Making the ‘Crystal Ship’: case manufacture for Richard Mille’s ghost - the RM056.
[The RM056 Saphir at this year's SIHH]
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It was the star of the show at SIHH 2012. Richard’s RM056 was a ghost of a machine as it appeared to levitate in the display case. Almost without exception, the reaction was one of awe. How could this be! How, with a complex three part case, could the cas...
Excellent and instructive report , thanks for sharing....certainly there is nothing impossible for RM , simply outstanding
Almost a diamond in the rough!
g To undertake the project, Richard turned to Switzerland’s (and possibly the worlds) foremost crystal firm: Stettler Sapphire. A privately held, family run firm, it is the typical example of a Swiss specialisation. Stettler produce the sapphire crystals ...
The ‘could’ outweighs the ‘should’!
[The crystal sapphire case – from the RM056 at SIHH – in its constituent parts] The watch is absurd on one level – why? Why would you want to produce a watch case that could shatter? You do not have to worry about hair-line scratches on the case, but if y...
great report !!!
It's amazing to see what it takes to shape such case. Thanks Andrew.
Now they have the machines and know-how, perhaps they will make a RM005 or RM035 with the sapphire case? Thanks for the great report, Andrew.
Thanks Allen. Not sure what they are going to do with the
knowledge capital in all of this. The problem with the sapphire case is first, it is liable to break if a large shock hits the case. Second, the cost of the manufacture, even taking aside the physical and human capital investment is large, and you need a ...
Great article Andrew!
Your last pic of the sapphire back is FANTASTIC! I wonder how scared or cautious I would be if I were to own and wear one of these RM056's. Then again, if I were able to buy one of the 5 pieces, money would probably be no object so I probably wouldn't be ...
Imagine being the person tightening up those case screws for the first time, craaack!! Whoops maybe? Tim
Epic post, thank you so much
Is it accurate that during the time the factory makes these casses none of the 60,000 or 120,000 crystal faces could be produced? Is that factory really going to work exclusively on the 56 case for a year? Thanks again,
Yes it is! Stettler have moved a large part of the regular
production, that is essentially machine driven, out to Mauritius! The more specialised work will now take place in Switzerland. The special case for the RM056 will occupy half of the Swiss facility for the next year! Thanks Andrew H
Well done, Andrew.
A most informative and enlightening read about an indeed most intriguing case. Once again, chapeau to RM!
Can anyone tell me what is the weight of this RM056 crystal watch? Mnay thanks in advance. Regrads, BT
Phenomenal! I wondered
how they made such things. I knew ultrasonic milling existed, but had never seen the limits of it until now. I live for technical articles like this, and I was a machinist working with monocrystaline diamond tooling before I became a watchmaker, and so I ...