Richard Mille RM 011 Silicon Nitride Watch
How is it that some brands out there manage to put our faces under the smiling mood? It even appears to be a rather simple thing this! Anyway, you’re probably guessing one of those brands is Richard Mille – they’ve now come up with the staggering RM 011 Silicon Nitride timepiece, which is reportedly as durable and as resistant as a Formula 1 car.
The specialists behind the high end timekeeping firm managed to accomplish such a beautiful thing thanks to extensive attention to detail and intriguingly sophisticated technologies just like those used by Formula 1 teams.
This RM 011 automatic caliber RMAC1 boasts a flyback chronograph function alongside a variable geometry rotor. The caseback and bezel were manufactured from brown silicon nitride – a sturdy, highly resistant material (it can resist up to 1,500 Vickers) – while being at the same time resistant to temperature oscillations and corrosion. This exquisite materials is used by F1 teams in the manufacture of turbocharger rotors, valves etc. – an additional reason for them to use such a substance is the reduced lightness of silicon nitride.
The silicone powder is formed inside an isostatic press where it is subjected to around 2,000 bars of pressure. The resulting blank is then heated to 1,500 degrees C. During the process of manufacture, even a 10 degree variation in temperature may alter the material’s resistance and its physical properties. The silicon nitride stands against high temperatures for 12 hours, thus the volume is reduced by 20% at least. The finishing process is taken care of by diamond-machining tools.
Furthermore, the push-pieces are crafted from polished grade 5 titanium and plated with 18-carat red gold, while the crown and the case-middle are manufactured from the same precious metal – 18-carat rose gold. Regarding the mechanism, it is a tourbillion movement with automatic winding, that beats for 28,800 times per hour, therefore providing all sorts of functions like the display of hours, minutes, and seconds, 60-minute countdown function, annual calendar, 12-hour totaliser and fly back chronograph. The case measures 50 mm x 40 mm.