During all races this season, the Formula One racing driver FELIPE MASSA will have new luxurious watches by RICHARD MILLE. He continues the partnership with the Swiss watchmaking company although his team, Scuderia Ferrari, is sponsored by other brand, Hublot. As we know, Massa is a good friend of the French designer and owner, Richard Mille himself who has dedicated several models of his watches to Massa (RM-005FM and RM-011 series). This makes Massa constantly joins the list of brand-ambassador-driver that includes Kimi Raikkonen + Tag Heur, Lewis Hamilton + Tag Heur, Jenson Button + Jaeger-LeCoultre, Nico Rosberg + Oris, Han Han + Hublot, and Michael Schumacher + Audemars Piguet.
First unveiled at the 22nd edition of The SIHH (Salon Internationale de Haute Horlogerie) watch fair at Palexpo convention centre in Geneva, 16 – 20 January 2012, the new Felipe Massa’s watches really caught major attention from the visitors as they were displayed in 3D. It was an innovative presentation from the French designer to make the giant digital watch dials lingering in the air and rotating slowly to exhibit the inner and outer workings.
The extremely limited edition Felipe Massa RM-050 (produced ten pieces only) and RM-056 (produced five pieces only) are both animated by new skeletonized tourbillon split seconds chronograph movements. Developed from the flagship RM008 tourbillon split second model, the new engine allows the virtually complete elimination of initial jumping in the chronograph seconds hand that lowers the energy consumption by approximately 50%. It is achieved through the reduction of friction on the spindle and the chronograph hands jumping when stopping is virtually eliminated. The engineers at Richard Mille has genuinely focused on the working of the split seconds’ arms. They have optimized the movement to the maximum, notably the precision and calculations of the long-term timekeeping aspects. But that’s not all!
Do you recall the ultra-light Richard Mille watch worn by Rafael Nadal? The engineers has also done many research to create lighter timepieces. As a result, the new Felipe Massa Split Seconds Competition Chronographs feature weight-reduced-movement (by 20% equivalent of 10 grams) and light-weight grade-5-titanium baseplate and bridges – often aerospace and automobile industries. Moreover, the RM 050 also includes a very light material yet stress-resistant (200 times more than steel) that is Carbon Nanotubes. It has the ability to absorb violent shocks significantly higher than that of carbon fibers due to their structure and unique geometry and their higher surface/volume equilibrium.
As for the RM-056, the watch has the case made entirely of sapphire crystal, making it a new frontier in the history of watchmaking industry. It took more than 1,000 hours of machining to create front-bezel, case-band, and back bezel from solid blocks of crystal; of which, 430 hours were spent on pre-forming the case components and 350 hours on polishing the whole watch case. No wonder, only five pieces is produced due to the extreme nature of their creation and development.
Sapphire is known as a particularly scratch-resistant material and one of the hardest materials on earth, with a Mohs rating of 9.0. Made of aluminium oxide (Al2O3) crystals, it is transparent thanks to its molecular composition. The production of this sapphire structure took years of research and testing in order to ensure an adequate response to the demands of strength and comfort. Richard Mille is the first watchmaker applied the sapphire material onto a complex case design.
Both Richard Mille Felipe Massa Watch RM 050 and RM 056 has technical details as follows:
- Functions: manual winding tourbillon movement caliber RMCC1 with hours, minutes, split-seconds chronograph and power reserve, torque and function indicators.
- Sapphire dial (thickness: 0.40 mm) is coated with anti-glare on both sides and protected by 8 silicon clamps inserted in the outer and inner grooves.
- Interior Flanges is coated with DLC titanium. Hour index points are filled with an approved luminescent material.
- Sapphire Bezel side (1,800 vickers) and Case back are finished with anti-glare coating on both sides.
- Water resistant: 50 meters, ensured by two Nitril O-ring seals
- Power reserve: 70 hours (displayed on numeric scale to the left of the barrel).
- Torque Indicator showing information about mainspring’s tension. The display is on the numerical zone to the right of the barrel.
- Function Indicator showing the winding (W), neutral (N) and hands (H) setting positions as the crown is pulled out. Each position is indicated via a hand at 4 o’clock
- Skeletonized titanium baseplate, finished in grade 5 titanium (composed of 90% titanium, 6% aluminium and 4% vanadium).
- Movement: Chrono Competition. A tourbillon movement operating a split-seconds chronograph. It has a very light- weight, under 10 grams.
- Chronograph: column wheels in titanium. The chronograph function is stopped and started via the pusher located on the lower left at 8 o’clock. The hands are reset by pressing another pusher located on the upper left at 10 o’clock.
- Split Second Mechanism with improved performance. By depressing the pusher on the right at 4 o’clock, the user can stop the split seconds hand in order to read an intermediate time while the chronograph is engaged. Pressing the pusher again allows the split seconds hand to rejoin the chronograph, ready for the next measurement.
- Balance Wheel with Variable Inertia, giving a more precise and repeatable adjustment.
- Fast Rotating Barrel (6 hours per revolution instead of 7.5 hours) provides increasing performance.
- Barrel Pawl with Progressive recoil
- Winding Barrel Teeth and Third Wheel Pinion with Central Involute Profile.
- Spline Screws in Grade 5 Titanium for the case
- Torque Limiting Crown that added security system preventing accidental overwinding of the watch.
Technical Specification of the Tourbillon Split Seconds Competition Chronograph RM 050 Felipe Massa
- Dimensions: 50.00 x 42.70 x 16.30 mm
- Case: polymer composite injected with carbon nanotubes, assembled with 20 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion resistant washers in 316L stainless steel.
- Limited edition of 10 pieces.
Technical Specification of the Tourbillon Split Seconds Competition Chronograph RM 056 Felipe Massa
- Dimensions: 50.50 x 42.70 x 19.25 mm
- Case: entirely made from solid blocks of sapphire.
- Limited edition of 5 pieces.