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.
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.
Highlighting features of the RM-UP 01 Ferrari
|Features & Specs
|Adjustment and winding
|Two-cassette tape-style integrated crowns
|Two sapphire crystals – 0.2 mm thickness
|Baseplate & Bridges
|Grade 5 Titanium
|Up to 10 meters
|Number of units built
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.
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.