*RICHARD MILLE "New Productions 2013"

RICHARD MILLE the Tourbillon RM 039 Aviation E6-B Flyback Chronograph


When the Tourbillon RM 039 Aviation E6-B Flyback Chronograph was presented in 2012, it was met with great enthusiasm by professionals in the watchmaking sector. Richard Mille designed this piece as a real navigation aid for experienced pilots, using the traditional materials and visual codes of the aviation industry.

The caliber RM039 is a manual winding movement with hours, minutes and seconds at 6 o’clock, an oversized date display, a flyback chronograph with seconds counter, central minutes and hours at 9 o’clock, UTC and countdown modes, a function selector and a power-reserve display. These functions involved the creation of 750 original components, assembled in a movement that contains 58 jewels, measures 38.95 mm in diameter and has a thickness of 7.95 mm. No less than 6 push-pieces are needed to make full use of all the functions available on this aviation watch. With nearly 750 components in the movement and over 200 parts making up the case, the RM 039 Aviation E6-B Flyback Chronograph is a member of the extremely elite group of the most complicated watches on the market.

In view of the extreme technical complexity of the RM 039, Richard Mille requested a particularly in-depth examination of its day-to-day use and evolution over time. The Richard Mille movement engineers together with the watchmakers at APRP carried out several months of new research with a view to developing the caliber RM039 even further. The aim was to ensure the excellent ageing of the movement and the perfect operation of the display and functions, without disregarding any of the complications or the essential concept behind the watch.

As high performance is linked to a perfect adjustment of the components by the watchmakers, the latter were supplied with optimised assembly kits requiring very little regulation. Thus, although assembly of the movement requires as much skill as ever, final adjustment is no longer such a major undertaking. The new components, designed in collaboration with the watchmakers, make assembly quicker and safer.

This optimisation process has also improved the chronograph adjustment sequences for starting, stopping and resetting to zero, as this module is subject to severe constraints due to its dual function. A flyback chronograph module – with a central minutes and seconds display – not only makes the flyback function possible, but also means that the minutes hand can be used for countdown. This also means, however, that even the slightest malfunction of the mechanism must be eliminated to avoid stopping the entire movement. Nevertheless, this quest to perfect the function sequences of the flyback chronograph has created an allowance for greater margins of error in manipulation, particularly when the user presses several push-pieces at once or if he presses the countdown button while the flyback is in operation. How was this achieved? By increasing the safety devices protecting each moving component. All this new research now guarantees the optimal, timely functioning of the extremely complex flyback/countdown assembly.

The RM 039 Aviation E6-B pilot’s watch displays practically all the information provided by the famous E6-B slide rule. Incorporated into the bidirectional rotating bezel, it can be used to read off and calculate fuel burn, flight times, ground speed and wind correction, and to quickly convert units of measurement (Naut/KM/ Gallons/ Litres/Feet/KG/LBS). Another special characteristic of the RM 039 that distinguishes it from other pilot’s watches is that it enables density altitude to be calculated using a movable indicator incorporated into the case middle at 2 o’clock: an original function brought to watchmaking for the very first time.
The Tourbillon RM 039 Aviation E6-B is an extremely complex and technical watch that embodies the perfect synthesis between watchmaking and aeronautics. It is the perfect instrument for facing the challenges that confront pilots during flights.

The RM 039 Aviation E6-B is available in a limited edition of 30 timepieces in titanium with titanium horns.








Specifications (Click to slide)

Limited edition of 30 pieces.

CALIBER RM039 : manual winding tourbillon movement with hours, minutes, seconds at 6 o’clock, UTC function, oversize date, flyback chronograph with central seconds and minutes counter and hours at 9 o’clock, countdown mode, function selector and power reserve indicator.
Diameter: 50.00mmx19.40mm.


Circa 70 hours (displayed on a numerical scale at 2 o’clock).

