Just a few months after Bulgari’s victory, a new record holder appeared in town.
It feels like a few months ago when Bulgari unveiled a new record holder for the world’s thinnest watch. That’s because it was just a few months ago — March to be exact. At the time, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra was 1.80mm thick, making it the thinnest watch ever made. Well, there’s a new champion in town thanks to a partnership between Richard Mille and Ferrari. Released today, the RM UP-01 Ferrari is a new standard for measuring ultra-thin watchmaking craftsmanship. At just 1.75mm thick, this new ultra-thin watch is 0.05mm taller than Bulgari.
Unlike Bulgari (and past record-holders, Piaget), the RM assembles the entire movement (which itself is only 1.18mm thick) into the case, rather than doubling the caseback as the baseplate as is the usual procedure. The ultra-flat Calibre RMUP-01 features hour, minute, second and function selectors, all spread out in a wide, ultra-thin case design. The movement plate used in this watch has been skeletonized and subjected to a series of strength tests, allowing it to withstand accelerations in excess of 5,000 Gs.
The movement was jointly developed by RM and Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi. Part of this development involved rethinking the escapement by building a titanium variable-inertia balance to reduce thickness without any loss of function and capability. According to RM, the traditional escapement incorporates a protective pin and safety roller to protect the lever from shocks, “the new patented ultra-flat escapement eliminates these two components and positions the banking function directly to the anchor fork. Therefore, the fork itself has been elongated and its horns have been modified.”
The case is shaped somewhat like a rounded rectangle, with the time indication in the center of the upper half. Everything around the main time display is actually a bezel. Located and integrated on this massive bezel is the function selector – a crown that allows the user to choose between winding or setting. The actual setting or winding is done via the crown below the ribbon. Surrounding the two crowns are two black ceramic inserts that protect the bezel from friction and help with water resistance (the watch is rated to a depth of 10m). wholesale replica watches
Both the time dial and the balance dial are covered with a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on both sides. The rest of the shell design is a mix of industrial and racing, with much of that being relegated to the Ferrari emblem inside the turf.
Who doesn’t love world records? I thought it was crazy to see this watch so soon after the Bulgari Ultra was released. You have to think that when the watch was released, RM was already in the prototyping stage. Surprisingly, despite the ubiquity of watchmaking today, brands continue to push the limits of watchmaking.
Now, that enthusiasm comes with a caveat. None of these ultra-thin watches are suitable for mass-market consumers. In the case of copy Richard Mille, we’re talking about the brand that made tourbillons with tennis-string dials for Rafael Nadal for millions of dollars. It is in these moments – when records are broken – that watch lovers find the line between collecting and pure appreciation. The limited price tag of this record-breaking slimming puts it out of reach for basically everyone (unless you happen to live the kind of lifestyle where you might find $2 million under a couch cushion). But that doesn’t make this any less cool.
Such is the case with the differentiating factor between this new watch and other contenders from Bulgari and Piaget. Both brands use the case as the base plate, while the RM (along with APRP) is able to build the entire movement, main board, etc. within the enclosed case. To me, this is amazing. I mean, RM watches are known for their insane lightness and functionality (most RM brand ambassadors wear watches when they participate in their respective sports), but this is ridiculous. In addition to the lightness of titanium, the fact that the brand has taken extra steps to ensure water and shock resistance is amazing.
Granted, it’s at least as much an engineering exercise as watchmaking, if not a cool one.
Say what you think about RM — the brand’s watches typically cost upwards of $500,000 — but you have to thank it for the hard work it puts into the brand. With the Calibre RMUP-01, it is truly committed to subverting traditional movement design for optimal thinness. One thing is for sure, I can’t wait to see this in Metal.
Brand: Richard Mille
Model: RM UP-01 Ferrari
Diameter: 51,00 x 39,00 x 1,75mm
Case Material: Grade 5 Titanium
Dial Color: Black
Index: white mark
Strap / Strap: Strap
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, function selector
Thickness: 1.18mm power reserve
: 45 hours winding