One of Richard Mille’s most striking timepieces of late is this very technical watch with a sapphire case and a cool, chilly ice and ice-blue color scheme. The watchmaker calls the model the RM 53-02 Tourbillon Sapphire.
The RM 53-02 Tourbillon Sapphire presents horology enthusiasts with an apparent paradox—it appears to be both incredibly delicate and entirely rough-and-ready. The latter is nearer to the truth, of course, and though the timepiece is gossamer-light, it is also shock-proofed; its suspension bridge-inspired movement uses braided tension cables for stability. Additionally, it boasts a 70-hour reserve, and comes with a rubber Titanium baseplates and titanium screws are used.
You’ve probably guessed that Mille craftspeople render the case from a single chunk of sapphire. The process of fabrication is a long and delicate one; 1,000 hours go into each tonneau as the crystal is gradually worked into an unusually graceful design…one that boasts contradictions of line as formal elements.