Swiss watchmakers are fond of using the word technicity to describe their expertise in technology and innovation. Oxford defines the term as “technical quality or character, technicality; the extent to which a people, culture, etc., possesses technical skills or technology.” In the case of the contemporary watchmaker Richard Mille, creator of “racing machines for the wrist,” it’s an apt word choice—and then some.
Just look to the avant-garde brand’s latest timepiece, the RM 65-01 Automatic Split Seconds Chronograph, touted in a press release as “the most complex timepiece ever to leave the Richard Mille workshops.”
Developed in partnership with Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, the model’s integrated movement—the first automatic caliber in the Richard Mille oeuvre to feature a split-seconds hand—boasts a 6-column wheel architecture and vertical coupling, not to mention a high-frequency balance with variable inertia (5 Hz, or 36,000 vibrations per hour) designed to enhance accuracy and precision.
A pusher at 8 o’clock activates the brand’s first in-house patented rapid-winding mechanism, which requires 125 presses to fully wind the barrel. The crown, on the other hand, is equipped with a new gearbox, which incorporates a function selector that allows the wearer to switch between traditional winding (W), semi-instantaneous date adjustment (D) or setting the time (H).
The model’s ultra-contemporary housing is equally high-tech: The case, bezel, caseband and caseback are made of ultralight and resistant Carbon TPT. The dial of the RM 65-01 features a color-coded display in which each pusher is matched to a function: Yellow indicates hours, minutes and small seconds at 6 o’clock; green refers to the date display; orange indicates the chronograph’s sweep seconds hand and the 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers; red is linked to the winding mechanism. The split-seconds hand is blue.
The RM 65-01 in Carbon TPT retails for $310,000 and is available at Richard Mille boutiques worldwide. A version in 18-karat red gold and Carbon TPT will also be produced.