07.10.2020 - Richard Mille

Richard Mille debuts ‘harder than diamond’ material for latest offering

Meet Richard Mille’s latest 140-piece limited offering – the 11-05 Automatic Flyback Chronograph GMT – coming in at the average price of a house in Manchester – £170,800.

But what makes this watch so expensive?

Well, a range of things really but interestingly, this watch has an exterior created from Cermet – an exclusive Richard Mille-created material – which is harder than diamond.

The alloy is said to have been put to use in ballistic protection, external aerospace fuselage components, and in the brakes of competition vehicles! That said, it’s clearly an amazing choice for bezels that are very exposed to scratches.

RM has always pulled out the stops in the pursuit for new lightweight materials and has consistently used carbon, metals and even quartz to produce some incredibly designed watches. But this one (literally) takes some beating.  

More about Cermet

Not to be confused with cement, although it is a pretty hard composite, Cermet used in this timepiece is around six times harder than hardened stainless steel.

Richard Mille claims it combines the lightness of titanium with the hardness of diamond – some material!

The measure of ‘hardness’ for such materials is in Vickers. So while 18k white gold is around 210 Vickers and Rhodium plating is 800 Vickers, this tough grey cermet – which gets its colour from combining a metallic zirconium matrix with ceramic inserts – comes in at a staggering 2,360 Vickers. Layers of the Cermet are heated and pressed together, with binders removed to create an ultra tough material. 

RM 11-05’s finer details

This latest RM offering is a 50mm dial and just 16.15mm thick. Its MAC3 calibre has a baseplate and bridges made of grade 5 titanium, which maintains the integrity of the lightweight movement.

This bezel and the caseback in grade 5 titanium are affixed to a caseband made of Carbon TPT, which also contributes to lowering total weight.

Boasting a skeletonised automatic movement which drives hours, minutes and seconds at 3 o’clock, it also features an oversized date and month, flyback chronograph with minutes and countdown counters at 9 o’clock and an hour counter at 6 o’clock.

Flyback chronograph

We like the pusher between 4 and 5 o’clock as the running chronograph can be reset without first having to stop the mechanism. This was originally developed for pilots in order to not waste time (and therefore accuracy) from stopping, resetting and starting the chronograph whilst crossing a navigational point.

While the chronograph function is activated, the hours and minutes show up the elapsed time thanks to the counter at 6 and 9 o’clock, the seconds are indicated by the central hands.

The power reserve is 45 hours with the chronograph running but the results depend on how much those features are used.

And a favourite of many collectors, the Richard Mille rubber strap which goes unrivalled in terms of comfort.

Here to help

Our Essex showroom is open again, with social distancing measures in place of course. So do make an appointment with us today, whether you’d like to buy or sell a new or pre-worn luxury watch.

Here at Luxe Watches, we specialise in repairing and servicing Richard Mille watches and offer a 12-month warranty on completion.