Last year, Richard Mille signed renowned Argentinean polo player Pablo MacDonough who wears a customized Richard Mille timepiece while competing.
When MacDonough was first signed as a Richard Mille ambassador in 2011, he wore an RM10 on the polo fields. By 2012, Richard Mille watchmakers had developed a polo specific timepiece for him. The RM053 Pablo MacDonough was conceived as a solution to the same problem that the now famous Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso was created to combat back in 1931 – to withstand the extreme conditions of playing polo. Unlike the Reverso, the RM053 was designed with the benefit of significant technological advancements, such as computer aided design and titanium carbide to name a few.
Nevertheless, the RM053 successfully solves the same problem the Reverso did 80 years ago and takes it one step further. By angling the dials 30 degrees and recessing the sapphire crystals into two cut-outs, the case design ensures that the crystals are protected against being shattered, without the need to reverse the case.
The inside of the timepiece is also specially engineered to handle against the brutal impacts of polo, which would render a typical mechanical movement inoperable. Powering the RM053 is a manually wound tourbillon movement with a special skeletonized baseplate and bridges made of grade 5 titanium, held together with spline screws and engineered so close together that the pieces almost act as one, this increases the structural rigidity to help prevent damage from harsh shocks and impacts.
Although the engineering that went into the RM053 is quite complicated, reading the time is not. The left dial displays seconds via a 60-second tourbillon and the right dial displays hours and minutes.