Richard Mille must have thought that a watch for polo players doesn’t need a reverse function. Instead, he made sure that the sapphire crystal is simply unbreakable. Six years ago, Richard Mille created their first timepiece for this elegant but hard-handed sport.

Pablo Mac Donough (born in 1982) is an Argentinian polo player who won his first tournament age 14 ( Potrillos Cup). Since 2011 he is one of the elite members of the Richard Mille team and in 2012 the first watch for polo was born: the RM053. Limited to 15 pieces only, created after Mac Donough explained the Richard Mille engineers his world of shocks, blows and forces polo players face in a game that sees solid balls launched through the air at 200 km per hour.

Richard Mille RM 53-01

Richard Mille RM 53-01 Tourbillon

Now, in 2018, they introduce the Richard Mille RM 53-01 Tourbillon Pablo Mac Donough. A Carbon TPT case with a laminated sapphire crystal are there to protect the watch from the rough shocks and hits a polo player has to deal with. Not only that protects the tourbillon movement, also inside there are some precautions taken by the watchmakers at Richard Mille. The movement has been suspended by braided cables basically. Cables which are just 0.27 mm in diameter. ‘The 10 pulleys at the heart of the movement guarantee an even distribution of tension and perfect balance of the whole, what’s more, they provide optimal shock absorption to more than 5,000 g’s.’, says Salvador Arbona, Technical Director for Movements at Richard Mille.

Richard Mille RM 53-01

The RM 53-01 Tourbillon is packed with technical high-lights basically, here’s a run-down of the most important aspects:

Cable-suspension movement

The main baseplate is attached to the case by 2 braided steel cables, each with a diameter of just 0.27 mm.

Cable-suspension mechanism

These cables are held taut by an ingenious mechanism consisting of tensioners located at 3 and 9 o’clock and 10 pulleys.

Carbon TPT

Carbon TPT is almost indestructible, and possesses exceptional physical properties that make possible a lighter case offering ideal shock protection.

Laminated sapphire glass

A world premiere in the realm of watchmaking, the RM 53-01 is equipped with a crystal of laminated sapphire glass. In case of impact, this glass may crack, but under no circumstances shatter, thereby protecting the movement, as verified during impact pendulum testing, when a metal spike was added to the 4.5 kg weight.

Free-sprung balance with variable inertia

This mechanism guarantees greater reliability when subjected to shock, and hence better chronometric results over time. A more accurate and repeatable calibration is possible thanks to 4 small adjustable weights.

Richard Mille RM 53-01

Richard Mille RM 53-01 Technical Specifications

  • Limited edition of 30 pieces
  • Calibre RM53­01
  • Manual winding tourbillon movement • Power reserve: circa 70 hours (+10 %)
  • Double baseplate and bridges in grade 5 titanium
  • Cable-­suspension mechanism
  • Free-­sprung balance with variable inertia
  • Fast-­rotating barrel (6 hours per revolution instead of 7.5 hours)
  • Barrel pawl with progressive recoil
  • Winding-­barrel teeth and centre­-wheel pinion with central involute profile
  • Spline screws for the bridges and case
  • Case in Carbon TPT®
  • Laminated sapphire glass
  • Torque­-limiting crown
  • Upper ange in titanium

That’s it for now, as soon as we receive more information, we will do a more in-depth write-up. Price at this point is unknown yet.

More information via Richard Mille on-line.