Limited to 150 pieces, the RM 72-01 Le Mans Classic celebrates the centenary of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans race. It echoes the performance of the cars that compete during a double lap of the dial on the 13.626 kilometres of the Le Mans circuit.
Richard Mille’s involvement in the automotive world is well-established. With a strong commitment to racing circuits, supporting teams and drivers, and particularly women in the sport, it was only natural for the brand to be involved with the Le Mans Classic at every level from the very beginning. Watches have been specially designed for every edition since 2008, each one in the event’s colours. And this edition is no exception.
The case is made of Quartz TPT®. It is composed of over 600 layers of parallel filaments obtained from separating silica threads. These layers, no thicker than 45 microns, are saturated in a white or green resin developed specially for Richard Mille and woven on a special machine that modifies the direction of the weft by 45° between layers.
It is then heated to 120°C and subjected to a pressure of 6 bars in an autoclave similar to those used to make aeronautical components, before the material is ready for machining on a CNC machine at Richard Mille’s case factory. Machining unveils the various Quartz TPT® layers at random, ensuring that each machined component is unique. Quartz fibres are generally used for very high performance applications due to their resistance to high temperatures, their strength, and their transparency to electromagnetic waves.
The tripartite case is water resistant to 30 metres, ensured by three Nitrile O-ring seals. It is assembled using 20 grade 5 titanium spline screws and abrasion-resistant washers in 316L stainless steel.
In-House Calibre CRMC1
Skeletonised movement with automatic bidirectional winding and hours, minutes, small seconds, date, flyback chronograph, function indicator and stop seconds.
Circa 50 hours (± 10%).
The separation of the chronograph function from that of daily timekeeping in no way impedes the base movement’s operation when the chronograph is running.
Baseplate And Bridges In Grade 5 Titanium
The baseplate and the bridges are crafted in grade 5 titanium, a biocompatible, highly corrosion-resistant and remarkably rigid alloy, ensuring the gear train functions smoothly. The alloy is 90% titanium, 6% aluminium and 4% vanadium. This combination enhances the alloy’s mechanical properties, which explains its frequent use in the aerospace, aeronautics and automotive industries. The use of micro-blasted grade 5 titanium in combination with a grey electroplasma treatment confers great rigidity on the entire assembly and provides rigorously even surfaces.
The skeletonised baseplate and the bridges were subjected to intensive and complete validation tests to optimise their resistance capacities.
Flyback Chronograph With Oscillating Pinions (Patented Mechanism)
This type of flyback chronograph, patented by Richard Mille, splitting the torque generated across the chronograph’s various counters. The display and the connection to the minutes and hours are thus disengaged from the chronograph’s seconds wheel. The performance of this chronograph is superlative. Drawing power directly from the barrel to supply the chronograph’s three counters, the enhanced energy is transmitted to the chronograph train by a coupling system consisting of two oscillating pinions mounted on rockers, controlling the start, stop, flyback and reset functions.
The rockers are activated by a 6-column wheel whose construction optimises the simultaneity of actions and the proper latching of functions, whilst ensuring the longevity of the settings.
The 16 on the hour counter is underlined in red, a nod to the traditional start time of the endurance race.
more information: richardmille.com