Richard Mille creates the RM 018 tourbillon in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Boucheron’s founding
La Cote des Montres - April 1st, 2008
In celebration of Boucheron’s founding in 1858, the most daring jeweler of the Place Vendôme and Richard Mille have joined forces to create a unique timepiece, the RM 018 tourbillon wristwatch.
Richard Mille has a reputation of being a pioneer, having single-handedly reinvented watchmaking with the use of new materials and technologies for a new form of 21st century horology. This time, he was inspired by the 150th anniversary of Boucheron’s exceptional creativity.
The result: the RM 018 tourbillon wristwatch, an exceptional timepiece based on the search of ultimate perfection.
The RM 018, a concentration of the DNA of both brands
The RM 018 “Hommage à Boucheron” represents the extraordinary union between jewelry and watchmaking, combining the best of jewelry design with Richard Mille’s revolutionary know-how. This entire project was a new challenge for both. They did succeed and the result is a world premiere: a timepiece creation with the wheels of the movement made from semi-precious and precious stones. An astounding technological achievement that in reality simply exudes exquisite elegance and refinement to the eye of the beholder.
The production of this unique tourbillon wristwatch will be shared between both companies with the case and the movement by Richard Mille and the semi-precious and precious stones chosen by and embellished with Boucheron’s great expertise. Every watch will be unique, with different combinations of stones in each. Due to the time-consuming nature of the production, which requires much hand finishing and embellishment, the series will be limited to 30 pieces in 18ct white gold.
Richard Mille Tourbillon RM 018 “Hommage à Boucheron”
This Richard Mille tourbillon wristwatch was developed in conjunction with the artisans at Boucheron as a celebration of their 150th Anniversary and will be produced in a limited edition of 30 numbered watches in 18ct white gold.
Since their inception in 1858, the house of Boucheron has been creating masterpieces for exceptional clients of every caliber, and the past is dotted with masterpieces of historic jewelry from their workshops on 26, Place Vendôme, such as the legendary tiara for the wife of Tsar Nicholas II, and creations for the Shah of Iran and the Maharajah of Patiala. It was Richard Mille’s aim to create a wristwatch in homage to that history that would combine the exceptional talents of both companies; a literal synthesis of the jeweler’s tradition and 21st century horology. The result is a wristwatch unlike any other, the world premiere arrival of semi-precious and precious stones into the essence of watchmaking itself.
CALIBER RM 018: Manual winding tourbillon with power reserve, hours, minutes, seconds
Dimensions: Length 48 mm x 39.30 mm (widest point) x 13.84 mm (thickest area)
MAIN FEATURES (Many of which are major technical innovations)
MOVEMENT WHEELS IN SEMI-PRECIOUS STONES The RM 018 represents the first time that it has been possible to create a number of wheels inside the movement using semi-precious and precious stones such as tiger-eye, jasper, black onyx and diamonds. The technique behind their creation required a high level of mathematical modeling in order to control the process of manufacturing, taking more than three years of development and testing before a perfect result was to be found. The wheels, once constructed, are each given a sunray pattern profile, created entirely by hand, in the ateliers of Boucheron at 26, Place Vendôme Paris. In this way the RM 018 represents the ultimate example of what can be achieved by the transformation of ancient materials into horological impulses, using skills from the historic traditions of the jeweler’s craft to create a world premiere 21st century timepiece.
PLATES CREATED FROM SYNTHETIC SAPPHIRE This represents the total elimination of the baseplate structure by the use of two full sized, transparent plates that act as bridges supporting the entire movement. The rhomboidal crystalline structure of synthetic sapphire crystal Al2 O3, in combination with its high melting point of 2,303 Kelvin and minimal thermal coefficient of linear expansion (6 x 10-6), make it exceptionally stable even under conditions far outside those of normal use. It also possesses an abrasion stability eight times higher that of steel.
WINDING BARREL AND COVER FROM SYNTHETIC SAPPHIRE This not only allows a view of the watch’s internal structure: it also eliminates temperature discrepancies between the movement and winding barrel’s ambient temperature since both have the same temperature coefficient, thus providing additional stability to the movement.
TEETH OF BARREL AND THIRD WHEEL PINION WITH CORRECTED INVOLUTE PROFILE The corrected profiles of the teeth allows a double pressure angle of 10° and 20°, thus effectively promoting smooth movement and compensating possible variations of engagement. This ensures excellent torque transmission and a distinct improvement in performance.
Movement dimensions: 30.20 x 28.60 mm
Thickness: 8.70 mm
Diameter of the tourbillon cage: 10.90 mm
Diameter of the balance wheel: 10 mm
Number of jewels: 24
Balance wheel: GLUCYDUR, 2 arms.
Moment of inertia: 10 mg cm2, lever angle 53°
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 48 hours
Balance spring: ELINVAR by NIVAROX
Shock protection: KIF ELASTOR KE 160 B28
Stone settings in white gold
Barrel shaft: in chronifer without nickel (DIN x 46 Cr 13 + S), which has the following characteristics: non-oxidizable – antimagnetic – hardened.
Anglage and polishing by hand
Locking sections hand polished
Sapphire blasted milled sections
Lapped and polished contact points
Sapphire blasted surfaces
Anglage and polishing by hand
WHEELS AND TEETH (Applies to all metal as well as semi-precious, precious/metal wheel combinations)
Concave chamfering with a diamond tool
Circular finished faces
Gilding (before cutting the teeth)
Minimum manual correction to the wheels undertaken in order to preserve geometry and performance
CRYSTAL Bezel side: In sapphire (1800 Vickers) with anti-glare treatment (2 sides). Thickness: 1.20 mm Case back: In sapphire with anti-glare treatment (2 sides) Thickness: at the center 1 mm and outer edges 1.73 mm
DIAL In sapphire (thickness: 0.40 mm) with anti-glare treatment, protected by 8 silicone braces inserted in the upper and lower grooves.
FLANGE (upper and lower) In carbon fiber with index points filled with approved luminous material.