The brand’s most complicated watch ever
Richard Mille has worked with many different companies and sportsmen in the past, but by collaborating with Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) has created a travel watch inspired by private aviation. The RM 62-01 Tourbillon Vibrating Alarm ACJ is described as an all-new grand complication, suited to everyday use.
This is actually the second Richard Mille watch created through the partnership – the first was the RM 50-02 Tourbillon ACJ. This newer model is slightly different, with ‘Vibrating Alarm’ featured in the name. In contrast to the familiar audible alarm of some timepieces, the RM 62-01’s is completely silent, transmitted discreetly by a vibration that only the wearer notices.
Vibrations such as this can usually cause concern over the effect they may have on the watch’s movement – but not here. The protection against the alarm is helped by an offset weight in solid gold, akin to an automatic rotor, inspired by the vibrating function of earlier mobile phones. Finding the right solution was no easy task, and Richard Mille built a number or prototypes, taking one of its watch constructors five years to perfect. Progress meetings were held every two weeks, with the brand describing this as its most complicated watch ever.
As well as the alarm, the RM 62-01 has a UTC indicator for a second time zone, indicated by the green hand at the centre. At 9 o’clock, below the sapphire dial, the tourbillon possesses a free-sprung balance oscillating at 3Hz, and the oversized date is positioned at 12 o’clock, framed by an aperture, with red hatching typical of Richard Mille. The indicator for the movement’s 70-hour power reserve can be found at 11 o’clock.
All functions relating to the alarm are grouped on the lower part of the main dial. This is also the first watch to boast a function selector, with five positions for different settings. Adjustable to the nearest minute on a 24-hour basis, when the appropriate function is selected, the alarm has three indicators of its own: on/off, am/pm and a power-reserve indicator. The RM 62-01 is also the only alarm to be wound, not by rotating the crown but by pressing the pusher – 12 times for a full charge.
Keeping with the private aviation theme, the overall appearance is inspired by the wood panelling of a bespoke cabin interior, with sapphire glass shaped like an aircraft window. The extra-wide diameter titanium crown recalls a jet turbine, while the pushers evoke the profile of pylons connecting the engine and wing. Titantium and Carbon TPT have been used throughout, with a double bezel on the faceback. To maintain exclusivity, the RM 62-01 is limited to 30 pieces.