Like all Richard Mille RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph Replica Watch models, the RM011 was never cheap: 2015’s titanium bracelet edition, the first ever Richard Mille luxury watch to feature a metal bracelet, cost £138k. £49,800 of that was the price of the bracelet. Before RM011, Richard Mille was an interesting (and slightly crazy) creator of interesting (and slightly crazy) watches. After the 2007 release of the RM011 Flyback Chronograph Felipe Massa, he was a megastar.
It housed Richard Mille’s variable geometry rotor, which enables the wearer to adjust the position of the rotor ‘wings’ to account for lifestyle—thereby creating an automatic luxury watch movement that could be tailored to the activity of the wearer. And it has been released in dozens of limited-edition incarnations over the years.
First impressions first: it’s a stunner. It’s as though Richard Mille RM 11-03 Replica Watch has designed a tribute to itself, the ultimate in ultra-luxury sports watches. Every refinement is both slight and obvious, a moving-on from the original design codes of the brand without ever breaking its cardinal rules.
Richard Mille ‘broke out’ with the original RM011. This now-legendary timepiece was the brand’s first completely ‘Richard Mille’ luxury watch—and by that I mean it was the one that first showcased what the enfant terrible of the luxury sports watch world could really do.
You still get the dizzying depth of the 3D movement. You still get that tonneau-shaped case and wickedly-curved sapphire crystal. Only now the bezel is circumnavigated by slight protrusions of metal in a kind of postmodern take on knurling. And the movement, more skeletonised than ever, is light and layered: revealing even more intricacy and delivering an even greater feeling of space. Richard Mille could probably have gone on releasing limited-edition RM-011 models forever, and reaping a fresh bounty of profit with every one.
The original Richard Mille Replica Watch had a 12-hour flyback chronograph, a big date indicator, an annual calendar, and a 60-minute countdown register. RM011-03 is powered by a brand-new movement: Calibre RMAC3. It has a power reserve of 55 hours. The big date window, still under 12 o’clock, has now been rounded and smoothed to reflect the updated aesthetic of the watch. Think of it as a modern F1 car: sleeker, slicker, and more attractive than its blocky forebears, but just as powerful under the hood.