Wrapped in a material with a wood pattern but more durable than steel, the RM 011 has a casual look that reminds us of its amazing technology and impressive pole position.
Launched last year, the watch caused a stir because it was the first time NTPT carbon was used for a case. For the record, the watch was launched during the first trial of the season with Lotus’ Formula 1 E22, driven by one of Richard Mille’s partners, Romain Grosjean.
In 2007, the young driver won the F3 European Series. He won the GP2 Asia Series twice in 2008 and 2011. Since 2012, he has been a racing driver for Lotus and had the opportunity to test this ultra-light and sturdy watch in his Formula 1 car. We felt the need to do our own testing on one of the most powerful race cars. This is an opportunity to take a series of photos of the watch on the spot.
First off, once freed from the case, this watch certainly doesn’t go unnoticed. Despite its size, its weight can be confusing as the watch weighs just a few grams. Futuristic watchmaking inventor Richard Mille fake mastered the art. In order to reduce the weight of this large reference without neglecting its strength, the research department set up in the manufacture chose to use NTPT (North Thin Ply Technology) carbon for machining the block in the middle of the case. It is an exclusive material consisting of 600 layers of carbon filaments.
As mentioned above, this is the first time this material has been used in watchmaking. It is commonly used for sailing, for example to make the Alinghi mast, and it is also used to make the battery components of the Solar Impulse 2, a solar powered aircraft. To achieve the extreme rigidity and lightness of the watch, the structure consists of several layers of parallel filaments obtained through a process of spacing carbon threads.
With a maximum thickness of 30 microns, the layers are impregnated with resin and then woven on an automatic drop system machine that changes the fiber orientation between the two layers by 45° to increase multiaxial stiffness. The whole is then heated to 120°C under a pressure of 6 bar. All in all, the case is assembled using a layered process, with the machining revealing the different layers through contour turning, resulting in a wood-grain-like decoration.
This 50 x 40 x 16.15mm watch fits the wrist perfectly and is unforgettable. Wearers quickly get used to the watch being worn on the wrist, which usually doesn’t happen with heavier models. In these cases, the watch doesn’t need to be firmly attached to the wrist, as it won’t slide over the back of the hand under the force of gravity. This may seem trivial, but in sporty driving, there’s nothing more disturbing than rocking the watch back into place in a curved fashion or applying the brakes to keep the winding crown from pressing into your already busy hands.
In some cases, this is clearly dangerous. When we tested it, the Review aaa watch with the rubber strap didn’t move.
Renowned for its quality, the RMAC1 movement has successfully passed our tests. This skeleton chronograph movement is made of PVD-treated titanium with a very harmonious visual structure. In addition to being remarkably light, it conveys a sporty modernity to the entire design that is instantly recognizable.
In short, this watch will appeal to sports car enthusiasts; it has a 12-hour chronograph, a 60-minute timer, a flyback function useful for laps (you need to be able to do it quickly, though), and the driver doesn’t have to bother The almanac mechanism once set to March 1. Nonetheless, the watch has a power reserve of approximately 50 hours. Therefore, in order to keep the complication running, it must be placed on the oscillator when not worn.
Overall, this is a very good quality watch as it is designed so well for a private pilot or car enthusiast. Recognizable at a glance, for watchmaking enthusiasts, it is an elegant sign of the wearer’s success. This is a different way of showing where a person is on the starting grid. Richard Mille RM 011 Lotus F1