January 16, 2010
by Ariel Adams
This is probably my favorite Richard Mille watches for daily wear. That is of course, if I owned one. I have worn one though, and I must admit its charms beguile me. The name of the watch “Extra Flat” is also sometimes known as “Ultra-Thin.” No one can agree! But what I can agree on is just how interesting the watch is from a mechanical and design standpoint. There are a few versions of the RM016 (RM 016) watch. Titanium with white gold, or rose gold. There are also a few limited editions. The easiest way of noticing the limited editions is look at the font on the dial. The stenciled font versions are usually the limited editions. I like the more bold type of font seen here better. These are actually quite easy to read (as far as Richard Mille watches g0), and adeptly communicate the technical high style the brand is going for.
I am adding a few images of two RM016 watches that I got to model myself. Showing you the size and presence of the watch. The case which is mostly flat and curved at the edges with a recessed center like a ice cream sandwich is 38mm wide and 49.8mm tall. Also thin (of course) at about 8.25mm thick. The watches I have on are still wrapped in plastic. By the way, I checked those watches out at Chatel in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA. The specific version I am mentioning on James List is the white gold version, but the watch looks good in both tones, and is handsome on a variety of straps. Really one of Richard Mille’s most universal designs.
The movement for the watch is the Richard Mille Caliber RM 005-S. It is an automatic, has a power reserve of 55 hours (double barrels), adjustable geometry winding of the movement via the rotor, time and date, and made mostly of titanium and white gold with some PVD black coated surfaces. You might be curious as to what this “adjustable winding geometry” is all about. It is sort of gimmicky, and I am not totally sure who it is operated, but here is the idea. The automatic rotor can have an adjusted tension in terms of how much efforts is needed to turn it. Thus, you can wind the watch “properly” whether you are sitting at a desk or wildly swinging your arm while playing golf. I am not sure whether the movement detects it of if the user manually adjusts the winding geometry. Other watches with this complication rely on the user to manually change the settings.
You can see much of the movement in its skeletonized glory through the face of the watch as well as the caseback. Richard Mille does a good job giving the movement decoration and build a very high tech look that feels more modern than traditional – but that is what they are going for. It feels like your $50 – $500 grand is well spent. They don’t bother too much with traditional polishes. They prefer you think that space-age robots are making and assembling the movements individually in some underground secret facility somewhere in Switzerland. Best of all, the robots will work for peanuts – gold and titanium peanuts!
Richard Mille watches are put together well. A real high-end luxury watch that isn’t afraid to show off its stuff. One of the interesting details that is functional is the deployment clasp that is spring loaded like one of those hair clips that click open and closed. I forgot what those are called. Not bobby pins, those other popular metal clips. Also note how the date dial is integrated into the 7 o’clock indicator. It is really not worth getting into all the other little parts of the watch. You can see how well titanium is mixed with gold and all the neat looking exposed screws. The design and watch really speaks for itself. Oh, and the case is water resistant to 30 meters. Price is in the $50,000 – $60,000 range which is on the lower-end side for the brand.
See this Richard Mille Automatic Extra Flat RM 016 watch in white gold on James List here.