In the world of luxury watches, Richard Mille occupies that rarified space of being recognized as one of the best independent ultra-high-end watch brands in the business despite its relatively young age. Watchmakers typically develop their prestigious status over many decades and in some cases, even centuries. Yet, in just over two decades, Richard Mille has risen the ranks to reach the top by producing watches that combine unique designs, innovative materials, cutting-edge movements, and hefty price tags for the affluent set, coveted by celebrities, professional athletes, and contemporary high horology collectors. Among the brand’s collection of distinctive watches, we’ve chosen to highlight the limited edition Richard Mille RM 030 “White Rush,” a special version made exclusively for the Americas.
Caliber RMAR1 And The Declutchable Rotor
When you wear an automatic watch, the natural motion of your wrist causes a rotor inside the watch movement to rotate, which in turn provides energy to the winding barrel to power the watch. Therefore, when worn, automatic watches are being continuously wound-up, which explains why they do not require batteries or manual winding for power. Yet, due to this structure, automatic watches can be overwound. Watchmakers typically offset this problem by using a sliding flange to prevent over-winding. However, sliding flanges can accumulate debris over time, which negatively impacts the watch’s timekeeping precision and requires servicing to bring it back to optimal performance.
After four years of research and development, Richard Mille unveiled the RM 030 in 2011, fitted with the brand new Caliber RMAR1 automatic movement with an automatically declutching rotor. When the two power-supplying barrels inside the RM 030 are fully wound, the rotor declutches from the winding system to prevent over-winding. Caliber RMAR1 stops winding when it reaches 50 hours of power reserve and resumes winding when the reserve drops to 40 hours. These clever functions are displayed on the dial via a power reserve indicator between eight and 10 o’clock, as well as an ON/OFF indicator at 12 o’clock to inform you whether or not the RM 030 is in the winding phase.
It’s also worth mentioning that like most Richard Mille watch movements, Caliber RMAR1 also boasts the exclusive rotor with variable geometry design, which allows the movement’s winding mechanism to be tailored to the wearer’s general activity level. The rotor’s inertia can be modified to wind up faster for slower-paced lifestyles or slowed down for high activity routines.
Since the debut of the RM 030, Richard Mille has steadily grown the collection over the years, welcoming an assortment of models with different case materials and watch colorways.
Limited Edition RM 030 White Rush
Limited to only 50 pieces, Richard Mille released the RM 030 “White Rush” model in 2015, exclusively for the Americas. Like other RM 030 editions, the White Rush features a large tonneau-shaped case—a signature design trait of most Richard Mille watches—measuring 50 mm x 42.70 mm.
However, rather than using a standard material typical of luxury watches, the Richard Mille RM 030 White Rush tripartite case is constructed from white ceramic and black carbon. The front and back bezels are fashioned from white ATZ sandblasted ceramic and secured with spline screws while the caseband and crown are crafted from black NTPT (North Thin Ply Technology) carbon, creating dynamic contrast in colors and materials.
The sapphire dial offers a view of the Caliber RMAR1 automatic movement inside the watch and is home to the center trio of hands, the power reserve display, the ON/OFF winding indicator, and a date window at 7 o’clock. Complementing the black and white color scheme are the red details punctuating the dial, including the hand tips, RICHARD MILLE name, and minute markers running along the periphery. Both the caseback and the front of the RM 030 White Rush are furnished with scratch-resistant sapphire crystals. Finally, to emphasize the sporty nature of the RM 030, the watch is finished off with a white rubber strap fitted with a lightweight titanium deployant buckle.
A spectacular example of modern high-end watchmaking, the RM 030 White Rush watch checks off all the boxes when it comes to originality in design, materials, and mechanics.