RM 70-01 Manual Winding Tourbillon Alain Prost. Alain Prost is an artist in the realm of speed. The collaboration between the brand and the four-time Formula 1 World Champion is based on unshakable loyalty. This time, a shared interest in cycling provided inspiration. Much like the aeronautics and automotive industries, where R&D plays an essential role, cycling is constantly evolving from a technical perspective.
AN INSPIRED UNDERTAKING
Following extensive discussions with Alain Prost, as well as other cyclists, Richard Mille realised that many of them would be hard pressed to say how many kilometres they’d ridden since the beginning of the season.
The RM 70-01’s never-before-seen totaliser remedies this by simply displaying the overall distance travelled with their different cycles.
The creation of a timepiece demands a balancing act between total volume, the physical requirements of the movement and its specific features, however, the user’s comfort is equally essential. This was at the heart of the original tonneau shape developed by Richard Mille at the brand’s beginning.
Regardless of whether a particular RM model is slim or massive, its shape ensures optimal comfort, never interfering with the owner’s physical movements. Form and function are approached in yet another manner with the RM 70-01.
RM 70-01 TOURBILLON ALAIN PROST CALIBRE RM70-01
Manual winding tourbillon movement with hours, minutes, power-reserve indicator and mechanical odometer. Limited edition of 30 pieces.
BASEPLATE AND BRIDGES MADE OF GRADE 5 TITANIUM
The baseplate and bridges are crafted of grade 5 titanium, a biocompatible, highly corrosion-resistant and remarkably rigid alloy, which enables the gear train to function effortlessly. The alloy is 90% titanium, 6% aluminium and 4% vanadium. This combination further increases the material’s mechanical properties, which explains its frequent use in the aerospace, aeronautics and automobile industries. The baseplate is black PVD treated.
The skeletonised baseplate and bridges were subjected to separate and extensive validation tests to ensure they met rigorous strength requirements.
The mechanical odometer can tally distances of up to 99,999 kilometres, but it can also serve as a reminder, since the mechanism makes it possible to set specific dates or times.
Adjusting the odometer is done using two grade 5 titanium pushers. Located at 2 o’clock, the first pusher is a selector that can synchronise any of 5 selected rollers, or set the complication in neutral position. Depressing the second pusher, at 10 o’clock incrementally rotates the selected roller. Inspired by the gear indicators on the handlebar gearshift, markers on the odometer provide visual confirmation of the selection.
As this function occupies the greater part of the movement, the calibre needed to be as compact as possible, which was achieved by positioning the winding barrel and the tourbillon on the same axis.
Located at 5 o’clock in the shape of a gauge, powered by a planetary differential.
FAST-ROTATING BARREL (6 hours per revolution instead of 7.5 hours)
This type of barrel provides the following advantages:
• The phenomenon of periodic internal mainspring adhesion is significantly diminished, thereby increasing performance.
• An excellent mainspring delta curve with an ideal power reserve/performance and regularity ratio.
BTR AND SPLINE SCREWS IN GRADE 5 TITANIUM FOR THE BRIDGES AND CASE
The design of these screws permits better control of the torque applied during assembly. These screws are therefore unaffected by physical manipulation during assembly or disassembly and age well.
Simultaneously tonneau-shaped, rectangular and asymmetrical, the taut, curved lines of the RM 70-01 were designed to ensure fabulous comfort on the wrist and optimised legibility of the dial.
The tripartite case employs Carbon TPT®, a remarkable material with a unique finish obtained by layering hundreds of sheets of carbon fibre using an automated process that changes the orientation of the weft between layers. Heated to 120°C in an autoclave similar to those used for aeronautic components, the material is then ready to be machined at Richard Mille. During this phase, the many layers of Carbon TPT® are revealed, creating random damascene patterns that make each piece unique.
Carbon TPT® is virtually indestructible and possesses exceptional physical properties that make possible a lighter case offering ideal shock protection.
The tripartite case, water resistant to 50 metres, is assembled with 20 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion-resistant washers in 316L stainless steel.
This additional security system prevents accidental overwinding, which could cause damage to the winding stem or put extreme pressure on the mainspring barrel.
Report by richardmille.com