RICHARD MILLE the Tourbillon RM 27-01 Rafael NADAL
The partnership between Rafael Nadal and Richard Mille has led to a string of successes, on the courts for the Majorcan tennis champion, notably with his 7th successive victory at the French Open in 2012, and in the watchmaking sphere for Richard Mille, with the Tourbillon RM 027 Rafael Nadal timepiece, renowned for its extreme lightness, or the Chronofiable® certified RM 035 Rafael Nadal, which can resist accelerations of over 5,000 G without detriment to any aspect of its performance.
In 2013, Richard Mille will present the Tourbillon RM 27-01 also designed in collaboration with Rafael Nadal. An exceptional creation, it pushes the concepts of lightness and strength to the ultimate extreme.
The caliber RM27-01 is a triumph of engineering and technology. Its complex, original architecture is the result of Richard Mille’s determination to create a movement held in total suspension in the heart of its case. Inspired by suspended civil engineering infrastructures, Richard Mille wanted to adapt these modes of construction to the watchmaking sphere, occupying a space of just a few tens of millimetres. After many months of development, Richard Mille’s movement engineers gave tangible form to this avant-garde concept, positioning it indisputably as one of the most innovative architectural constructions of recent years.
The RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal has a baseplate attached to the case by four braided steel cables just 0.35 mm in diameter. This structure combines strength and flexibility to protect the movement, which weighs just 3.5 grammes, thanks to the use of grade 5 titanium for the baseplate and tourbillon carriage, and of aluminium- lithium for the barrel bridges and gear-trains.
These cables are held taut by means of an ingenious mechanism of tensioners (located at 3 and 9 o’clock) and pulleys, which act like pylons positioned at the four corners of the movement. Each cable is fixed to the tensioner, and passes over the upper pulley and into the movement, before returning via the lower pulley to finish in the lower flange. Once the watchmaker has threaded the cables, he tensions them by rotating the central tensioner ring with a special tool.
The installation and tensioning of the cables are extremely delicate operations. Excessive tension could break the cables and attachments at any time and damage the movement, while insufficient tension could put the movement into a resonance phase, disturbing its chronometric performance.
Designed to stay in suspension inside its case, this exceptional caliber can withstand accelerations of over 5,000 G.
The RM 27-01 weighs just 19 grammes, Velcro® strap included. This feat was made possible by the material selected for the case. Carbon has the place of honour in the composition of the RM 27-01’s case, which features a monobloc back. Its anthracite colour is due to the high concentration of carbon nanotubes. The result: perfect resistance to shocks and scratches, and the comfort that is vital to Rafael Nadal during his tournaments, all of which he now plays with an RM 27-01 on his wrist.
The RM 27-01, available in carbon nanotubes and supplied on a Velcro® strap, is available in a limited edition of 50 timepieces.
Limited edition of 50 timepieces.
CALIBER RM27-01: manual winding tourbillon movement with hours and minutes. Dimensions: 45.98 mm x 38.90 mm x 10.05 mm. Weight of the movement: circa 3.5 g
45 hours (±10%).
BASEPLATE OF THE MOVEMENT IN GRADE 5 TITANIUM AND BRIDGES IN ALUMINUM-LITHIUM
The movement of the RM 27-01 is made of titanium and LITAL®, a lithium alloy containing aluminium, copper, magnesium and zirconium, with a density of 2.55. The addition of Lithium provides to the mechanism more flexibility and greater shock resistance. This alloy is also applied in aerospace on the Airbus A380, helicopters, rockets, satellites as well as in Formula 1.
The skeletonised baseplate and the bridges have been subjected to intensive and complete validation tests to optimise their resistance capacities.
The baseplate of the RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal is attached to the case by 4 braided steel cables, each with a diameter of just 0.35 mm. These cables are held taut by an ingenious mechanism of tensioners (located at 3 and 9 o’clock) and pulleys, which act like pylons positioned at the four corners of the movement.
Each cable is fixed to the tensioner, and passes over the upper pulley and into the movement, before returning via the lower pulley to finish in the lower flange.
Once the watchmaker has threaded the cables, he tensions them by rotating the central tensioner ring using a special tool.
Designed to stay in suspension inside its case, the caliber RM27-01 can withstand accelerations of over 5,000 G.
FREE SPRUNG BALANCE WITH VARIABLE INERTIA
A free sprung balance with variable inertia and a terminal-curve spring (originally designed for pocket watches) guarantees greater reliability in case of impacts and during movement assembly and disassembly, thus achieving better chronometric results over time.
FAST ROTATING BARREL (6 hours per revolution instead of 7.5 hours)
This type of barrel has the following advantages:
- The phenomenon of periodic internal mainspring adhesion is significantly diminished and performance is thus enhanced,
- It provides an excellent delta of the mainspring curve. The choice is determined by the ideal power-reserve/performance/regularity ratio.
BARREL PAWL WITH PROGRESSIVE RECOIL
This device permits an appreciable winding gain (circa 20 %), especially during the start of winding. It also promotes the even distribution of the mainspring’s internal tension.
WINDING BARREL TEETH AND CENTRE-WHEEL PINION WITH CENTRAL INVOLUTE PROFILE
The central involute profile of the winding barrel teeth provides an optimal pressure angle of 20°, which promotes effective rotary motion and compensates for possible variations in the operation of the going train. This, in turn, ensures excellent torque transmission and a distinct improvement in performance.
SPLINE SCREWS IN GRADE 5 TITANIUM FOR THE BRIDGES
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.
- Movement dimensions: 27.20 mm x 21.72 mm
- Thickness: 5.04 mm
- Tourbillon diameter: 12.30 mm
- Balance diameter: 10.00 mm
- Number of jewels: 19
- Balance: in Glucydur, with 2 arms and 4 setting screws
- Moment of inertia: 11.50 mg.cm2, angle of lift 53°
- Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 vph)
- Balance spring: in ELINVAR by Nivarox®
- Shock absorbers: Kif Elastor by KE 160 B28
- Barrel shafts: in nickel-free Chronifer (DIN x 46 Cr13 + S), with the following characteristics: stainless, non-magnetic,tempered.
The case of the RM 27-01 is made from an extremely strong anthracite polymer injected with carbon nanotubes. This combination produces a material that protects the movement and the tourbillon positioned inside it against impacts.
The caseband and case back feature monobloc constructions for evermore improved lightness and rigidity. The crystal, with its anti-reflective treatment, has remarkable properties that ensure extreme toughness and optimum rigidity.
SPLINE SCREWS IN GRADE 5 TITANIUM FOR THE CASE
Due to their design, these screws offer better control of the torque applied to them during assembly. They therefore remain unaffected by the physical manipulations involved in assembly and dismantling, and age well.
Upper flange in aluminium with hour-markers filled with an approved luminescent substance.
In Grilamid TR-90. Thickness: 1.20 mm and 4.01 mm at the edges
- Hand-polished bevelling
- Shot-blasted milled sections
- Stretched upper surfaces
PIECES EN ACIER
- Shot-blasted surfaces
- Satin-brushed surfaces
- Hand-polished bevelling
- Long strokes
- Matt “brouillé” strokes
- Long strokes on the sides
- Polished sinks
- Lapped and polished ends
- Burnished pivots
- Diamond-polished sinks
- Circular decorations on the front surfaces
- Rhodium-plating (before cutting the teeth)
- Minimal corrections are made to the wheels to preserve their geometry and overall performance