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WHY Richard Mille’s world’s thinnest watch costs $1.9 million
Sleek, luxurious, and expensive are three terms to describe Richard Mille’s
newest watch. The Calibre RM UP-01 Ferrari just broke the record for the world’s thinnest watch – a record set only a few months ago by the Octo Finissimo Ultra at 1.80mm.
The Calibre RMUP-01 Ferrari beat it by 0.05mm, measuring at 1.75mm in thickness. For context, a sharp pencil point is 1mm and the average crayon point is roughly 2mm. Rather than stacking the components that make a watch tick, the producers spread them side by side to achieve a flatter watch.
The watch, which has been in the making since 2021 is a product of a partnership between Ferrari and Richard Mille. Their shared goal for innovation and excellence led them to create a long-term partnership. The RM UP-01 Ferrari is the first product of that partnership.
Even with its sleek design, the watch is water-resistant up to 32 feet, can withstand accelerations of over 5,000 g’s, and has a power reserve of 45 hours. The baseplate and bridges are crafted of grade 5 titanium, a biocompatible, highly corrosion-resistant and rigid alloy, which enables the gear train to function effortlessly.
The alloy is 90% grade 5 titanium, 6% aluminium and 4% vanadium. This combination further increases the material’s mechanical properties, which explains its frequent use in the aerospace, aeronautics and automotive industries.
The watch is a limited edition with only 150 pieces produced. Richard Mille wrist watches usually carry a hefty price tag and this is no exception as it costs as much as $1,888,000.
Movement characteristics of the watch
Movement dimensions: 41.45 x 28.85 mm
Thickness: 1,18 mm
Balance: in Grade 5 titanium, 3 arms, 6 setting weights
Moment of inertia 3 mg•cm2, angle of lift 54°
Frequency: 28’800 vph (4 Hz)
Balance spring: AK 3
Shock protection: Kif
About Richard Mille
Established in 2001, Richard Mille is a Swiss luxury watch company founded by Dominique Guenat and Richard Mille, and based in Les Breuleux, Switzerland. The brand specialises in ultra-high-end luxury analog watches.
Richard Mille has a characteristic shape which is a key component of the brand’s visual identity, making sure that the watches are clearly recognisable at first glance. The spline screws are always visible on both the case and the inside of the movement. The movement (cogs) is always visible in a Richard Mille watch.
Inspiration for the watches mainly comes from racing cars and the study of shock-resistance. This led to the producers crafting extremely lightweight and accurate watches from the best high-tech materials used in aeronautics, with improved rigidity, reduced friction, and higher shock-resistance than the average watch.