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A Future Classic:
The Richard Mille RM002-V2 In the short 20 years that Richard Mille has been operating his eponymous watch brand, he has managed to create the go-to status symbol watch for the elite. The brand basically only produces “grail” watches, and despite any controversy around its designs and exorbitantly high price point—most if not all Richard Mille watches sell for over six figures—it’s undeniable that the brand has had a huge impact on the watch industry. This Richard Mille RM002-V2 is one of the company’s earliest watch models; it illustrates so much of what makes the brand great and is surely a future classic.

Richard Mille watches often build off innovations put into the models that came before them. This constant improvement has helped the brand stay on the bleeding edge of watch innovation. For example, the original RM002 was released in 2002 and used technology pioneered in the RM001, like a proprietary clutch mechanism and a PVD coated titanium baseplate. However, as we see with this watch, Richard Mille will sometimes go backward and take technology from new watches and introduce it into older models. This particular watch is the second version of the RM002 hence the V2 at the end of its name.

You see, when you’re constantly innovating, you can quickly surpass even recent improvements, and despite its advantages over brass, the PVD coated titanium used in the original RM002 turned out to be a handling and servicing nightmare. It was extremely prone to scratches. One slip up by a watchmaker could mean having to replace the baseplate entirely.

A few years and a few watches later, Richard Mille had figured out how to solve this with the RM006. The RM006 utilized a carbon nanofiber baseplate which was even lighter than titanium but not as scratch-prone. The improvement was so substantial that Richard Mille decided to go back to the RM002 and create the second version of the watch—which is the model we have here—that utilized this new carbon nanofiber baseplate.

That, in a nutshell, is what I love so much about Richard Mille, the brand had already moved on to other watches, but the problem with the PVD titanium baseplates still ate away at Richard Mille enough that he had to go back and fix it. He could have just introduced the improvement and accepted that an older watch just wasn’t going to be as good as a new one, but he didn’t and because of that, we have this, the best possible version of the RM002.

Design Details
Richard Mille timepieces have a very distinct look that makes them recognizable from a mile away, and this watch is no different. Here you have the classic Richard Mille tonneau case shape, the spline screws holding the case together, and the easily recognizable recessed, satin-finished case flanks. Richard Mille’s watches are so distinct visually that you can easily recognize them just by seeing the case flank. This is generally considered the most boring part of the watch on other watches, but Richard Mille’s unique case construction and finishing make the view decidedly interesting.
This 18k white gold RM002-V2 measures 38mm across and is just 12.4mm thick. Those measurements might catch you off guard because the watch looks so thick in photos, but it’s deceptively svelte. Along with being as thick—or thin—as a Rolex Daytona, you’ll also notice from the profile view that the entire case, including the front and back sapphire crystals, are curved to hug the wrist. This added touch of ergonomics makes for an exceptionally wearable timepiece.

Also adding to the optical illusion of thickness is the depth of the “floating” dial. In addition to the curved sapphire crystal that protects the hands and other read-outs, there is a second crystal underneath that the Arabic numerals are painted onto. This allows for full visibility to the watch’s unique components without sacrificing legibility. One can see the carbon fiber baseplate, the tourbillon, and more while easily reading the time at a glance. This is a trait most other skeleton or see-through dials fail to achieve.

In addition to the splendid view of components and the time, you’ll see a few other key pieces of information. At the top right side of the dial, you’ll find a torque meter assembly that displays the amount of torque the mainspring is putting out, then to the left of that, you have the power reserve, and finally, in between four and five o’clock, you have the crown gear display with W, N, H. This is one of the key innovations on this watch. The W indicates the watch is ready to wind, the N indicates neutral, and H lets you know it’s ready to set. These different modes are shifted through by simply pushing the crown. This feature not only serves as a connection to the automotive world, which Richard Mille loves, it also eliminates the significant wear and tear put on the crown stem and movement when one pulls the crown out. Like most of Richard Mille’s watches, this RM002 is thoughtful, forward-thinking, and connected to automobile racing.

