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Richard Mille RM056 Felipe Massa Sapphire Tourbillon wins Watch of the Year

by Michael Weare
16 October, 2012
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About the author

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

500 graphic

A small hurrah today for Click Tempus’ 500th published article! They said it couldn’t be done. By ‘they’ I mean the cloaked vulpine illuminati that own this online watch magazine and rarely emerge into the light of day. Of course compared to the likes of watch blog stalwarts ‘A Blog to Read’ and ‘Hodinkee’, 500 articles is but the insignificance of a speck on a sapphire lens, but for this magazine it’s a harbinger of reality, a coming of age.

So what are we going to talk about on this, our auspicious 500th article? It has to be something really special, and it doesn’t come much more special than the watch voted Watch of the Year 2012.

And that watch is the Richard Mille Watch RM 056 Felipe Massa Sapphire, Tourbillon Competition Chronograph, launched in January 2012. It’s just been voted “BEST WATCH OF THE YEAR” at the 5th SIAR «Salon International Alta Relojeria», which took place in Mexico at the beginning of October.

This exceptional $1.7m timepiece is equipped with a movement which has taken inspiration from, and improved upon, the RM 008. The result is a watch that is unequalled in performance and long-term reliability.

RM056 Felipe Massa Sapphire Tourbillon Competition Chronograph

The RM 056 features a tripartite case cut from sapphire, which represents a challenge of technique so complex that it is the first time in watchmaking history that a case has been produced in this exceptionally hard material (9,0 on the Mohs scale – the Mohs scale of mineral hardness characterises the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material. It was created in 1812 by the German geologist and mineralogist Friedrich Mohs and is one of several definitions of hardness in materials science.)

The bezel, case-band and back are cut from the sapphire in 3 complete pieces with no additional structure or support in their assembly. The fabrication of the RM 056 is the result of several years research and testing for it to comply with all the resistance and comfort criteria. Sapphire is made up of aluminium oxide (Al203) which is known for its high resistance to scratches and its transparency and purity are a result of this composition. The most difficult challenge for Richard Mille has been the machining of such a watch. The bezel, case-band and back require at least 1,000 hours of machining per case. This includes 430 hours of cutting and 350 hours of polishing. The result is worthy of being featured as the subject of our 500th scintillating article.

Huge congratulations to Richard Mille and a small pat on the back for Click Tempus!

Michael Weare | Website

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

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