Richard Mille previewed the Tourbillon RM 56-02 Sapphire at Watches & Wonders this year, and after a long wait, we finally got our hands on the new sapphire watch at SIHH. The new watch drew lots of attention, despite not being technically a 2015 novelty, as it houses a new movement and becomes the most elaborate watch of its kind.
Richard Mille first introduced sapphire watches at SIHH 2012, when it released the RM 056 Sapphire Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph (see above) and the independent brand added to the debut design with the RM 56-01, which put the stakes even higher with baseplate, bridges and third wheel additionally created from sapphire.
When we got our hands-on the RM 56-01, we were surprised at how well the added sapphire elements worked aesthetically. According to the brand, the design was incredibly popular, especially in Asia, so weren’t so surprised to learn that it was creating the RM 56-02 Sapphire Tourbillon expressly for the Watches & Wonders event in Hong Kong.
The new tripartite case of the RM 56-02 is milled and ground from blocks of solid sapphire by the prestigious and highly specialized experts Stettler in Lyss, Switzerland. Creating ergonomically curving tripartite cases was a massive challenge, and once again shows Richard Mille’s determination in using high-tech materials in his watches.
This time, the biggest talking point will be the new movement in the RM 56-02. If it looks familiar, that’s because it’s inspired by the mechanical architecture of the RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal. However, Richard Mille’s engineers have also revisited the design of the winding barrel bridge, tourbillon and center bridges in sapphire to make this model even more transparent than in previous editions. The RM 56-02 will be released in a limited edition of 10 examples worldwide, and is rumored to cost $2,020,000.
Photo Credit: Haute Time. For more, please visit Richard Mille.