Later this year, Richard Mille will launch a new version of their RM 011 Automatic Flyback Chronograph in a new case material: NTPT® carbon. NTPT® (North Thin Ply Technology) carbon was originally developed for the sails of racing yachts, and has since been used in Formula 1 chassis, with plans to use it in aeronautics as well. And now, Richard Mille will be the first to use this high-tech material in watchmaking.
According to Richard Mille, “NTPT® carbon is an exclusive material with a unique appearance. Its remarkable surface displays extremely regular undulations, as NTPT® carbon is composed of multiple layers of parallel filaments obtained by dividing carbon fibers. These layers, with a maximum thickness of 30 microns, are impregnated with resin then woven on a special machine that modifies the direction of the weft by 45° between layers, creating this distinctive visual effect that is reminiscent of precious wood. Heated to 120°C at a pressure of 6 bars, the NTPT® is then ready to be processed on a CNC machine in Richard Mille’s Proart case factory.”
They say that when compared to other carbon based composite materials, this type significantly reduces the chance of breaking stresses and micro-cracks — something that has clearly been a problem with other carbon fiber materials.