch without touching the main plate and without removing the dial or the hands, since it can be accessed easily from the case back side.
This complex yet practical arrangement has a meticulous finish and is housed inside the typical Richard Mille case in grade five titanium, whose complex form requires 86 different pressing operations and 49 stamping operations followed by 20 hours of machine setting and 30 hours of programming on the three principal components: case middle, bezel and back. After 255 machining operations and five hours of satin finishing and polishing, the finishing touch—the relief engraving of the Richard Mille name—requires a further 45 minutes.
Only 15 drivers will benefit from the unique g-force meter on this RM 036 Limited Edition Jean Todt model, since that is the extent of the limited edition. Richard Mille, however, helps the cause of road safety in a much wider sense, since Jean Todt will donate the profits from the sale of these timepieces to the FIA’s global “Action for road safety” campaign and the ICM Brain and Spine Institute of which he is a co-founder.
Source: Europa Star December - January 2012-13 Magazine Issue
See the other SIHH 2013 previews from this issue:
- “Audemars Piguet: infusing a new way of thinking”
- Baume & Mercier’s seaside odyssey continues
- Roger Dubuis leads the way in self-sufficiency
- Cartier’s new manufacture chronograph
- Panerai’s celebration of classic yachting
- Piaget’s strident voice from a slender body
- Ralph Lauren’s Sporting World Time in steel