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SIHH 2015: Richard Mille RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur

by Nick Gould on January 21, 2015

The idea of being able to capture the very substance of life using mechanical means was born during the Age of Reason, motivated by the concepts presented by philosophers in their attempts to comprehend the mysterious inner workings of nature.

The new Richard Mille RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur epitomizes these traditions of horological artistry in a vibrant expression of watchmaking distinctive to Richard Mille’s vision of timekeeping in the 21st century.  For the creation of this timepiece a special flower, the Magnolia, was chosen as its existence marks millions of years on the earth even before the emergence of bees within the environment, flowering in an endless cycle of birth and regeneration.  The Magnolia’s delicate appearance stands in sharp contrast to its strong organic structure and resilience in difficult environments.

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The RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur

At the lower left of the dial on the RM 19-02 we see the Magnolia surrounding a flying tourbillon escapement with five delicate, hand created and colored petals. Working either in passing, or on demand using the pusher at 9 o’clock, the Magnolia opens and closes with rhythmic regularity in a delicate kinetic ballet.

if you look very closely, you will see that Richard Mille chose to imitate nature in the most exquisitely extreme manner possible: The Magnolia does not just open, the entire flying tourbillon with its stone set stamen actually moves upwards 1mm when fully opened, exactly copying the natural motion of the flower’s arching upwards of its stamen to increase its chances of pollination.

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Beautiful: The Magnolia flower and the tourbillon

Attention to details such as these exemplify the Richard Mille approach to watchmaking artistry on every level. For those interested in the technical mastery behind this unique grade 5 titanium tourbillon caliber, a complex mechanism comprising 5 levers surrounds the underside of the petals, and yet another system combined with a long pinion is used to raise the flying tourbillon and stamen upwards within the flower’s circumference – all using energy supplied by a separate, second winding barrel. As an added attention to the tiniest details, it is even possible to adjust the opening and closing cycle.

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Caseback of the RM 19-02

The RM 19-02 Fleur is limited to a production of 30 pieces worldwide.

Specifications from Press Release

Case:

Case Dimensions : 45.40 x 38.30 x 12.55 mm. in 18k White Gold

The specific tonneau shape of the RM 19-02 requires 47 stamping operations including 21 only for preparation. Toolingtakes 4 hours and the RM 19-02 is obtained after 250 milling operations. The finishing process requires a full day for grinding, glazing and polishing.

The tripartite case is water resistant to 50 meters, ensured by two Nitril O-ring seals. The case is assembled with12 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion resistant washers in 316L stainless steel.

Movement:

CALIBER RM19-02: manual winding tourbillon movement with hours, minutes and automaton mechanism

FLYING TOURBILLON
Positioned at 7 o’clock, the flying tourbillon is a complex regulating mechanism. The distinctive feature of the so-called “flying” tourbillon is that its cage is assembled without an upper bridge, thus creating the impression of weightlessness, and offering perfect visibility. The center of the tourbillon gracing the RM 19-02 is set with precious stones to symbolize the stamens of the magnolia flower

BARREL PAWL WITH PROGRESSIVE RECOIL
This device permits an appreciable winding gain (circa 20 %), especially during the start of winding. It also aids in the even distribution of the mainspring’s internal tension

AUTOMATON MECHANISM
The RM 19-02 features an automaton mechanism at 7 o’clock. Evoking a magnolia, the five petals in 18K gold open every five minutes to reveal the flying tourbillon. When the petals open, the flying tourbillon rises slightly to showcase all of its components. Pressing the pusher at 9 o’clock also enables the opening of the flower to be controlled manually.

The automaton is powered independently from the watch by an auxiliary gear train linked to a second barrel dedicated exclusively to this complication.

  • Movement dimensions: 31.50 x 29.62 mm
  • Thickness: 5.72 mm
  • Tourbillon diameter: 11.10 mm
  • Balance wheel diameter: 10.00 mm
  • Number of jewels: 40
  • Balance: GLUCYDUR, 2 arms, 4 setting screws, inertia moment 10 mg.cm2, angle of lift 53º
  • Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
  • Balance spring: ELINVAR by Nivarox®
  • Shock protection: KIF ELASTOR KE 160 B28
  • 51 Jewels.  Jewels set in white gold chatons
  • Power Reserve:Circa 36 hours (±10%).
  • Barrel shaft in nickel-free chronifer (DIN x 46 Cr 13 + S) with the following characteristics: stainless- antimagnetic- suitable for tempering

FINISHING
Movement
– Anglage and polishing by hand
– Locking sections hand polished
– Sapphire blasted milled sections
– Lapped and polished contact points
– Burnished pivots
– PVD treatment
STEEL PARTS
– Sapphire blasted surfaces
– Satin finished surfaces
– Anglage and polishing by hand
– Burnished sections
GEAR WHEELS
– Concave chamfering with a diamond tool
– Circular finished faces
– Gilded (before cutting the teeth)
– Minimum correction applied to the wheels in order to preserve geometry and performance

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