The baseplate has been finished in grade 5 titanium, a biocompatible, highly corrosion-resistant and remarkably rigid alloy, which enables the gear train to function effortlessly. The alloy is 90% titanium, 6% aluminium and 4% vanadium. This combination further increases its mechanical properties, which explains its frequent use in the aerospace, aeronautical and automobile industries.

The skeletonised baseplate and the bridges have been subjected to intensive and complete validation tests to optimize their resistance capacities.

The architecture of this movement has enabled a coherent and rational arrangement of components. It avoids superfluous superimpositions and features technical solutions that optimize its functions. For example, the geometry of the column wheel has been designed to ensure perfect synchronization of the control of the different levers, even over the long term. This synchronization is essential for creating a faultless timing instrument. This new design has been implemented to conserve regulation and ensure perfect long-term operation.

Operation: the user can start or stop the chronograph by means of a pusher located at 10 o’clock. The flyback function can be reset to zero at any time using the pusher located at 8 o’clock. To stop: use the start/stop pusher located at 10 o’clock to stop the chronograph, then press the reset/flyback pusher.

The hand of the chronograph minutes counter can be used in countdown mode by means of a pusher located at 9 o’clock. Pressing it once activates the function. An aperture at 7 o’clock displays the mode selected: ON for countdown mode and OFF for chronograph mode.

Operation: a pusher at 4 o’clock enables the hand to be adjusted quickly between 59 minutes and 01 minutes. Pressing lightly will advance the hand by one minute, while pressing more firmly will advance it by 5 minutes. Once the countdown time has been set, the pusher at 10 o’clock can be used to start the chronograph. When the minutes hand reaches zero, the display at 7 o’clock changes to OFF. At any moment, the function can be reset to zero via the flyback by pressing the pusher at 8 o’clock.

Semi-instantaneous, it is horizontally placed beneath 12 o’clock and functions via two skeletonized calendar discs. The date can be easily corrected using the pusher located at 2 o’clock.

The RM 039 Aviation E6-B features the display of a second time zone by means of a hand filled with superluminova. It can be easily adjusted using the function selector.

In a manner similar to a car’s gearbox, a push-button located at the center of the crown allows one to select the winding, neutral and UTC hand setting functions with a simple push. A hand at 4 o’clock displays the selected function: W (Winding) – N (Neutral) – H (Hands).) – U (UTC, setting the UTC hand).

This type of balance wheel which represents the ultimate in innovation, guarantees greater reliability when subjected to shock and also during assembly and dismantling of the movement, thus achieving better chronometric results over time. The index is eliminated, thereby allowing a more precise and repeatable adjustment using 4 setting screws.

FAST ROTATING BARREL (5 hours per revolution instead of 7.5 hours)
This type of barrel provides the following advantages: - The phenomenon of periodic internal mainspring adhesion is significantly diminished, thereby increasing performance, - Provision of an excellent mainspring delta curve with an ideal power reserve/performance and regularity ratio.

The wheel with a central developing profile and a pressure angle of 20° promotes rolling movement more effectively, compensates differences between centers, ensures excellent torque transmission and a distinct improvement in performance.

This permits better control of the torque applied to the screws during assembly. These screws are therefore unaffected by physical manipulation during assembly or disassembly and age well.


  • Diameter: 38.95 mm
  • Thickness: 7.95 mm
  • Number of jewels: 58
  • Balance wheel: Glucydur, 2 arms and 4 setting screws
  • Moment of inertia 11.50 mg.cm2, angle of lift 53°
  • Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
  • Balance spring: ELINVAR by Nivarox®
  • Shock protection: KIF ELASTOR KE 160 B28
  • Stones set in white-gold bezel settings
  • Barrel shaft in nickel-free Chronifer (DIN x 46 Cr 13 + S), with the following characteristics: stainless - antimagnetic - tempered

The case features a unique three-part structure. The system is completed by the incorporation of horns in the case assembly. The three-part case of the RM 039 is very difficult to make. After a turning operation lasting 1 hour and 40 minutes, no less than 800 milling operations are required, taking several hours. Machining demands nearly 11 hours of separate operations. It is followed by a meticulous quality control procedure that takes a full day for each case. The 5 pushers, their components and the crown of the RM 039 require 10 days of machining, during which they undergo numerous tests for water-resistance and quality control, followed by the manual brushing and polishing of the entire case. All of these stages are vital in producing the characteristic ergonomic quality of Richard Mille watches. To facilitate reading off altitude density, the RM 039 has a movable indicator at 2 o’clock incorporated into the pillar. This pillar is also equipped with a button, which raises the indicator up when pressed once. This ensures a more accurate read-out.

