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Felipe Massa Sapphire
he highly skeletonized RM056 movement reproduces
all the characteristics of the RMCC1 caliber, a manual
winding tourbillon movement with hours, minutes,
chronograph split seconds, power reserve, torque and function
This new caliber is not a simple exercise of merely reviewing
the existing RM008 movement; it utilizes the best design
characteristics combined with further advances, bringing it to
an unequaled level of performance for long-term timekeeping
precision and durability.
The movement weight has been reduced by 20%, requiring
the creation of more than 400 new parts.The skeletonized
grade 5 titanium baseplate with its light weight/high strength
ratio makes it an ideal choice as the foundation for perfect
functionality of the going train as well as offering a great
resistance to corrosion. A fast rotating winding barrel, balance
with variable inertia, function indicator, torque indicator and
split seconds mechanismwith improved performance are only
a small selection of what the Richard Mille engineers did to
create this extraordinary watch, a cutting edge timepiece.
A unique evolution of this tourbillon split seconds Chrono
Competition RM056 Felipe Massa is that its entire case -front
bezel, caseband and back bezel- is cut and milled from solid
blocks of sapphire, a feat of engineering and a strong visual
statement. The production of this sapphire structure took years
of research and testing in order to ensure an adequate response
to the demands of strength and comfort. This is the first time
that such a complex case design has been realized in this
Sapphire is known as a particularly scratch-resistant material
and one of the hardest materials on Earth, with a Mohs rating
of 9.0. Made of aluminium oxide (Al2O3) crystals, it is
transparent thanks to its molecular composition. The
machining of such components was the biggest challenge faced
by RichardMille, a challenge made all the more difficult as the
sapphire machining process is exceptionally delicate. Although
extremely tough, sapphire does not allow for even the slightest
error during milling and cutting. Creating a case of this quality
took over 1000 hours of machining, of which 430 hours were
spent on pre-forming the case components and 350 hours on
polishing the whole watch case. The cutting tools must be
specially designed and tipped with diamond.
For excellent optical properties, bezel case parts have been
treated with an anti-glare coating.
The tripartite case is water resistant to 50 meters, ensured by
two Nitril O-ring seals. The case is assembled with 20 Spline
screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion resistant washers in
L stainless steel.
The RM 056 is a limited edition of just 5 pieces due to the
extreme nature of their creation and development, a new
frontier in the history of the watchmaking industry.