I was asked a while ago about the future potential of "ultra thin" tourbillon watches. I said that while I am sure a few would come out here and there, I didn't see it having lots of legs with collectors. That will be tested in 2011 and 2012 and brands begin to offer thinner tourbillon movements based on the "thin watch kick" that we are currently experiencing. It also makes sense because there really aren't too many more places we can go with tourbillons aside from flat. Part of the problem is that tourbillons require a certain amount of room as it is, and making them too flat starts to take away from the visual appeal of them in my opinion. Regardless, Richard Mille
is about to release their own "ultra thin" tourbillon. What other case to put it in than their rectangular shaped "Extra-Flat" RM017.
The case is 8.70mm thick, so Richard Mille needed to develop a think tourbillon movement to place inside of it. They did, and the movement uses titanium plates which makes for an interesting look. It manually wound has about 70 hours of power reserve. There is a power reserve indicator on the dial, as well as a "function selector." Rather than pull the crown out, you press it in like a button to selection functions such as "set, wind, etc..." Trust that being Richard Mille, there will be a number of beautifully complex features in the movement that help justify the price.
The watch case itself is 38mm wide and almost 50mm tall. Here it is done in 18k rose gold with titanium. The case is really quite comfortable and comes with a rubber strap. I love the caseback window done in a tonneau shape to recall the case shape of most of Richard Mille's other timepieces. The RM017 Tourbillon Extra Flat will be limited to 50 pieces and available sometime next year.
Ariel Adams publishes the luxury watch reviews