My Favorite Watch of SIHH 2015
Fresh from Switzerland and SIHH 2015, one might be tempted to compare the Richard Mille RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur to last year’s Christophe Claret Margot. Both are rather florally inclined. Both contain elaborate automaton mechanisms. Both are limited pieces from brands know for pushing the limits of traditional watchmaking, Richard Mille and Christophe Claret.
But, while the $315,000 Christophe Claret Margo may be the more complicated with its “he loves me, he loves me not” mechanism and repeater, the $1,300,000 Richard Mille RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur is undoubtedly the more captivating of the two.
In an incredible act of precision and creativity, activated every five minutes or by depressing a pusher at the nine o’clock position, an automaton function opens and closes 18-karat gold magnolia petals surrounding a flying tourbillon. On opening of the five petals, the RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur’s tourbillon even rises ever so slightly… one millimeter, to be precise… into view.
The Caliber RM19-02 self-winding movement has a power reserve of about 36 hours and is made from Grade 5 titanium whose cinereal finish sits in stark contrast to the diamond encrusted titanium tripartite case.
The Richard Mille RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur is technically a ladies watch, but at 45 mm by 38 mm it is rather large. That being said, the diamond-spangled case, bright purplish flower, diamond time dial and dark grey movement all play together to form what I believe to be one of the most stunning watches produces in quite a long time… Easily among the most beautiful from SIHH 2015.
Like I said earlier, the The Richard Mille RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur has a price tag of about $1.3 million. It’s also limited to only 30 pieces. For more info on the Tourbillon Fleur check out the photos, tech specs and press release below. Or, for the same info, just on Richard Mille’s page, visit their Richard Mille RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur here.
Richard Mille RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur Watch Photos
Richard Mille RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur Technical Specifcations
- Edition: Limited edition of 30 pieces.
- Movement: CALIBER RM19-02: manual winding tourbillon movement
- Functions: Hours, minutes, automaton mechanism
- Dimensions: 45.40 x 38.30 x 12.55 mm.
- Power Reserve: 36 hours (±10%).
- Movement Materials: Skeletonized Baseplate, Bridges and spline screws in Grade 5 Titanium
- Movement Features:
- Tourbillon: Flying Tourbillon with precious stones in the form of a magnolia flower
- Variable Inertia
- Free Sprung
- Glucydur, 2 arms, 4 setting screws,
- Inertia moment: 10 mg.cm2
- Angle of lift: 53o
- Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
- Balance spring: ELINVAR
- Barrel Pawl with Progressive Recoil
- Automaton Mechanism: At the 7 o’clock in the style of a magnolia. Fivepetals in 18K gold open every five minutes to reveal the flying tourbillon. When the petals open, the flying tourbillon rises slightly to showcase all of its components. Pressing the pusher at 9 o’clock also enables the opening of the flower to be controlled manually. The automaton is powered independently from the watch by an auxiliary gear train linked to a second barrel dedicated exclusively to this complication.
- Number of jewels: 40 set in white gold chatons
- Shock protection: KIF ELASTOR KE 160 B28
- Barrel Shaft: Stainless / Antimagnetic Nickel-free chronifer with the following characteristics:
- Tonneau-shaped tripartite Titanium and Diamond case
- 12 spline screws in grade 5 titanium
- Abrasion resistant washers in 316L stainless steel.
- Crown: Torque Limiting
- Crystal: Anti-Glare Sapphire
- Movement Finishing:
- Anglage and polishing by hand
- Locking sections hand polished
- Sapphire blasted milled sections
- Lapped and polished contact points
- Burnished pivots
- PVD treatment
Richard Mille RM 19-02 Press Release
Richard Mille RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur Press Release
RM 19-02 TOURBILLON FLEUR
No one can debate the hundreds of years of Swiss fascination with the art of fine horology that we all appreciate today. Yet, many will be unaware of the refined and equally age-old Swiss tradition regarding the creation of mimetic mechanical objects of art that imitate nature, thus blurring the dividing lines between artistic creativity and life itself.
This idea of being able to capture the very substance of life using mechanical means was born during the Age of Reason, motivated by the concepts presented by philosophers in their attempts to comprehend the mysterious inner workings of nature.
In this manner exquisite miniature animal, insect and flower automata of all kinds were created in precious metals and lacquer work to amuse and delight royal patrons in Europe and around the globe.
The new RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur epitomizes these traditions of horological artistry in a vibrant expression of watchmaking distinctive to Richard Mille’s vision of timekeeping in the 21st century. For the creation of this timepiece a special flower, the Magnolia, was chosen as its existence marks millions of years on the earth even before the emergence of bees within the environment, flowering in an endless cycle of birth and regeneration. The Magnolia’s delicate appearance stands in sharp contrast to its strong organic structure and resilience in difficult environments.
At the lower left of the dial on the RM 19-02 (Tourbillon Fleur) we see the Magnolia surrounding a flying tourbillon escapement with five delicate, hand created and colored petals. Working either in passing, or on demand using the pusher at 9 o’clock, the Magnolia opens and closes with rhythmic regularity in a delicate kinetic ballet.
However, if you look very closely, you will see that Richard Mille chose to imitate nature in the most exquisitely extreme manner possible…..The Magnolia does not just open, the entire flying tourbillon with its stone set stamen actually moves upwards 1mm when fully opened, exactly copying the natural motion of the flower’s arching upwards of its stamen to increase its chances of pollination. Attention to details such as these exemplify the Richard Mille approach to watchmaking artistry on every level.
For those interested in the technical mastery behind this unique grade 5 titanium tourbillon caliber, a complex mechanism comprising 5 levers surrounds the underside of the petals, and yet another system combined with a long pinion is used to raise the flying tourbillon and stamen upwards within the flower’s circumference – all using energy supplied by a separate, second winding barrel. As an added attention to the tiniest details, it is even possible to adjust the opening and closing cycle
The RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur is limited to a production of 30 pieces worldwide.