Introducing the Richard Mille RM 21-01 Tourbillon Aerodyne

Introducing the Richard Mille RM 21-01 Tourbillon Aerodyne

The Low-Down

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.

The RM 21-01 Tourbillon Aerodyne presents a new case design with a complex structure of 5N red gold reinforced with a Carbon TPT exoskeleton
The RM 21-01 Tourbillon Aerodyne presents a new case design with a complex structure of 5N red gold reinforced with a Carbon TPT exoskeleton
The RM 21-01 Tourbillon Aerodyne presents a new case design with a complex structure of 5N red gold reinforced with a Carbon TPT exoskeleton

IMHO

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.

The mainplate of the watch is made from a distinctive blue honeycomb-patterned alloy, HAYNES® 214, which offers unparalleled stiffness and high resistance to torque and thermal expansion.
The mainplate of the watch is made from a distinctive blue honeycomb-patterned alloy, HAYNES® 214, which offers unparalleled stiffness and high resistance to torque and thermal expansion.
A torque indicator at one o'clock provides the information on the mainspring’s tension, allowing an optimisation of the chronometric functioning of the movement.
A torque indicator at one o'clock provides the information on the mainspring’s tension, allowing an optimisation of the chronometric functioning of the movement.
A push-button located at the centre of the crown makes it possible to select the winding, neutral and hand-setting functions with a simple push.
A push-button located at the centre of the crown makes it possible to select the winding, neutral and hand-setting functions with a simple push.
Limited to 50 pieces, the RM 21-01 Tourbillon Aerodyne is offered on a white rubber strap.
Limited to 50 pieces, the RM 21-01 Tourbillon Aerodyne is offered on a white rubber strap.

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.

Tech Specs

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

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Felix Scholz

Felix Scholz has spent the last decade covering watches from his home in Australia. Given this, it's surprising that he still struggles with time zones. Over the years he's become a firm believer that less is more when it comes to watch design – except when a rainbow bezel is involved. He's written for numerous titles including Hodinkee, GQ, A Collected Man and more. These days he looks after the Australian edition of Revolution and takes a break from writing about watches to talk about them, as the co-host of OT: The Podcast.

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