Some thoughts on the RM011.

Mar 15, 2007,11:32 AM

Released this year, although it was planned for 2006, with the absence of a new cutting edge tourbillon piece, the RM011 has become the focus of most Richard Mille enthusiasts this year. In terms of price, the RM011 fills the gap between the RM010 and the RM004. In terms of function, the watch completes a number of tasks: a flyback chronograph, a 60 minute countdown, a large date indicator, and a month indicator. If I saw computer generated pictures of the watch last year, and changes have been made since (for example the degree of skeletonization in the chrono module, and the colouring on the functions of the watch), then it will give you an idea of how long the RM011 has been in development. As mentioned, the functions are supplied by virtue of a modular attachment (developed and manufactured by Depraz) and the base calibre is the RM005-s Vaucher skeleton movement that we reviewed here:

Depraz are no strangers to developing the chrono modules for base calibre's as Audemars Piguet is one of their main customers. I have seen a number of comments concerning the writing on the edge of the pushers:

Personally, I dont mind them. That is not to say that even at this stage, Richard may change his mind on the writing. There were noted differences between the 'official pictures' of the RM014 released last year, the prototype that I saw in Sardinia last September, and then finally the watch that Warren55 had delivered to him last January. Clicking on the links below will take you to the posts in chronological order: Whatever+floats+your+boat%21++A+new+tack+from+Richard+Mille-+RM014+Perini+Navi

However, as I said, I think the writing is fine and if we take our cues from the Formula One world, then writing on functional parts of the mechanism are sometimes necessary. Take the main functional part of the F1 car for the driver:

It is littered with dials and buttons, all of which have some indicator or small writing on. The driver cannot always be expected to recall which button does what and in what direction. That is not to say that the RM011 owner would not be able to remember which button is which out of two (!), but in terms of industrial design and taking the design cues from the F1 world, then the writing works in my book. By the way, I LOVE the chrono pushers. Taking their design cue directly from the accelerator pedals on the cars.

Other design features that I love about this piece. The large date function. Note how the numbers are on a 'fan disk' (PVD coated of course!) that then appear against the white window:

You have to think that the inspiration came from the the fan disk brakes that are developed by Brembo (suppliers of the brake parts for the Ferrari F1 car):

The month indicator uses the same crystal disks that we have seen before (on the RM005/RM010 and RM007) and shows up between the 4 and 5 o'clock numbers:

The hands now have a small luminous arrow embedded in them, and the finishing looks to have been improved over the hands used for the RM004 and RM005/RM010.

In keeping with the design of Richard Mille watches, the chrono module has also be skeletonized so that when operated, the cogs that move the hands can be seen in operation. As such, this is different visual over the RM004 integrated chrono where the mechanism has to be seen through the crystal on the reverse of the case. I have no doubt that the watch 'in the flesh' will be more impressive - it is the case with all Richard Mille models.  I am also in no doubt that this piece will sell quickly. Just run down to your local dealer and pre-order one. At least you can time yourself running back home to post pictures on the Purists using your new chronograph when it comes in!

Good luck and please, if you get one, remember to share the experience with us here...

Andrew H


RICHARD MILLE CALIBER RM 011 Felipe Massa Flyback Chronograph

CALIBER RM 011-S: Skeletonized automatic winding movement with adjustable rotor geometry offering hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, 60-minute countdown timer, 12-hour totalizer, oversize date, month.
Dimensions: Length 50 mm x 40 mm (widest point) x 16.15 mm (thickest area).


By using the pusher 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, in order not to lose time (and therefore accuracy) from stopping, resetting and starting the chronograph whilst traversing a navigational point.
Running operation: 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 at will by depressing the second pusher located between 4 and 5 o’clock.
Stopping: Use the start/stop pusher between 1 and 2 o’clock to stop the chronograph, then depress the reset/flyback pusher once.

Automatic adjustment for months of 30 or 31 days.

Semi-instantaneous, placed in a red outlined horizontal aperture under 12 o’clock.

Semi-instantaneous indicate by Arabic numeral, placed between 4 and 5 o’clock.

Arm in grade 2 titanium Flange in grade 2 titanium 5-positional adjustment via grade 5 titanium screws Wings in 18-carat, high palladium content white gold Weight segment in tungsten/cobalt alloy Ceramic ball bearings Unidirectional; anti-clockwise winding direction
This exclusive RICHARD MILLE design allows the rewinding of the mainspring to be adapted most effectively to the user’s activity level whether it be sporting or non-sporting environments. By adjusting the setting of the rib’s placement, the rotor’s inertia is modified to either speed up the winding process in the case of leisurely arm movements, or slow it down when sporting activities are pursued. As a result, this invention allows the movement’s winding mechanism to be optimized and personalized to the owner’s lifestyle.


Watch functions: Circa 55 hours (without chronograph running).

This was the subject of an entire year of research and development. With regard to the production of each case, 68 different stamping operations are required for the three main components (bezel, middle section and case back). The machine tooling process requires 8 days of adjusting the machines for the bezel, 5 days for the middle section and 5 days for the case back. Prior to this process, developing a methodology for carrying out this series of operations took 120 hours, the drawings for the tools 130 hours, and implemention 180 hours. Each rough case involves 202 separate machining operations. The design and execution of the watch demonstrates a complete conceptual approach to the movement, case and dial. As a result, everything has been constructed according to an extremely rigorous specification, in the manner of the 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) fixed by 4 titanium screws. Features such as these are evidence of uncompromising workmanship. The tripartite case is water resistant to 50 meters, ensured by three Nitril O-ring seals. The case is assembled with 16 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion resistant washers in copper-nickel-zinc alloy.

The manufacture of these components in grade 2 titanium with black PVD coating allows the whole assembly to be given great rigidity, as well as precise surface flatness which is essential for the perfect functioning of the gear train.

The double barrel system helps to improve the torque stability over a longer period.
This is achieved by using more rotationnal turns, thereby reducing pressure and friction on the
teeth, the bearings and the pivots, resulting in improved long-term performance.

INTERIOR FLANGE (upper and lower)
In carbon fiber; index points filled with approved luminous material.

This permits better control of the torque applied to the screws during assembly. These screws are therefore unaffected by physical manipulation during assembly or disassembly and age well.

In grade 5 titanium, with double seal O-ring and collar in Alcryn.

In sapphire (thickness: 0.40 mm) with anti-glare treatment (2 sides), protected by 8 silicon braces inserted in the upper and lower grooves. This message has been edited by 219 on 2007-03-15 11:35:28

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