In the realm of Haute Horlogerie, Richard Mille continues to push the boundaries of innovation, technical prowess, and elegance. Its latest release, the Richard Mille RM 03-01 Automatic with Declutchable Rotor, redefines what a self-winding watch can be while paying homage to its predecessor, the RM 030.
This is not your ordinary self-winding watch with a date display and power reserve indicator. Take the date function, for instance. It is displayed by two separate DLC-treated titanium discs, lending an air of modern sophistication. Then there’s the self-winding movement, with an integrated clutch mechanism designed to disconnect the rotor from the barrel automatically once the mainspring is fully wound. This feature helps prevent over-winding and reduces wear on the movement.
Unlike conventional watches that depend on crown positions for different functions, the RM 03-01 introduces a function selector switch at 2 o’clock on the side of the case. This nifty addition allows users to switch effortlessly between winding (W), hand-setting (H), and date-adjustment (D) modes.
The design also takes a departure from the original RM 030. Instead of the rounded, full Arabic numeral markers and centralized indicators, the new RM 03-01 features an open-worked, angular design. The diamond-shaped power reserve indicator now sits to the left of the central hands, the date window has been relocated to 4 o’clock, and an indicator for the function selector switch is smartly positioned above the date display. The dial itself comprises two layers: one transparent sapphire and another made of titanium with a diamond-shaped design, mirroring the movement’s aesthetic.
Richard Mille offers the RM 03-01 in two configurations. One features a case made entirely of grade 5 titanium, while the other pairs a titanium middle case with upper and lower sections in 5N red gold. Despite the differing materials, both have tonneau-shaped cases measuring 42mm in diameter, 17.59mm in thickness, and an overall lug-to-lug profile of 49.94mm. Sapphire crystals with anti-reflective treatments are featured on both the front and back, and both models offer water resistance up to 50 meters.
Inside, the RM 03-01 employs the Caliber RMAR2, a skeletonized self-winding movement that operates at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz), offering a power reserve of approximately 55 hours. The movement incorporates a clutch to automatically disconnect the rotor from the winding mechanism when the mainspring is fully wound, re-engaging it as the power reserve drops below 40 hours. This ensures an optimum level of tension in the mainspring at all times.
Both versions of the RM 03-01 come with black rubber straps featuring titanium folding clasps. The full-titanium version is priced at $208,000 USD, while its 5N red gold counterpart is available for $253,000 USD.