Richard Mille: RM 27-04 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal25 September 2020
10 years ago, on the Monte Carlo field, Rafael Nadal wore his first Richard Mille, the RM 027 Tourbillon. Today, to celebrate this partnership, Richard Mille presents the new RM 27-04 in a limited edition of only 50 pieces.
Weighing just 30 grams, including the strap, the case of the RM 27-04 is made from a brand new material exclusive to Richard Mille: TitaCarb.
This material is often used in cars and traditional metal applications for its dimensional stability and constant mechanical properties. It is a high-performance polyamide that has been reinforced with up to 38.5% carbon fibre by the teams at Richard Mille and at its loyal partner, Biwi SA. Thanks to this injection of carbon, TitaCarb® offers an exceptional tensile strength of 370 MPa, (3,700 kg/cm2). The caseband and case back feature monobloc constructions for even better rigidity.
Suspended inside the 38.40 x 47.25 x 11.40 mm case is the manual-winding Tourbillon Caliber 27-04 with hours, minutes and a power reserve of 38 hours.
This calibre is based on a microblasted string mesh that is brand new to watchmaking. Formed from a single woven steel cable measuring just 0.27 mm in diameter and held in place by two turnbuckles featuring a 5N gold PVD treatment, this 855 mm2 string mesh supports the entire calibre.
Inspired by the process used to string a tennis racket, the watchmaker starts by securing the steel cable to the turnbuckle at 5 o’clock. He then proceeds to weave the mesh structure, stringing each of the main strings one after the other before beginning to interlace the cross strings. Weaving over and under the main strings, the cable enters the hollowed-out titanium flange 38 times before ultimately finishing its journey in the turnbuckle at 10 o’clock. The regular angles formed by these strings limit excessive friction and localised wear on the main strings during the many impacts sustained over the course of a tennis match. The movement is then connected to the string mesh via five polished grade 5 titanium hooks with a 5N gold PVD treatment, which originate at the back of the baseplate. Vibration dampeners have been added to the tourbillon chatons, the barrel and the hands to help centre the movement during insertion and absorb any vibrations along the string mesh that could disrupt timekeeping.
Assembly of the movement on the string mesh is complete as soon as the watchmaker tightens the cable by loosening the turnbuckle screws.
Designed to stay in suspension within its case, the calibre RM27-04 can withstand accelerations of over 12,000 g: a new resistance record at Richard Mille. (Price CHF 952.000 + Tax)