Richard Mille RM 017 ultra thin Tourbillon


RM 017 ultra thin Tourbillon

Modern elegant lines and distinctive individual design
La Cote des Montres - January 25th, 2010

The new RM 017 Tourbillon continues the development of the highly successful rectangular case first launched with the RM 016, when its innovative case design extended the collection’s range alongside the iconic Richard Mille tonneau shape.

The RM 017 Tourbillon sets new standards on the horological scene with its ultra thin case enclosing a tourbillion movement, modern elegant lines and its distinctive individual design.

With dimensions of 49.80 mm x 38.00 mm, the RM 017 Tourbillon retains the same case proportions of its predecessor as well as the wrist fitting curvature and tapering specific to the Richard Mille collection. However, that is where the similarities end: with a total height comprising a mere 8.70 mm, the RM 017’s manual winding movement sets new standards as one of the thinnest tourbillon constructions ever created.

In addition, the RM 017 Tourbillon uses a movement baseplate in carbon nanofiber, a major innovation first tested with great success in the RM 006, an experimental model. The technical results achieved were remarkable and Richard Mille therefore decided to further expand the use of carbon nanofiber, a new material never before applied to horology, to the entire tourbillon range.

The RM 017 also continues Richard Mille’s passion for mechanical innovation. Its function selector is a further development of the mechanism originally implemented in the RM 002. This concept, based upon a car’s gearbox, offers the selection of three possibilities via a special pusher in the center of the crown: winding, neutral and handsetting. The RM 017 Tourbillon takes this a step further by offering a speed handsetting function, which on pressing the push button allows to rapidly change the hour hand independently of the minute hand.

Cutting edge technology combined with elegance, exceptional lines, useful functionality and unmistakable personality: the RM 017 ultra thin Tourbillon typifies everything that Richard Mille Watches stands for.

The Richard Mille RM 017 Ultra Thin Tourbillon watch

Technical specifiactions

With a total height comprising a mere 8.70mm, the RM 017’s manual winding movement sets new standards as one of the thinnest tourbillon constructions ever created.

Caliber RM 017: manual winding ultra flat tourbillon movement with hours, minutes, power reserve indicator and function selector.
Dimensions:length 49.80 mm x 38.00 mm (wide) x 8.70 (thickest area) .

Main features
(Many of which are major technical innovations)


Carbon nanofiber baseplate
This is an isotropic composite material created from carbon nanofibers molded under a high pressure of 7,500 N/cm2and a temperature of 2,000˚C, resulting in a material with high mechanical, physical and chemical stability in all directions. The ribbed perimeter of the movement plate assures the highest rigidity between the plate and bridges. Carbon nanofiber composite structures such as this are amorphous, chemically neutral and dimensionally constant within a very wide range of operating temperatures, including those outside of normal ranges. This stability assures the highest integrity of the movement’s going train under all conditions

Power reserve
72 hours.

Speed hand-setting
The speed hand-setting function, available via the function selector pushbutton in the center of the crown, allows one to change the hour hand quickly and independently of the minutes.

Variable inertia, free sprung balance
The free-sprung balance gives better reliability in the event of shocks, movement assembly and disassembly, and also guarantees better chronometric results over an extended period of time.

Fast rotating barrel (6 hours per revolution instead of 7,5)
This type of barrel provides the following advantages:
  • The phenomenon of periodic internal mainspring adhesion is significantly diminished, thereby increasing performance
  • Provision of an excellent mainspring delta curve with an ideal power reserve/performance and regularity ratio.

Barrel pawl with progressive recoil
This device permits an appreciable winding gain (circa 20 %), especially during the start of winding.
It also aids in the even distribution of the mainspring’s internal tension.

Function selector
In a manner similar to a car’s gearbox, a push-button located at the center of the ceramic crown allows one to select the winding, neutral, hand setting and speed handsetting functions with a simple push.
A turning display located at 3 o’clock shows the selected function: W(Winding) – N(Neutral) – H(Hands) – S(Speed handsetting).

Modular time setting mechanism fitted against the case back
Provides the following advantages for longevity and maintenance:
  • Since the component is mounted outside of the movement, the time setting assembly can be changed without affecting the integrity of the bottom plate in the event of a possible defect or during maintenance;
  • The mounting and dismantling of this module from the back will not require the removal of the hands and the dial.

Wheel based time setting system (back of the movement)
Provides smooth time setting functions through the elimination of engaging friction by replacing it with rolling friction.

Ceramic endstone for the tourbillon cage
This reflects a technical and long-term view towards the elimination of wear phenomena, resulting in improved technical tribology.

Central bridge in rigidified arcap
The ribbed structure ensures better rigidity for the bottom plate/bridge assembly.

Spline screws in grade 5 titanium for the bridges and case
This permits better control of the torque applied to the screws during assembly. These screws are therefore unaffected by physical manipulation during assembly or disassembly and age well.

Winding barrel teeth and third-wheel pinion with central involute profile
The central involute profile of the winding barrel teeth and pinion provides an optimal pressure angle of 20°. This promotes effective rotary motion and allows for compensation of possible variations in the engagement of the going train, thus insuring excellent torque transmission with a distinct improvement in performance.

RM 017 Tourbillon


Others features
  • Movement dimensions: 30.20 x 28.45 mm
  • Thickness: 4.65 mm
  • Tourbillon diameter: 12.30 mm
  • Balance wheel diameter: 10 mm
  • Number of jewels: 23
  • Balance: GLUCYDUR, 2 arms, 4 setting screws, inertia moment 10 mg.cm2, angle of lift 53º
  • Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
  • Balance spring: ELINVAR by NIVAROX
  • Torque indicator with reference measurement in dNmm
  • Shock protection: KIF ELASTOR KE 160 B28
  • Stone setting in white gold
  • Barrel shaft in nickel-free chronifer (DIN x 46 Cr 13 + S) with the following characteristics:
    stainless- antimagnetic- suitable for tempering



  • Anglage and polishing by hand
  • Locking sections hand polished
  • Sapphire blasted milled sections
  • Lapped and polished contact points
  • Burnished pivots

Steel parts
  • Sapphire blasted surfaces
  • Anglage and polishing by hand

Gear wheels
  • Concave chamfering with a diamond tool
  • Circular finished faces
  • Gilded (before cutting the teeth)
  • Minimum correction applied to the wheels in order to preserve geometry and performance