Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille and French aircraft manufacturer Airbus have very like-minded clients; with rare exceptions, they are global nomads, jet-setting in the ultimate style. The two companies united three years ago to produce a limited-edition tourbillon timepiece, and now, the second creation as a result of the partnership has been announced. The RM 62-01 Tourbillon Vibrating Alarm ACJ is nothing less than the ultimate travel watch, inspired by and adapted to exclusive journeys on an Airbus Corporate Jet. Originally revealed to the public in September at the Monaco Yacht Show, the RM 62-01 takes functionality and performance to new limits.
The 30-piece RM 62-01 Tourbillon Vibrating Alarm ACJ limited edition is designed for the discretion prevailing in the hushed atmosphere of luxury. Imagine the intensely focused setting of a board meeting or the confined space of a first-class cabin. Where other alarm watches feature an audible alert, the 62-01’s alarm is transmitted exclusively by vibrations that only its wearer detects. Exceptionally easy to use, this complication embodies a paradox. Richard Mille has famously pushed the boundaries of microengineering to protect its mechanical watches from shock and vibrations. And now, suddenly, the Richard Mille watchmakers had to incorporate these into the heart of the movement. But as a result, discretion is assured.
Where other mechanical alarm watches may incorporate a hammer that creates a sound by striking a pillar, a gong or the interior of the case, the time signal in the RM 62-01 is transmitted by a vibration only the wearer can perceive. This vibrating alarm, however, had to be designed so as not to affect the watch movement, a major concern. Four partial prototypes and extensive studies based on models and space constraints were required in order to fit so many components (816 parts) and functionalities in the limited volume. One Richard Mille watch constructor worked on this project full time for five years, sometimes with the help of an additional watchmaker, with progress meetings every two weeks. For all these reasons, the RM 62-01 is the most complicated watch Richard Mille has ever created.
The RM 62-01 is equipped with a range of complications catering to the business traveler: a second time zone indicated by the green hand at the center, the tourbillon at 9 o’clock, an oversize date at 12 o’clock, and 70-hour power reserve indicator at 11 o’clock.
This is the first watch to boast a function selector with five positions to permit adjustment of all settings. The alarm has three indicators of its own: on/off, AM/PM and a power-reserve indicator. The RM 62-01 is also the only alarm to be wound, not by rotating the crown, but simply by pressing the pusher 12 times.
If ever two worlds were destined to meet at the acme of innovation, those worlds are aviation and horology, both on a quest to master space and time.