In 2012, Richard Mille launched the exuberant RM 56 Felipe Masse Tourbillon Sapphire, which at the time was the first watch to utilize a pure sapphire crystal case. That was followed by the RM 56-01, which went a step further with the addition of a sapphire crystal baseplate, bridges, and third wheel.
At the Watches & Wonders event in Hong Kong yesterday, they launched a third iteration, now with a cable suspension system similar to what is used in the RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal.
While the baseplate for the RM 56-02 Sapphire Tourbillon is now in Grade 5 titanium, the bridges and case are made of sapphire crystal. The movement is suspended within the sapphire watchcase by the single braided cable of only 0.35mm thickness. It is woven within a system of 4 pulleys on posts at the movement’s corners and another 6 pulleys placed along the movement’s periphery.
According to Richard Mille “The tension of the cable is perfectly controlled by a miniature ratchet at 9 o’clock. This entire cable unit is attached to a separate indicator located below 12 o’clock allowing easy visual inspection of the cable tension, to ensure that it is always operating within the designated norms.”
The RM 56-02 will be released in a limited edition of 10 examples worldwide and is expected to cost over $2 million.