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SIHH: Richard Mille Taking to the skies

SIHH: Richard Mille Taking to the skies
24.01.2016
The RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph, the fruit of a partnership between Richard Mille and Airbus Corporate Jet, combines the watchmaker’s iconic barrel-shaped case with technical and formal elements borrowed from ACJ.

Aviation has always been an inspiration for Richard Mille, as the RM 039 Tourbillon Flyback Chronograph Aviation E6B and the RM 39-01 Automatic Flyback Chronograph Aviation E6B, both inspired by aeroplane cockpits, attest.

This year Richard Mille is taking things further, joining with Airbus Corporate Jet – the 5-star subsidiary of European aircraft builder Airbus, and leading supplier of airborne palaces – to present the RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph. Two years ago Sylvain Mariat, head of ACJ’s Creative Design Studio, began working closely with Julien Boillat and Salvador Arbona of Richard Mille’s R&D department with a view to coming up with a watch that would reflect the spirit of ACJ. “The design of the watch remains true to the RM spirit, but it also conveys ACJ’s most identifiable characteristics. The shape and style of the bezel comes from the ACJ 320’s portholes, the dial reflects many complex details of an ACJ cockpit, and the pushers located on the case band echo the structures that attach the wings to our aircraft,” notes Sylvain Mariat.

The RM 50-02 ACJ makes intelligent use of the high-tech materials employed in the aircraft industry:  the case is made of a special titanium-aluminium alloy (TiAl) used in the Airbus’s jet turbine blades because of its high temperature and pressure resistance, and many of the movement’s components are treated with the same special coating that protects ACJ’s engines from corrosion.

In terms of functions, the new tourbillon calibre RM 50-02 displays hours and minutes, with a split-seconds chronograph in the centre, power reserve counter between 11 and 12 o’clock and a torque indicator located between 2 and 3 o’clock to show the tension of the mainspring. Extensive skeletonisation of all the metal components of the movement has reduced the weight of the watch to the bare minimum.

The RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph comes in a limited edition of 30 pieces, available only in Richard Mille boutiques.

Article prepared by CAMILLE GENDRE. Source: http://en.worldtempus.com/article/new-watches/sihh-richard-mille-taking-skies-2452865