The bezel of the RM 039 provides a large amount of information positioned on the E6-B slide rule:

Rotating bezel
The yellow transfers show a logarithmic scale (from 10 to 99) and the units of measurement, in red, can be used to convert the measurements used in aeronautics. Equivalents can thus be found between kilometers (KM), nautical miles (NAUT) and statute miles (STAT), or between liters (Liters), US gallons (US GAL) and imperial gallons (IMP GAL). Meters (Meters) can also be converted into feet (FT), and kilograms (KG) into pounds (LBS) and vice versa. The indications shown in yellow on the outside at 9 o’clock enable the air temperature to be selected from -60°C to +50°C. This is essential for calculating real altitude in flight in relation to temperature. An altitude scale is provided via a red transfer on the outside of the bezel at 12 o’clock. It is expressed in thousands of feet, from 0 to 50. The same scale is visible on the outside (white transfer) at 2:30, but graduated in this case from -10 to +45. Using these two scales on the outside of the bezel combined with the slide rule enable real flight speed to be calculated in relation to air temperature and altitude.

Fixed bezel
A second logarithmic scale (from 10 to 99) can be used to read off conversions of units of measurement. It also has an hour scale from 1 o’clock (rate 60) to 9 o’clock. This scale can be used to solve any problem related to distance, speed and time. By combining the logarithmic scales on the fixed and rotating bezels, values can be added, subtracted, multiplied and even divided. Positioned at 9 o’clock, the yellow transfer shows the scale in thousands of feet from 0 to 30 and the red one at 12 o’clock shows an air temperature scale from -70°C to +50°C. Lastly, the fixed bezel of the RM 039 gives an altitude indication in thousands of feet (located at 2:30). Read-off is facilitated by the addition of a movable indicator incorporated in the edge of the case-middle.

The desired calculation will depend on the position of the rotating bezel in relation to the fixed bezel. This bezel is exceedingly complex, and required many months of research to combine the easy adjustment and optimum legibility of these various calculations and their results.

This permits better control of the torque applied to the screws during assembly. These screws are therefore unaffected by physical manipulation during assembly or disassembly and age well.

In titanium with a black surface treatment, its hour-markers are filled with an approved luminescent substance.

In sapphire (thickness: 0.40 mm) with anti-glare coating (both sides), protected by 8 silicon clamps inserted in the outer and inner grooves.


  • Bezel side: in sapphire (1,800 Vickers) with anti-glare coating (on both sides)
  • Thickness: 2.20 mm
  • Case back: in sapphire with anti-glare treatment (on both sides)
  • Thickness: 1.40 mm in the center and 2.30 mm at the outer edges

The new patented stem-crown assembly provides total protection of the movement from external influences, as the crown of the RM 039 is not connected to the heart of the movement. Integrated into the case, it is impossible to displace, but still enables the watchmaker to manipulate it with ease. It is an ideal solution for safeguarding the long life of the mechanism.



  • Hand-polished bevelling
  • Microblasted milled section
  • Polished sinks
  • PVD surface treatment on the baseplate and bridges


  • Satin-finished surfaces
  • Hand-polished bevelling
  • Hand-polished sinks
  • Hand-burnished sections


  • Lapped and polished ends
  • Burnished pivots
  • Polished post faces


  • Concave chamfering with a diamond tool
  • Diamond-polished angles
  • Circular-finished faces
  • Rhodium-plating (before cutting the teeth)
  • A few small retouching operations are carried out on the wheels to preserve their geometry and performance




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