As complications go, the RM 50 is the ultimate Richard Mille, combining a tourbillon and split-seconds chronograph. Descended from the RM008 of 2003, one of the brand’s foundational models, the top of the line complication now has now been dressed up in new livery for Finnish Formula 1 driver Kimi Räikkönen, who drives for the Alfa Romeo Racing Team.
Launched at the start of the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix, the RM 50-04 Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph Kimi Räikkönen is large, lightweight, and complex, and dressed in a red, white and black colour combination that’s the same as the livery on the Alfa Romeo C38 Formula 1 car.
Though it’s a mass of details and colours, the dial is actually easily to decipher.
The two chronograph sub-dials are the six and nine o’clock. The fan-shaped indicator at 11 o’clock is the power reserve, and its mirror image to the right is the torque indicator. This indicates the level of wind in the mainspring, with the ideal being between 53Nmm and 65Nmm; “Nmm” is short for Newton millimetre. And at three o’clock is the power reserve display.
Made of various lightweight carbon composites, the watch case is generously sized, like other top of the line Richard Mille complications – 44.5mm in diameter and 16.1mm high. The front and back plates are white Quartz TPT, while the middle is Carbon TPT.
Both composites are made by North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT), a Swiss lightweight composite specialist that’s Richard Mille’s go-to material supplier. The composites are made of layers of carbon fibre stacked up and then placed in a liquid polymer, and then baked in an autoclave, an oven that cooks the material at high pressure and temperature to set it.
Mechanically, the new watch is identical to the RM 50-03 McLaren F1 of 2017, with the same hand-wound movement inside. Like most complicated Richard Mille movements, the RM 50-03 is made by Renaud & Papi, the high complications workshop of Audemars Piguet.
Like the case, the movement also relies on modern materials for lightness: the bridges and base plate are titanium, while some of the chronograph bridges are carbon composite. The large, X-shaped bridge that secures the movement to the case band is also carbon composite.
Despite the modern materials and styling, the movement has a traditional construction, with two column wheels – one for the chronograph and the other for the split-seconds – as well as a pair of clamps for the split-seconds wheel.
Material: Carbon composite
Movement: RM 50-04
Functions: Time, tourbillon, split-seconds chronograph, power reserve display, torque and crown-function indicators
Frequency: 21,600bph, or 3Hz
Power reserve: 70 hours
Strap: Synthetic fabric
Price and availability
The RM 50-04 Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph Kimi Räikkönen is a limited edition of 30 watches. The price has yet to be announced, but it will be approximately US$1m. For more, visit Richardmille.com.
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