While we don't typically report on every new color variation in the watch market, an exception is made when it concerns Richard Mille. Last week, the esteemed watchmaker unveiled the RM 30-01 Automatic, a worthy successor to the RM 030. This timepiece, available in two distinctive cases, boasts an array of impressive specifications. Let's dive into the details.
Both iterations of the RM 30-01 feature the classic Richard Mille tonneau shape, a slightly wider variant measuring 41.7mm in width (excluding the crown). The curved case design ensures a snug fit on your wrist, and at a height of 17.59mm, it might even slip effortlessly beneath your Loro Piana sleeve. The first version pairs a satin-finished 5N red gold case back and bezel with a grade 5 titanium case middle. The second iteration is entirely crafted from satin-finished titanium, renowned for its hypoallergenic properties, as well as its exceptional resistance to corrosion and shocks. The caseband, constructed from grade 5 titanium, is secured to the case back and bezel using 20 spline screws.
The focal point of this watch is the energy management system of the novel diamond-shaped and skeletonized Caliber RMAR2. This upgrade over the RM 030 incorporates a function selector situated at 2 o'clock, enabling the wearer to switch between hand-setting, date-setting, and winding functions. A discreet hand at 3 o'clock indicates the selected function. This feature, which first made its appearance on the RM 002-V1, was designed to reduce stress on the crown and has gradually become a prominent feature in automatic Richard Mille timepieces. In this model, the indicator resides just above the oversized date aperture at four o'clock. The date window is intentionally generous in size to accommodate the array of features, sparing the wearer from squinting at a diminutive display.
According to Richard Mille, the crown of the RM 30-01 retains a 25% resemblance to the microblasted crown of the RM 030. The updated crown features a satin finish, microblasted tooth gullet, and a polished edge. A significant change in this iteration is the relocation of its previous functions to the function-selector pusher. As a result, the aesthetic continuity of the watch is preserved, with all the distinctive Richard Mille characteristics intact. However, an astute observer will notice the substantial difference in dial design compared to the RM 030, attributed to the novel geometry of the titanium bridges.
The watch incorporates an indicator that prominently occupies the dial, providing "real-time" information about the power reserve of the movement. When the small central hand, featuring a red tip, points to the blue section (between 40 and 55 hours), the watch operates efficiently within its optimal winding zone. This innovation offers wearers precise control over the watch's winding. At 11 o'clock, a clutch engagement indicator informs the wearer whether the titanium or white-gold weight is in the winding phase (on) or disengaged (off). The blend of orange and blue accents adds a touch of distinction to this RM model, appealing to those with a penchant for a more subdued black and grey aesthetic. The typography on the watch exudes a nostalgic '90s video game console vibe.
Richard Mille is a brand that never ceases to intrigue. It embodies what some watch enthusiasts find polarizing in the horological world. Understanding the mindset of those who invest in these timepieces is akin to conducting an anthropological experiment. Encountering someone adorned with a Richard Mille watch is akin to spotting a mythical creature. Chances are, if you spot one, others are nearby, as they tend to gather and appreciate their timepieces together.
The value of any commodity is the result of the worth we ascribe to it, and Richard Mille watches continue to thrive in this regard. While we await the next colorful design to captivate our senses, let's take a moment to delve into the minds of those who choose to wear these remarkable timepieces.
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