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Who makes the thinnest watches in the world?

Richard Mille RM-UP 01 Ferrari certainly comes in as a surprise. Anyone familiar with the brand would know that it is recognised for its vast dimensions, bold design elements, and varied color options. The monotone RM-UP 01 Ferrari holds the record for the thinnest watch in the world. The watch measures a mere 1.75mm in thickness. Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra held the previous record, at 1.80mm in thickness.

Richard Mille, the world’s thinnest watch

The Richard Mille thinnest watch, the RM-UP 01, was developed in collaboration with Ferrari. It was launched at the automotive marque’s Maranello, Italy, on July 5th. The watch is limited to only 150 pieces, making it an extremely rare and unique watch. To achieve such thickness while also maintaining its rigidity, Richard Mille used the tactic of distributing its components across a large surface rather than stacking them, as in traditional design.

richard mille thinnest watch

But building a micro-thin watch meant thinner components and baseplate, which could result in a less robust design. To overcome this particular challenge, the baseplate and bridges were made using grade 5 Titanium, a strong alloy that includes vanadium and aluminum.

Extensive tests were conducted to ensure that the watch has the capability to withstand up to 5000 g’s. Maintaining stability of the escapement in such a thin watch was a significant task; thus, they developed an ultra-flat balance wheel for its RMUP-01 caliber, which is made of titanium.

The newly designed movement was configured to combine certain functions, thereby reducing the number of components used. An extra hairspring was also built into the watch to maintain a 45-hour power reserve. Components like the winding crown, function selector, balance wheel, and time subdial are all placed on the same surface, with space left for the mighty Ferrari logo.

Testing and Refinement of the RM-UP 01 Ferrari

Richard Mille had utilized the laboratories of Audemars Piguet in Le Brassus to conduct more than 6000 hours of testing.

The technical director for cases at Richard Mille, Julien Boillat, stated that “For such a project, it was necessary to put aside all the knowledge we had amassed over several years of practice and every conceivable standard of watchmaking.”

The head of the production for Richard Mille, Yves Mathys, also stated that “Just like a Ferrari, which constantly seeks to gain a few thousandths of a second while racing, we fought to shave off hundredths of a millimeter to achieve the flattest possible watch.” With a brand like Richard Mille, which is known for its rugged exterior-bodied watches, building the thinnest watch was the most outstanding achievement. It goes to show that the vision of a creator can be accomplished with the proper planning, design, testing, and implementation process.

richard mille watch internals

Highlighting features of the RM-UP 01 Ferrari

Watch Components Features & Specs
Thickness 1.75 mm
Weight 2.82 grams
Power reserve 45 hours
Adjustment and winding Two-cassette tape-style integrated crowns
Dial components Two sapphire crystals – 0.2 mm thickness
G-force strength 5000 g’s
Baseplate & Bridges Grade 5 Titanium
Water-resistant Up to 10 meters
Number of units built 150

Other luxury brands that are known for creating the thinnest watches

Before the RM-UP 01, the Octo Finissimo Ultra by Bulgari held the record for the thinnest watch in the world. The following are models by other brands that have held previous records for the thinnest watch:

  • Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 910P – 4.30 mm
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre Hybris Mechanica 11 – 7.9 mm
  • Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Contemporaine Ultra-thin Caliber 1731 – 3.9 mm
  • Arnold & Son UTTE – 2.97 mm
  • Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-thin Automatic 5377 – 3.0 mm
  • Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon – 3.95 mm
  • Rado True Thinline Automatic – 4.9 mm
  • Chopard L.U.C XPS – 3.3 mm
  • Zenith Captain Ultra-thin – 3.47 mm

How much does the world’s thinnest watch cost?

Limited to a number of 150 pieces, the Richard Mille RM-UP 01 Ferrari is an extremely rare watch with a current listing price of $1.88 Million. The company has also mentioned that the RM-UP 01, a model designed in collaboration with one of Italy’s leading exotic car manufacturers, Ferrari, is an everyday watch for use.

richard mille RM-UP 01 Ferrari

Slender, Robust and Alluring design

Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille, is known for pushing its design and engineering limits with its watches. Building the world’s thinnest watch meant fitting numerous delicate mechanical components in a reed-thin casing. With a measure of only 1.75 mm in thickness and 2.82 grams in overall weight, the RM-UP 01 Ferrari edition has secured the title of the world’s thinnest watch. Developing unique micro-parts and a slim casing resulted in the brand’s victory of achieving such a remarkable title.

Written By

Ewan Cole

Ewan Cole is a watch journalist and consultant who has worked in the industry for over a decade. He splits his time between his hometown of London and the United Arab Emirates, writing about luxury watches for a dozen or so websites. He also speaks at numerous events on a regular basis.

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