The first wristwatch model produced by Richard Mille Watches, the RM 001-1, was presented at the beginning of the new millennium. In a literal as well as figurative sense, this new model, the harbinger of several to follow in the ensuing years, was consciously meant to serve as a landmark wristwatch, an embodiment of concepts that could delineate a vision of 21st century watchmaking. Within a short span of time, the words futuristic, daring, high tech and cutting edge soon became the keywords used by the public and press alike when attempting to decipher the emotional attraction that all the concepts built into the RM 001-1 evoked.
Real technological concepts and materials inspired by the world of Formula 1 racing car technology were behind the realization of that first RM 001-1 tourbillon and all that followed. In this primary model the basic, no nonsense, no frills approach for a continually growing series of watches was crystallized. It represented the embodiment of Richard Mille’s passion for the world of F1 and the technological resources that power it. Whether car or wristwatch, both are machines pur sang with similar rules regarding their functioning, accuracy of construction and reliability. Each part of a high performance wristwatch, whether it is a case, screw, bridge, wheel, lever, spring, baseplate or balance wheel must fulfill its task with a wide margin of security and resistance to chock and stress exactly as would be demanded of a high performance F1 racing car. All these parts must be developed in a coherent totality, just as in racing car where chassis, engine, steering and transmission are all developed to function in harmony at an optimum levels under duress. This quest for perfection involved the balancing of all these optons, proportions and aspects into an integrated result. For this reason no standard parts will be found in a Richard Mille watch, since it is the concept that defines the components, not the components that define the watch.
A result of the continuous demands for increasingly higher levels of development, the automotive and aerospace industries have both being strongly influenced and inspired by contact with new materials each passing year. Metallic and non-metallic alloys, ceramics, carbon nanofiber, silicium and many more materials are no longer seen as inquisitive enough to accept the challenges they present for watchmaking in the 21st century.