These Ultra-Light, Exotic Sport Watches Cost $120,500 Each
Originally published by Cara Barrett on Hodinkee.
Richard Mille has just released two new additions to their collection, the RM 67-02 Sprint and the RM 67-02 High Jump. Both are based on the 67-01 Extra Flat, which was released back in 2016. Lately, Richard Mille has been creating a host of timepieces inspired by sports stars, most famously Rafael Nadal. This time around, the pieces were created in honor of Wayde van Niekerk with the Sprint in yellow and green, and Mutaz Essa Barshim with the High Jump in magenta and white. Both van Niekerk and Barshim are Olympic athletes for track and the high jump respectively. While the RM 67-02 is similar to the RM 67-01 in some respects, there are a few updates.
Both watches are the sports versions of the RM 67-01, which is the flattest Richard Mille produced. The RM 67-02 is the lightest automatic produced by Richard Mille and weighs only 32 grams (which ain't much). The cases for both the Sprint and the High Jump are made of Quartz TPT (for the colored front and back case plates) and Carbon TPT (for the case bands) which are both shock resistant and ultra light—ideal for high intensity activities. The case measures 38.7mm x 47.52mm and is 7.8mm thick.
Quartz TPT is a composite material composed of alternating layers of silica fibers, with the fibers of each layer oriented at a 45º angle to each other. The layers are "impregnated" with colored resins and the resulting material is strong, light, rigid and colorful. A similar process is used for the straps, using carbon fiber rather than silica. (Silica is silicon dioxide, which in nature exists most commonly as quartz crystals, hence the "quartz" in the name of the material). The result is an almost agate-like banding effect, especially noticeable on the side of the cases.
The material is made by North Thin Ply Technology (that's the TPT part) a specialist in quartz fiber composites located in Penthalaz-Cossonay, Switzerland, and indeed according to Composites World, it's a new material that arose out of a collaboration between NTPT and Richard Mille—it was first used in the RM 27-02 for Rafael Nadal, back in 2015. That watch used white resin; the colored resins appear to be a new development for the material.
The watches are both automatic, and powered by the in-house caliber CRMA7 movement, which has a baseplate and bridges made from grade 5 titanium, and treated with DLC coating. CRMA7 appears to be technically quite similar to the CRMA6 ultra thin movement in the RM 67-01 but of course there are some differences; the most notable is the absence in caliber CRMA7, of the function indicator in CRMA6, which shows the position of the crown.
The rotor is pierced carbon TPT, which adds to the lightweight nature of the watch; the rim is white gold for better winding efficiency. The movement features a 50-hour power reserve and measures only 3.6mm thick. It's then further painted (by hand) to match the color of Wayde van Niekerk and Mutaz Essa Barshim's respective native countries (South Africa and Qatar respectively).
According to Richard Mille, these watches will be worn in competition by the athletes for whom they were designed. At the IAAF World Championships, which will take place in London August 4-13, Wayde Van Niekerk and Mutz Essa Barshim will both compete wearing their respective versions of the RM 67-02 (Richard Mille ambassador Yohan Blake will also be competing wearing the RM 59-01 tourbillon). Richard Mille has made something of a specialty of making ultra light sports watches from exotic materials over the last few years and the RM 67-02 seems a clear indication that the trend will continue.
RM 67-02 Extra Flat Automatic: Case, 38.07mm x 47.52mm x 7.80mm; front and back bezels Quartz TPT, quartz fiber composite; caseback, Carbon TPT. Water resistance, 30m. Dial, grade 5 titanium, hand-decorated. Sapphire crystals front and back. Movement, caliber CRMA7, 50 hour power reserve, 28.04 x 31.25mm x 3.60mm; running in 25 jewels at 28,800 vph; freesprung variable inertia balance. Price, $120,500. See them both at richardmille.com.
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