Inner Workings
Powering the RM002-V2 is the appropriately named hand-wound caliber RM002-V2. As stated earlier, one of the key features of this movement is its innovative use of carbon nanofiber.
You’ll also find a Glucydur monometallic free spring balance, and Elinvar balance spring from Nivarox and KIF-Elastor shock protection. Additionally, the movement has an impressive 78-hour power reserve and beautiful hand finishing. The view from the display case back is unique with its combination of novel and traditional finishing techniques. However, the attention to detail is extremely high; even the Richard Mille trademark spline screws are black polished. This level of movement finishing is only rivaled by the best in business, and it illustrates that while Richard Mille is willing to constantly challenge the status quo, the brand also has great respect for traditional craftsmanship.

When Richard Mille first started producing watches, the brand was in uncharted territory; there really weren’t many other watch brands out there making totally original, status quo shattering timepieces that cost as much as most people’s houses. Go figure. Even now, this watch is in a very specific market segment with a value of over 600.000 euros.

This rare time piece comes with original box, open papers and full service by RM Paris 2022 -
Une future Classic:
En l'espace de seulement 20 ans, Richard Mille a réussi à créer la montre symbole de statut de choix pour l'élite avec sa marque éponyme de montres. La marque ne produit pratiquement que des montres "grail", et malgré toute controverse autour de ses designs et de son prix exorbitant - la plupart, voire toutes, les montres Richard Mille se vendent à six chiffres - il est indéniable que la marque a eu un énorme impact sur l'industrie horlogère. Cette Richard Mille RM002-V2 est l'un des premiers modèles de montre de la société ; elle illustre en grande partie ce qui rend la marque si remarquable et est certainement une future pièce de collection.

Les montres Richard Mille s'appuient souvent sur les innovations introduites dans les modèles précédents. Cette amélioration constante a permis à la marque de rester à la pointe de l'innovation horlogère. Par exemple, la RM002 d'origine a été lancée en 2002 et utilisait la technologie pionnière de la RM001, comme un mécanisme d'embrayage exclusif et une platine en titane revêtue de PVD. Cependant, comme nous le voyons avec cette montre, Richard Mille revient parfois en arrière et intègre la technologie des nouvelles montres dans les anciens modèles. Cette montre en particulier est la deuxième version de la RM002, d'où le "V2" à la fin de son nom.

Vous voyez, lorsque vous innovez constamment, vous pouvez rapidement dépasser même les améliorations récentes, et malgré ses avantages par rapport au laiton, le titane revêtu de PVD utilisé dans la RM002 d'origine s'est avéré être un cauchemar en termes de manipulation et d'entretien. Il était extrêmement sujet aux rayures. Une seule erreur d'un horloger pouvait signifier devoir remplacer entièrement la platine.

Quelques années et quelques montres plus tard, Richard Mille a trouvé comment résoudre ce problème avec la RM006. La RM006 utilisait une platine en nanofibres de carbone, encore plus légère que le titane mais moins sujette aux rayures. L'amélioration était si importante que Richard Mille a décidé de revenir à la RM002 et de créer la deuxième version de la montre - le modèle que nous avons ici - qui utilisait cette nouvelle platine en nanofibres de carbone.

Voilà en substance ce que j'apprécie tant chez Richard Mille, la marque avait déjà poursuivi avec d'autres montres, mais le problème des platines en titane PVD le tourmentait au point qu'il a dû y revenir pour le résoudre. Il aurait pu simplement introduire l'amélioration et accepter qu'une montre plus ancienne ne serait pas aussi bonne qu'une nouvelle, mais il ne l'a pas fait, et c'est grâce à cela que nous avons ici la meilleure version possible de la RM002.

Détails de conception
Les montres Richard Mille ont un look très distinct qui les rend reconnaissables de loin, et cette montre ne fait pas exception. Vous avez ici la forme classique du boîtier tonneau de Richard Mille, les vis cannelées maintenant le boîtier ensemble et les flancs du boîtier satinés en retrait facilement reconnaissables. Les montres Richard Mille sont si distinctes visuellement qu'on peut les reconnaître facilement rien qu'en voyant le flanc du boîtier. C'est généralement considéré comme la partie la plus ennuyeuse de la montre sur d'autres modèles, mais la construction et la finition uniques du boîtier de Richard Mille rendent cette vue décidément intéressante.

Cette RM002-V2 en or blanc 18 carats mesure 38 mm de large et seulement 12,4 mm d'épai

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