Richard Mille RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph


Richard Mille RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph

RM 11-03 Automatica Flyback Chronograph

A natural stylistic development
La Cote des Montres - September 2nd, 2016

Restyling is a crucial element in the lifecycle of any product. A watch has to possess vitality and be integrated within the natural stylistic development of a brand. A fixture of the Richard Mille collection since 2007, the RM 011 is taking its bows. Retiring at the height of its glory, it will make way for the new RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph.

The guiding principle for Richard Mille was to imbue the new automatic RMAC3 calibre with a 3-D quality and to bring its complexity to the fore visually. The glossy bevelled rims marked with intermediate times surrounding the coloured counters of the flyback chronograph and seconds window confer depth. This sense of volume is further accentuated by an upper bridge in satin-brushed grade 5 titanium that contrasts with the movement, also crafted of titanium but with a PVD coating. This creates a visual itinerary that sweeps around the annual calendar with its oversize date, as well as the 12-hour counter and countdown function of the flyback chronograph.

The maze continues on the back of the calibre with a satin-brushed PVD-treated lower bridge that highlights the double barrel mechanism and the modern lines of our new variable-geometry rotor in grade 5 titanium, inspired by the aerodynamic appendages seen in Formula 1. This technical solution, a Richard Mille exclusive, makes it possible to adjust automatic winding of the watch to the wearer’s activity level by varying the inertia of the rotor thanks to two microblasted and chamfered wings in 18K white gold. Offering six possible positions, the grade 5 satin-brushed and PVD-treated titanium rotor is mounted on ceramic ball bearings.

Performance is also showcased, thanks to the new RMAC3 automatic calibre. The entire flyback chronograph movement is designed for optimal rigidity, and high performance functioning of its gear trains thanks to the grade 5 titanium employed for the baseplate and bridges. Its two barrels, mounted side by side, ensure stable coupling while providing a power reserve of around 55 hours. The 4 Hz free sprung balance is highly resistant to shocks and can be tuned more precisely than a traditional balance wheel.

The three-part tonneau case has also been reworked by the designers, who have modernised its lines without denaturing the watch, lending it a sportier, more dynamic character. Skilled workmanship and protracted machining times scarcely to be believed are required to achieve the level of ergonomics and finishing—unique in the world of haute horlogerie—that this case exhibits. Chamfering and buffing the surfaces, which is completed entirely by hand, is a delicate and time-consuming task. This silhouette, which first appeared with the RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal, has become a distinguishing characteristic of all Richard Mille’s sports watches, differentiating them from lifestyle models while reinforcing their structural integrity.

Details recalling automobile racing abound in the RM 11-03. The grade 5 titanium crown borrows the design of competition wheel rims and tyre treads. The grooved pushers, machined of the same material recall the surface of pedals, have covers made of another material as ubiquitous as titanium in Formula 1: NTPT carbon. As always with Richard Mille, the entire mechanism can be admired through anti-reflective coated sapphire glass that reveals the calibre. The case, available in red or white gold and titanium, is held together by 20 grade 5 titanium spline screws.

The RM 11-03 Flyback Chronograph is in every sense a sports watch, proudly displaying the brand’s new aesthetic and heavily inspired by automotive history. The model will be officially unveiled on the 4th of September, at the 3rd edition of Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille.
References: RM 11-03 - RM11-03 - RM 011-03 - RM011-03

Richard Mille RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph

Technical specifications

RMAC3 Calibre: Skeletonised, automatic winding movement with variable-geometry rotor offering hours, minutes, seconds, flyback chronograph, 60-minute countdown timer at 9 o’clock, 12-hour totalizer, oversize date and month indicator.

Dimensions : 49.94 x 44.50 x 16.15 mm.

Main features


Power reserve: Circa 55 hours (±10%).
Actual power reserve results will depend on how much the chronograph features are utilised.

Baseplate and bridges made of grade 5 titanium
The baseplate and the 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% grade 5 titanium, 6% aluminium and 4% vanadium. This combination further increases the material’s mechanical properties, which explains its frequent use in the aerospace, aeronautical and automobile industries. The baseplate of the RMAC3 calibre has been optimised to achieve an extremely low weight/resistance ratio.

The skeletonised baseplate and the bridges have been subjected to intensive and complete validation tests to optimise their resistance capacities.

Flyback Chronograph
Using the pusher located between 4 and 5 o’clock, the running chronograph can be reset without first having to stop the mechanism. This was originally developed for pilots to avoid wasting time (and therefore accuracy) as a result of stopping, resetting and starting the chronograph whilst crossing a navigational point.

