The horologic Master of Understatement has just pulled the covers off one of his latest creations in advance of this year's Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva.
The new 2011 Richard Mille RM 028 Americas Diver is a 30-piece limited edition manufactured exclusively for the US and South American markets.
It's an imposing instrument and unmistakably Richard Mille, despite it's lesser-spotted round case which is cast in titanium with DLC coating and sits upon a natural rubber strap. Trademark Mille characteristics include the 3-dimensional aspect of the watch as you peer through what seems like layers of materials past the sapphire crystal, the crimson flange with recessed luminous dot markers, then the printed numerals, indices and other dial graphics, the rotating date ring which alligns beneath the aperture at the 7 and onwards into the depths of the skeletonised movement which itself looks like it's very components have been salvaged from Terminator's innards. I swear I saw something twitch like a hydraulic spasm just looking at it!
And then, as if not to be outdone, there's the bezel. Strewn with twenty-two torque screws and boasting bold arabic numerals, it remains resolutely locked in place until the red arrow segment at the 12 o'clock position and it's corresponding segment at the 30 are depressed in a finger and thumb pincer which releases the bezel and allows it to be rotated to the desired setting before locking in place once more.
As for it's 'dive' credentials, well you'll be reassured that your $82,000 watch has been put through it's paces and comfortably conforms to the recognised ISO 9425 Diver's Watch standard. The screw-in crown with it's grippy rubber cladding adds to the overall viability of the watch as an instrument and it will function through to a depth of 300m. The natural rubber strap nestles snugly against the case and as you pan out, all of the elements of the design combined effuse a robust, rugged and adventurous persona.
The Richard Mille RM028 Americas Diver won't be to everyone's taste, but then, as there will only be 30 examples it kind of deals with that problem quite niftily too! There won't be anywhere near enough to go around and that only serves perpetuates the myth.