Producing the thinnest mechanical watch ever produced is impressive. Scoring Ferrari as a partner is a boost. Charging $1,000 per micron for your product thickness – which, in fact, is impractical – is quite enviable. Yet, sometimes, the end result of such an incredible achievement is still — odd. The record for the world’s thinnest watch seems to be routinely overruled these days, and just a few months after Bulgari took the crown with the 1.8mm-thick Octo Finissimo Ultra, Richard Mille’s new RM UP-01 Ferrari only sets it is 0.05 mm. With an overall thickness of 1.75 mm and made of grade 5 titanium, the new model is an ultra-thin, ultra-light timepiece that continues Richard Mille’s tradition of pushing the boundaries of mechanical timekeeping – from Richard Mille Not calling it a record-breaking watch. interesting.
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra and the Piaget models that held the record before achieved ultra-thinness by having the case double as a structural part of the movement. In contrast, according to the brand, the new Richard Mille RM UP-01 Ferrari uses a more traditional case construction, placing the complete movement inside the case. The case is more of a monolithic design, as its case profile (no matter how slim) and case back are made from the same piece of titanium, while the front, or rather the bezel, is a different piece. Today, most watch cases use a front, middle, and case back.
What good is all this? Well, this rigid construction and uniquely shaped gasket help the RM UP-01 offer a 10m water resistance rating – not something one would expect from a watch of this kind, but then again, Richard Mille knows its customers aren’t afraid to play with their Ten thousand – dollar toys. Neither are its brand ambassadors, like Nadal, who hit 135 mph on his first serve and wore a Richard Mille tourbillon. As you might imagine, having a movement’s main board double as a watch’s mid-case or caseback isn’t ideal for shock resistance — although, to its credit, Bulgari uses tungsten carbide for structural rigidity, while Richard Mille’s LE uses grade 5 titanium.
The 51mm wide x 39mm lug-to-lug case can best be described as a wide rectangle with rounded edges, and despite being remarkably thin, the RM UP-01 Ferrari still features the brand’s signature exposed screws around the perimeter. The overall shape of the case is a bit like the classic tonneau-shaped design of Richard Mille rotated 90°. However, the top of the Richard Mille RM UP-01 Ferrari buying replica watch does not feature the traditional centrally mounted hands of the dial and is covered with crystals, but consists primarily of a titanium surface with four small circular openings engraved with the Ferrari racing emblem .
The time is shown by a small (very small) register in the center of the upper half of the watch, while the circle on the right provides a balanced view, both covered by a thin sapphire crystal. Meanwhile, the two circles located on the left side of the watch with to access the movement. Using a traditional winding crown setting would result in a significantly thicker structure, so Richard Mille opted for a unique design in which two rotating disc-shaped crowns are flush with the watch face and the top serves as a function selector switch, The one at the bottom is dedicated to winding and setting the time. The back of the case is a piece of grade 5 titanium that is bolted to the front half,
Powering the Richard Mille RM UP-01 Ferrari is the ultra-thin Calibre RMUP-01, which was developed in collaboration with the workshop of Audemars Piguet Le Locle, formerly known as Audemars Piguet Renaud et Papi or APR&P for short APR&P. APR&P works extremely closely with Richard Mille on most of the brand’s highly complex pieces, from design to production. Hand-wound and offering hour and minute displays and a function selector, the RMUP-01 movement measures just 1.18 mm in overall thickness and weighs just 2.82 grams, yet is capable of withstanding accelerations of over 5,000 G. It provides users with a 45-hour power reserve matched to the higher frequency 4Hz, which is more suitable for watches that are expected to be subject to frequent shocks.
The movement has some completely redesigned components to support Richard Mille’s pursuit of thinness. In order to reduce the depth, the small plate of the balance wheel and the protective pin—two components that prevent the anchor from slipping back during the free phase of the balance’s movement—were eliminated. Instead, a new, also patented, ultra-flat escapement replaces these “anti-reversal” elements with a slender fork with new horns. To ensure maximum strength and lightness, the RMUP-01 movement features a grade 5 titanium baseplate and skeletonized bridges, the movement features a redesigned patented escapement to further reduce height, and a titanium alloy variable inertia balance for maximum performance. Best stability and accuracy.
The overall thickness of the Richard Mille RM UP-01 Ferrari’s entire case is just 1.75mm, which is thinner than the black rubber strap attached to it, which is pretty interesting if you think about it. However, the challenge of getting such an ultra-thin watch to look good on the wrist remains a nearly insurmountable one – or so it seems from some of the official images provided. Even a handsome Monaco racer, Charles Leclerc (above), can’t seem to put this impressive technical feat on his wrist. It looks more like a gadget or bracelet than a watch, maybe.
Another point of criticism could be the way the Ferrari brand is used. Like it or not, Hublot has pushed the bar to new heights and, we think, taught the world how to properly partner with Ferrari. Hublot has moved away from vaulting on products that would be identical in design and function without it. In other words, stylistic elements, materials and even a close collaboration with Ferrari Design Studio (their in-house design studio actually designs Ferrari cars, not Ferrari-branded aftershaves) have made their way to Hublot at various prices. At this point, it’s hard to see if the Richard Mille RM UP-01 Ferrari is actually a Ferrari watch,
At the end of the day, the RM UP-01 Ferrari has set a new world record for ultra-thin mechanical timepieces, which is good for both the brand and the watchmaking industry’s image. It shows dynamism, dynamism and dedication, and deserves applause for it.