Photo: Supplied

Richard Mille breaks the record for thinnest mechanical watch

Just three months after Bulgari unveiled the world’s thinnest watch, the 1.8mm Octo Finissimo Ultra, Richard Mille presents a new world record with the RM UP-01 Ferrari. Crafted from titanium grade 5, the watch has a mind boggling thickness of just 1.75 millimeters. Notably, its hand-wound movement was developed in a collaboration with Renaud & Papi, and measures a mere 1.18 mm in height.

To bring this technical prowess to life, it took Richard Mille 6,000 hours and dozens of protoypes. However, the RM UP-01, which is a limited edition of 150 pieces, is not a concept watch. Instead, it was created with the ability to perform in daily life. According to the avant-garde luxury manufacture, the RMUP-01 caliber, which offers hours, minutes and a function indicator, is capable of withstanding accelerations of more than 5,000 g’s. With a weight of 2.82 grams, the mechanical power house amasses a power reserve of 45 hours.

To ensure optimal functioning of the going train, the baseplate and skeletonised bridges are crafted of grade 5 titanium, guaranteeing perfect flatness without compromising strength. The patented extra flat barrel is fitted with an extraordinarily fine hairspring and the architecture of the escapement was entirely redesigned. To reduce depth, the small plate of the balance and dart (guard pin) – two parts that prevent the anchor from slipping back during the free phase of the balance wheel’s movement – were eliminated. The new ultra-flat escapement, also patented, replaced these ‘anti-reversal’ elements with an elongated fork with new horns.

Likewise, the index was set aside in favour of a variable-inertia balance crafted in titanium whose six weights allow for fine-tuned calibration of the regulating organ. To deliver a watch this thin, it was also necessary by rethinking the winding mechanism and to eliminate the winding stem, whose minimum diameter of 1.5 millimeters precluded its inclusion in such a slim watch. In its place, the two crowns, one for function selection, the other to utilise the selected function, have both been integrated in the case as movement wheels.

The style of the tonneau shaped case, spline screws, skeletonized bridges and level of finishing of this masterpiece are an homage to the Richard Mille’s prestigious partner, the RM UP-01 Ferrari bears in its name. The retail price of the new model is $1,888,000.