Introducing the Richard Mille – RM 50-02 ACJ

High-flying exercise

“One must be absolutely modern”*. This aphorism encapsulates Richard Mille’s designs. “Watchmaking has never been a world shut off from the outside. It’s the result of mathematics, art, philosophy and technology coming together and it gives something back to these areas. For example, mechanical innovations in watchmaking have influenced sectors such as industry and transport. The discovery of special alloys in metalwork had a huge effect on it as it improved its ability to be accurate. What we do is exactly the same: we take watchmaking out of its “precious box”[…] We welcome ideas from other sectors with open arms and even invite them to be part of watch design,” says Richard Mille. The past has no place at the brand founded in 2001. It draws inspiration from elsewhere. Where? Aeronautics for example. The RM 039 and RM 39-01 watches with a calculation scale for experienced pilots already showed the Swiss brand’s interest in this area. Richard Mille had another flight plan for the new RM 50-02 ACJ unveiled at SIHH 2016. A luxury watch is to watchmaking what a private jet is to commercial airlines. Luxury, exclusivity, comfort and technology are the building blocks in both. So why not create a partnership with Airbus Corporate Jets, a major brand in bespoke business aviation?


This collaboration doesn’t boil down to just putting the partner brand logo on the back of the watch or on the dial as we see all too often. Airbus Corporate Jets has put its aeronautic haute couture expertise into making the case out of hi-tech material used in jet turbine blades whose titanium-aluminium alloy makes it strong yet light. Although Richard Mille’s signature barrel shape forms the basis of the case, the finery on the white ceramic bezel is reminiscent of an ACJ320 jet, the elite version of the famous Airbus A320.


Exceptional on the inside, exceptional on the outside! A skeleton flyback chronograph tourbillon movement brings the watch to life. It measures long, short and intermediary time. A new generation of components for the flyback mechanism means almost 50% less energy is used for the function as there’s less friction in the movement. The calibre also has a dual indicator for improved chronograph usage. It provides information about the mainspring’s tension to avoid it being too tight or slack. All these innovations are involved in the comfortable 70-hour power reserve displayed on a digital scale at 11 o’ clock. The tourbillon improves the movement’s accuracy and showcases Richard Mille’s talent.


“From our point of view, a watch nowadays is defined by two key elements: on the one hand, the best of fine watchmaking culture with respect for tradition and centuries of Swiss expertise; on the other hand, we live in the 21st century which means every innovation and new material is within our reach. The combination of these two extremes underlies our vision of what a watch should be today: uncompromising and unpretentious,” says the brand’s CEO. The RM 50-02 ACJ embodies this state of mind. Just 30 pieces will soar off the brand’s runway with luxury watchmaking as the final destination.

Price: 1,079,500 CHF (limited edition – 30 available).

By Dan Diaconu

* Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891), French poet


More news on