Introducing the Richard Mille RM 21-01 Tourbillon AerodyneBy Felix Scholz
Richard Mille’s latest limited edition, the RM 21-01 Tourbillon Aerodyne, takes inspiration from the world of aeronautics to offer the brand’s signature blend of material innovation, all wrapped up in that instantly distinctive tonneau case.
Unpacking what’s involved in a new Richard Mille watch is at once edifying and confusing, like taking a crash course in mechanical engineering. So let’s start with the highlights. The case, which clocks in at 42.68 x 50.12 x 14.30, is a new design, with a complex structure of 5N red gold reinforced with a Carbon TPT exoskeleton. This armour-like Carbon structure is attached to the case using 20 spline screws. Aside from the protective benefits of this case design, the play between the gold and the perfectly aligned carbon layers is visually spectacular. Adding to the drama is the baseplate made from honeycombed orthorhombic Haynes 214. In plain language, the mainplate of the watch is made from a distinctive blue honeycomb-patterned alloy, one which is usually used in extremely high-temperature environments. What this means is that the baseplate is exceptionally stiff and highly resistant to torque and thermal expansion. It also lets the titanium and gold of the bridges, tourbillon and barrel of the Calibre RM21-01 shine through.
In addition to the usual timekeeping functionality, this RM calibre is packed full of other highly-engineered goodies, like the torque indicator at one o’clock. Then there’s the function selector on the crown, modelled off a gearbox, a free-spring balance with variable inertia. There’s several performance-enhancing features on the barrel, and on the back, you can see a modular time-setting mechanism, which allows for greater longevity and security during services.
Offered on a white rubber bracelet, the Richard Mille RM 21-01 Tourbillon Aerodyne is a bold new interpretation of the brand’s singular vision.
Movement: RM21-01, manual winding tourbillon movement with hours, minutes, function selector, power-reserve and torque indicators.
Case and Dial: Case in 5N red gold and Carbon TPT, 42.68 x 50.12 x 14.30 mm, rated to 50m water-resistance, sapphire dial.
Strap: White rubber
Price and Availability: Limited to 50 pieces