Richard Mille: RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne20 November 2023
Richard Mille unveils the new RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne, a limited edition of 50 pieces that reinterprets an iconic caliber within a white TPT quartz, TPT carbon and titanium case. A second iteration of the manual-winding tourbillon caliber RM21-02 that redefines the boundaries of creativity through the fusion of precision, lightness and resistance.
RM 21-02 AERODYNE: THE MATERIALS
Richard Mille has always capitalised on engineering materials from fields far afield from watchmaking, with the aeronautics industry exerting an especially strong influence. This never-ending source of inspiration is what brought a material with multiple properties to the brand’s Research and Development offices: Carbon TPT.
From the case and dial to each piece of the movement, the design and execution of the watch demonstrate a holistic approach to conception of the movement, case and dial. The bezel is made of Carbon TPT and Quartz TPT, two exclusive materials with unique appearances. Their remarkable surfaces display extremely regular undulations, as they are composed of multiple layers of parallel filaments obtained by dividing carbon fiber or silica threads. These layers, with a maximum thickness of 45 microns, are impregnated with matrices then woven on a special machine that modifies the direction of the weft by 45° between layers.
Used in aeronautics, but also in the automotive industry, Carbon TPT is also at the heart of the RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne baseplate. It is combined with a honeycombed structure produced of black-PVD treated HAYNES 214. HAYNES 214 is a nickel-chromium-aluminium-iron alloy, designed to provide the optimum in high-temperature oxidation resistance for a wrought austenitic material, while at the same time allowing conventional forming and joining. Intended principally for use at temperatures of 955°C and above, 214 alloy exhibits resistance to oxidation that far exceeds that of virtually all conventional heat-resistant wrought alloys at these temperatures.
Combined with a Carbon TPT core, the honeycombed geometrical pattern of HAYNES 214 offers unparalleled stiffness, a low thermal expansion coefficient and exceptional torsion resistance.
CALIBRE AND FUNCTIONS
Within this aerodynamic structure, the winding barrel and tourbillon are positioned centrally. They balance on lightweight titanium bridges with four arms on either side. Surrounding these components are the 70-hour power-reserve and the torque indicators. The latter provides a visualisation of the mainspring’s internal tension, allowing optimisation of the movement’s timing. Below 5.3 N.mm, the spring is too slack; at the other extreme, above 6.5 N.mm excessive tension can adversely affect the running of the movement and may even cause damage.
An added layer of control is also granted by the function selector which, in a manner similar to a car’s gearbox, a push-button located at the centre of the crown allows one to select the winding, neutral and hand-setting functions with a simple push. A hand at 4 o’clock displays the selected function.
Finally, the price, like all Richard Mille watches, also that of the new RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne reaches stars, around 796,000 CHF + TAX.