When the chronograph function is activated, the hours and minutes show the time elapsed thanks to the counters at 6 and 9 o’clock, while the central hand indicates the seconds.

The user can start or stop the chronograph function via the pusher located between 1 and 2 o’clock.
The flyback function can be continuously reset by depressing the pusher located between 4 and 5 o’clock.

Oversize date display
Semi-instantaneous, placed in a red outlined horizontal aperture under 12 o’clock with automatic adjustment for months of 30 or 31 days.

Month display
Semi-instantaneous, indicated by Arabic numerals placed between 4 and 5 o’clock.

Free sprung balance with variable inertia
This type of balance wheel represents the ultimate in innovation. It guarantees greater reliability when subjected to shocks and also during movement assembly and disassembly, hence better chronometric results over time. The regulator index is eliminated and a more accurate and repeatable calibration is possible thanks to 4 small adjustable weights located directly on the balance.

Variable-geometry rotor
  • Central flange in grade 5 titanium
  • 18K white gold weight segment
  • Weight segment with 6 possible positions adjusted by screws in grade 5 titanium
  • 18K white gold wings
  • Ceramic ball bearings
  • Unidirectional anti-clockwise winding
This exclusive Richard Mille design makes it possible to effectively adapt rewinding of the mainspring to the user’s activity level, whether in sporting or non-sporting environments. By adjusting the placement of the wing, the rotor’s inertia is modified to either speed up the winding process in the case of leisurely arm movements, or to slow it down during sporting activities. As a result, this invention allows the movement’s winding mechanism to be optimised and personalised to the owner’s lifestyle.

Double barrel system
The double barrel system contributes to torque stability over a longer period. This is achieved by using higher rotations of the barrel, thereby reducing pressure and wear on the teeth, bearings and pivots, improving long-term performance.

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

Other features
  • Dimensions of movement: 30.25 x 28.45 mm
  • Thickness: 9.00 mm
  • Jewels: 68
  • Barrel arbour – in AP 20 steel
  • Balance: Glucydur, 4 arms, moment of inertia 4.8 mg.cm², angle of lift 53°
  • Frequency: 28’800 vph (4 Hz)
  • Balance spring: AK3
  • Shock protection: INCABLOC 908.22.211.100 (transparent)
  • Escapement wheel jewels: Rubifix (transparent)
  • Three-position winding stem: W (Winding) – D (Date) – H (Hand Setting)
The design and execution of the watch demonstrate a holistic conceptual approach to the movement, case and dial.
As a result, everything has been constructed according to extremely rigorous specifications, in the manner of analytical engineering methods used in the design of Formula 1 racing cars, where the chassis and the engine are developed in complete harmony. For example, a casing ring is no longer used, and the movement is mounted on chassis mounting rubbers (ISO SW) maintained by 4 titanium screws. Features such as these are evidence of uncompromising workmanship.

Machining the case of the RM 11-03 requires 26 hours to establish settings while a kit programming takes 30 hours. The empty case involves over 255 tooling operations and more than 15 hours of glazing and polishing for the final phase. The complex shape of the case is obtained thanks to a 5-axis machine. Engraving the name “Richard Mille” on the inside curve of the back of each case requires 45 minutes alone. The tripartite case of the RM 11-03 is water resistant to 50 meters, ensured by two Nitril O-ring seals. The case is assembled using 20 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion resistant washers made of 316L stainless steel.

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

In carbon fibre filled with an approved luminescent material.

Sapphire (thickness: 0.40 mm) with anti-glare treatment (2-sided), protected by 8 silicon braces fitted into grooves on the upper and lower flanges.

  • Bezel side: sapphire (1800 Vickers) with anti-glare treatment (both side)
  • Thickness: 1.50 mm

  • Caseback: sapphire with anti-glare treatment (both side)
  • Thickness: at the centre 1.20 mm and outer edges 2.04 mm



  • Baseplate and bridges in titanium, wet sandblasted, PVD treated
  • Chamfered and polished by hand
  • Hand-polished locking sections
  • Burnished pivots
  • Diamond-polished sinks
  • Pinions with undercuts
  • Bevelled wheels, sandblasted and rhodium-plated
Steel parts
  • Sapphire-blasted surfaces
  • Chamfered and polished by hand
  • Screw slot and screws bevelled and polished for a rounded, polished tip
  • Concave chamfering with a diamond tool
  • Diamond polished angles
  • Circular finished faces
  • Rhodium-plating (before cutting the teeth)
  • Minimal corrections to preserve the performance and geometry of the wheels