iW International Watch
Richard Mille introduces silicon nitride to watchmaking: A New RM 011
February 11, 2013 @ 16:58  |  Author:

NEW RM 011 IN SILICON NITRIDE
Richard Mille presents a masterful reinterpretation of the RM 011 featuring a new material with a unique color that has never been used in watchmaking before: brown silicon nitride.

Richard Mille RM 011

Inspired by the cutting-edge technologies used in Formula 1 racing cars to ensure exceptional accuracy and rigidity, the RM 011’s automatic caliber RMAC1 is now equipped with a flyback chronograph function that allows a timing operation in progress to be restarted without stopping the mechanism. This watch also boasts a variable geometry rotor, exclusive to Richard Mille, which optimises the winding of the barrel by adapting it to the user’s activities.

In 2013, Richard Mille presents a masterful reinterpretation of the RM 011 featuring a new material with a unique colour that has never been used in watchmaking before: brown silicon nitride. Brown silicon nitride is an extremely hard material (1,500 Vickers) that displays high resistance not only to wear and corrosion, but also to severe temperature variations. Very lightweight, it is used in the automobile industry to make valves, turbocharger rotors and other parts.

Its manufacturing process minimises porosity within the raw material. The powder is formed in an isostatic press where a pressure of about 2,000 bars is applied. The blank obtained by pressing is then heated to 1,500°C. A deviation of 10°C in temperature can alter the physical characteristics of silicon nitride at any moment. After 12 hours at extreme temperatures, the volume of a part will have diminished by more than 20%.

Silicon nitride is used for the bezel and case back of the RM 011. These parts are machined with diamond tools that are capable of performing the complex operations required by the barrel shape whilst guaranteeing strict tolerances and an exceptional case finish (satin-brushing and microblasting). The satin-brushed case-middle, crown and push-pieces are made of 18-carat red gold, and the push-piece guards from polished grade 5 titanium.

The RM 011 Brown Silicon Nitride is available from Richard Mille boutiques and the brand’s retailers.

Technical specifications of the RM 011 Brown Silicon Nitride:

Caliber RMAC1: tourbillon movement with automatic winding, hours, minutes, seconds, flyback

chronograph, 60-minute countdown function, 12-hour totaliser, annual calendar

Dimensions: 50 mm x 40 mm x 16.15 mm

Movement dimensions: 30.30 mm x 32.75 mm

Thickness: 6.35 mm

Number of jewels: 62

GLUCYDUR balance, 4 arms, moment of inertia: 4.8 mg.cm², angle of lift: 53°

Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz)