Richard Mille do tonneau watches. It’s kind of their thing. At a stretch they’ll do a riff on the shape, but in general that curved, not-quite-rectangular shape has come to define them – meaning the round case of the new RM 033-02 is a stark change.
The RM 033 isn’t strictly new but it may as well be. Richard Mille has come a long way since the watch first surfaced back in 2011. Not that this is an archival throwback; that’s in vogue at the moment but this isn’t really the ‘retro chic’ kind of brand.
In fact, it’s every bit the modern Richard Mille. Not only does it have the layered case construction with a rose gold case barrel, but front and back use the watchmaker’s flagship Carbon TPT layered composite. Even the lugs are new, elongated with ever narrower carbon layers. In short, this is a new interpretation of a classic Richard Mille watch.
It also happens to be their answer to the current sport luxe zeitgeist, their own take on sporty functionality meets elegant design. Whether it hits the mark or not depends if you’re an RM devotee or not, but it’s a solid attempt and an even more solid watch.
The dial is extreme of course, with some interesting bridgework, rose gold indexes and not much else other than the movement. The movement in question is the RMXP1 skeletonised automatic movement, much of which is in grade-5 titanium. It’s thinner than a normal RM movement, but just as architectural when seen from the reverse.
It’s been a long time since Richard Mille focused on something as pedestrian as a round watch. Does this mean they’re toning things down? We doubt it, this piece is a 140-piece limited edition after all. It just means they have yet more canvases to paint onto with their own, extreme take on haute horology.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Richard Mille RM 033-02 Automatic
Case/Dial: 41.70mm diameter x 8.80mm thickness, carbon TPT® and red gold
Movement: Caliber RMXP1, skeletonised automatic-winding movement with hours, minutes and off-centre monoblock platinum rotor
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power Reserve: 45h
Strap: Black rubber
Price: USD $145,000, limited edition of 140 pieces in Carbon TPT® and red gold
More details at Richard Mille’s website.