Bold and daring, the Richard Mille RM 62-01 Manual Winding Tourbillon vibrating alarm ACJ watch is the result of a partnership between luxury watch brand Richard Mille and Airbus Corporate Jets. The bold watch has a skeletonized baseplate and bridges in lightweight, rugged Grade 5 titanium, and a new vibrating alarm complication developed in tandem with Audemars Piguet over the course of five years. The alarm, which will vibrate for 12 seconds, can be set to the nearest minute of a 24-hour period. The watch with 816-part movement features a tourbillon, high-tech Glucydur balance and shock protection system. The most complicated watch Richard Mille has ever built is created in a limited edition of 30 pieces.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier, Richard Mille drops its most complicated watch ever. It’s a watch designed for travelers, and produced as a collaboration with Airbus Corporate Jets. As such, it’s designed with the extremely affluent and very frequent flyer in mind – in addition to its tourbillon, it also has an oversized date, a GMT hand indicating the time in a second time zone, an indicator for the 70-hour power reserve, and an alarm. The alarm is a first for Richard Mille, and while not, of course, the first alarm watch, it is a first in how the alarm works. Instead of an audible alarm, it is a vibrating one, meant to be felt only by the wearer and not heard by anyone else. This is achieved by using a special oscillating mass that looks a bit like an automatic winding rotor, which spins at a high enough speed to produce a vibration that can be felt but not heard.
I must admit, I did have a chuckle when I read the press release which said “The RM 62-01 is designed for the discretion prevailing in the hushed atmosphere of luxury.” The new RM 62-01 is anything but discreet. The RM 62-01 has a double bezel – one is satin-polished titanium and the second milled from a block of Carbon TPT to a wafer-thin thickness of 1.8 mm. The combination of titanium and Carbon TPT ensures that vibrations produced by the alarm are transferred to the wrist, rather than to the movement.
Looking at the watch head-on (I haven’t had the opportunity to eyeball it in the metal), we see a pusher located at the center of the crown, from where it is possible to wind the watch, set the time, set the alarm and adjust the UTC indication. A disc at three o’clock displays the selected mode against a light-colored ground: N (Neutral) — W (winding) — T (time setting) — U (UTC hand setting) — A (Alarm setting). The UTC indicator for a second time zone is indicated by the green hand at the centre. And at nine o’clock, below the sapphire dial, the tourbillon shows off its free-sprung balance which oscillates at 3Hz. The oversize date is positioned at 12 o’clock and framed by an aperture with the red hatching we often see from Richard Mille. Finally, the 70-hour power reserve can be seen at 11 o’clock. All functions relating to the vibrating alarm are grouped on the lower part of the main dial.
The rotating weight that produces the alarm vibrations is machined from a single piece of white gold, precisely calibrated to spin at 5,400 rpm and adjusted to the nearest minute of a full 24 hours. This is set using the function selector situated at three o’clock. The maximum duration of the vibration is 12 seconds. I wonder if down the line you will be able to manually set the vibration duration. The alarm is wound, not by winding the crown, but by pressing 12 times on the pusher at eight o’clock.