Just as there are very few brands capable of successfully combining High Jewelry with hightech Fine Watchmaking, only a fortunate few will wear the Tourbillon RM 51-02 Diamant Twister. One cannot reduce the supreme sophistication of this Richard Mille limited edition to its 270 diamonds spiraling across the gold dial and titanium bridges, nor to the over 300 operations required to create the typical Richard Mille three-part case, whose rounded shape is accentuated by black sapphires on this model. Welcome to the micromechanical world of cutting, stamping, milling, polishing and satin-brushed, taken to extremes on this classic Richard Mille curving design that is extremely comfortable to wear but very complex to achieve.
Tourbillon RM 51-02 Diamond Twister © Richard Mille
This pursuit of the exceptional is reflected in the black onyx mainplate visible through the back, which Richard Mille describes as “a stone that embodies balance and inspiration”. It is equally apparent in the manual finishing lavished on the movement, while fans of performance will appreciate the tourbillon, the variable inertia balance wheel, the balance wheel with progressive recoil – as well as the dynamometric crown set with precious stones that can be wound so as to display the maximum power reserve on a rotating disk between 10 and 11 o’clock. With Richard Mille, diamonds are not only forever, but also resolutely avant-garde.
Tourbillon RM 51-02 Diamant Twister
Case : steel entirely set with white diamonds and black saspphires, gemset dynamometric crown, 12 spline screws in grade 5 titanium, sapphire back, water-resistant to 50m
Size : 47.95 x 39.70mm
Movement : mechanical manual-winding (Caliber RM51-02, 48h power reserve) shock-absorbing device, nickel-free Chronifer barrel arbor, PVD coating apart from the black onyx mainplate, manual finishing
Functions : hours, minutes, tourbillon, powerreserve display between 10 and 11 o’clock
Despite its slim case, the RM033 has excellent volume to it. Even the “spline screws” that hold the bezel, case-band and case-back together force the case-band to have protruding tunnels to the screws to go through, while anyplace else on the case’s side, lots of substance was removed. This negative distance actually adds quantity to the RM033 — with bare eyes, or perhaps looking through a large magnification loupe or rectangular lens in smaller parts of the instance, there is just so much to look at and appreciate.The five-prong skate screws of this bezel sit inside their little valleys, surrounded by exceptionally accurately machined, beveled and polished curves — all eight of these. Four only hold the bezel, but one in every lug appears to fix the lugs to the case-band and case-back. The latter is one solid piece that includes the curve to maneuver underneath the lugs, that’s the conventional and extremely ergonomic curved case profile that Richard Mille has on all its watches, however thin.The crown is enormous and intricately crafted out of unusual materials: the black bit is ceramic and the detailing is at a material that matches the case — here it’s an 18k white gold spike. The ceramic even has alternating finishing which is something I have not seen performed on such a small piece. Again, the price sure is stupendous, but I am yet to see a Richard Mille that did not possess the widest array of such enormous pain in the neck features. This crown has to be so ridiculously hard to source and get right that matters like this will hardly ever be present on even mid-five figure watches — it simply won’t be, because performers at the majority of other luxury brands do not even dare consider things like this, and especially not with these regularity.While functionality-wise the crown is so solid as it should be, with double O-rings and a totally over-engineered clickyness for this, it took me a great time to get used to its looks — it just leaves the entire watch more feminine in my own eyes at least, though I’m sure it wouldn’t stand this out much when the watch was on a black strap (more on the strap at a bit).
Dial : openworked white gold set with 270 diamonds
Strap : alligator leather with gold pin buckle
30-Piece limited series