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Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Watch For Airbus Corporate Jets Hands-On

Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Watch For Airbus Corporate Jets Hands-On Hands-On

Debuted at SIHH 2016 is this new and truly awesome (in both price and design) aviation watch from Richard Mille designed in collaboration with Airbus’ private jet division. ACJ stands for “Airbus Corporate Jets” and this arm of the French airplane company produces jetliners for usually 20-50 passengers for the ultra-wealthy, corporations, or even governments. ACJ chose to partner with Richard Mille, and this rather interesting Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph watch is the result.

According to Richard Mille and ACJ, the companies spent about two years working on the Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph limited edition watch. What makes the watch so unique are the many Airbus plane-inspired design elements. I know that some people will no doubt dislike this watch, just as all Richard Mille timepieces have their friends and foes. I will admit that on paper, nothing about the design of this watch works. The colors, design inspirations, and overall explanation of the shape makes the watch sound insane to silly, but in person and on the wrist, it totally works. I can say that the present aBlogtoWatch team fell in love with the Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph at first sight. Not that it matters, since the $1,000,000-plus watch is not likely to ever have a permanent place on our wrists. I should also mention that the Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph is one of those watches that looks much better in person than in its marketing pictures (which is, ironically, usually the other way around).

Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Watch For Airbus Corporate Jets Hands-On Hands-On

Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Watch For Airbus Corporate Jets Hands-On Hands-On

The most notable plane-inspired design element of the Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph is the dial which is meant to look like a curved rectangular plane window. Other “jet” design elements include the wheel and tire-style crown, Airbus ACJ logo and other symbols on the side of the case, and the modern plane instrument readout-inspired hands and dial design. The dial colors are a bit loud, but it really does go with the theme well.

Very light on the wrist in mostly titanium and some alloy, the Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph is 42.70mm wide and 50.10mm tall by 16.50mm thick. Another distinctive element is the white ceramic bezel plate. On it are small versions of Airbus’s own special tension screws which adds an additional level of distinctiveness to the design.

Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Watch For Airbus Corporate Jets Hands-On Hands-On

In typical Richard Mille character, detailing and finishing are hyper-meticulous on the case as well as movement. Inside the watch is an in-house movement that isn’t technically new, but with a lot of new parts and some new materials, it feels quite new. You’ll notice an interesting, almost oxidized-bronze look to some of the movement parts – these are actually coated with a special anti-corrosive material used in Airbus planes. I can’t say that it has an enormously functional element in the Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph, but it is pretty cool-looking. The movement itself is deep with a lot of character as well as functionality.

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Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Watch For Airbus Corporate Jets Hands-On Hands-On

Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Watch For Airbus Corporate Jets Hands-On Hands-On

The Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph watch has a new version of Richard Mille’s tourbillon split second chronograph manually wound movement. Much of the dial is a piece of sapphire crystal, but the tourbillon (with bridge) and mainspring barrel bridge have their own openings. The 60-minute split-second (rattrapante) chronograph is joined with a power reserve indicator, movement torque indicator, and crown selection indicator. There is, of course, the tourbillon as well which doubles as the running seconds indicator.

Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Watch For Airbus Corporate Jets Hands-On Hands-On

Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Watch For Airbus Corporate Jets Hands-On Hands-On

Bright colors are clearly more and more important to Richard Mille as the brand founder and creative soul continues to release watches with brightly toned dials (such as this RM 60-1 Automatic Flyback Chronograph For St. Barth) as well cases in unique materials such as NTPT Quartz. It is easy for horology traditionalists to shun these designs, but for those who are wealthy and edgy, it is difficult to go from a more conservative watch to a Richard Mille, and then back again.

Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Watch For Airbus Corporate Jets Hands-On Hands-On

Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Watch For Airbus Corporate Jets Hands-On Hands-On

In addition to the titanium case, most of the calibre RM50-02 manually movement inside of the Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph is in titanium – albeit very nicely polished and finished titanium. The extreme level of effort and finishing is clear, and Richard Mille himself seems to enjoy really pushing the envelope not merely on a movement’s functional complexity, but architectural complexity as well. The tourbillon-based movement operates at 3Hz (21,600 bph) and has a power reserve of about 70 hours.

Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Watch For Airbus Corporate Jets Hands-On Hands-On

In fact, at its heart, the Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph is a very traditional Richard Mille (within a very non-traditional brand) watch with some unique design elements for a special partner (ACJ). That said, what makes it unique does not take away from the core wearing and functional experience that makes a Richard Mille a Richard Mille. This watch feels like a successful blend between something familiar and something new within a brand that continues to be mega hot despite is pricing which is attainable for the 1% of the 1%.

Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Watch For Airbus Corporate Jets Hands-On Hands-On

Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Watch For Airbus Corporate Jets Hands-On Hands-On

The people who purchase Airbus’ large private jets are also no doubt the perfect target demographic for this type of limited edition watch. Why not pony up an extra million for a watch that goes really well with your shiny new ACJ319 plane? The Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Second Chronograph watch is a limited edition of 30 pieces and is priced at $1,050,000. richardmille.com

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Comments

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  • john coleman

    Hope they sell them all before the oil price really hits the bottom of the bucket!!

  • Hydra

    just plain ugly…I’d rather wear a Orient Bambino over this disaster…

  • Borys Bozzor Pawliw

    I know two people who have purchased Richard Mille watches (albeit the $75K-$120K variety, this thing is a step too far!). The thing they both like about them is the absolutely outrageous engineering and outrageous styling, that simply has no peer: this watch is for when you have money pouring out of you: perspective are very different at that level.

  • Jackyl

    Very nice and complicated work of art but expensive as hell. That price is like buying 2x brand new house 4×2. Basically you dont wear this watch bcoz you want to know the time right? Time is everywhere check your phone. If you wear RM and other expensive Timepices it means power and wealth and you can do something what other normal people cant. Just saying reality is hard to accept. But I like this Timepice.

  • IanE

    The dial looks like a jumble of differently coloured spaghetti: tricky for the colour-blind! Probably what Hublot would like to produce if it ever grew up.

  • SwissMatic

    A salad on the wrist…

    • iamcalledryan

      LOL

  • “The people who purchase Airbus’ large private jets are also no doubt the
    perfect target demographic for this type of limited edition watch.”

    I don’t know, if I suddenly had inexhaustible levels of wealth, I don’t think I’d also lose my sense of good taste and subtlety.

  • Shirley Furby

    I like the chaotic look of the movement, the jumble of colors is eye catching but, he…..he…heee….ha……haaaaaa, how absurd is the size of this behemoth. I think I would like to know my million dollar watch had a $25 dollar rubber strap. This to me is like the emperors new clothes.

  • Dan Baxter

    While I like the shape of Mille’s cases, I find most of their watch faces illegible and useless. This one is no exception. Even if I had one last week’s Powerball for $1.5b, this would not be something I would be remotely interested in.

  • iamcalledryan

    That movement is absolutely stunning. No matter what their retail price, no matter what aesthetic design the thing is subject to, make no mistake that this thing has been engineered to within a micron of it’s life.

  • BNABOD

    sure one million bucks, why not. nothing else to say

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Ariel, you are soooo lucky to try these pieces on. The movement in this just incredible. The shape of the plane window face is very pleasing to the eye. A small illegible problem but i could live with that.

  • funNactive

    A little large for my wrist, otherwise, I’d buy it – O – & the fact that it’s a $1 or $2 out of my price range.

  • Marius

    The movement appears to be identical to the AP Schumacher Laptimer made by Renaud&Papi, except that in this case they eliminated the lap timer and used a tourbillon escapement. Since the AP Schumacher costs around $300,000 why is the RM three times more expensive? Does it have some additional complications that the article did not cover?

    Also, why is RM using aviation-inspired design elements? I mean, the owner of a private jet also owns a house and some furniture, but I bet the house is not designed to look like an airport terminal, nor is the interior decorated like a waiting lounge.

    Lastly, you pay over one million dollars and you get Airbus Corporate Jets inscribed on the side of your watch? Really? That`s like buying a Lange&Sohne super complication with Mercedes Benz inscribed on the watch. Shouldn`t such an expensive watch be void of any additional brand name? What if the buyer owns a Gulfstream or a Learjet?

    • iamcalledryan

      You’re right, it’s similar (but not identical) to the Schumacher. This model has a torque indicator, power reserve indicator, crown position indicator in addition. Oh and this is a tourbillon too.

      The price differential is anyone’s guess!

  • Ryan B.

    Such an incredible movement but ruined by the ugliness case.

  • Nelson

    The ugliest Richard Millle I know.

  • Vuk Ceperkovic

    This watch cost more than private plane itself!

  • benjameshodges

    Best thing to come out of SIHH 2016. Love the plane window design (can’t believe no one has done that before). I reckon if this case design came as a time only tourbillon with a more monochromatic look, 1 crown and a polished white ceramic bezel, I think the whole would come together beautifully.

  • PleaseSpellRoman4AsIV

    Well, they never had problems selling these kinds of watches, so why would they care about legibility?