RM 19-01 timepiece which Richard Mille created for its ambassador, Natalie Portman, is a very striking piece dominated by the central motif of a spider which is integrated in its skeletonized movement. The spider is made of rhodium-plated gold which is totally covered with white diamonds and it stands in contrast to the dark open-worked base-plate. This main-plate is skillfully crafted in the shape that looks like a cobweb and it is sprinkled with a host of black sapphires. It is made in the same material as the spider and this is worth mentioning especially since it is the premier time that the watchmaker made such a movement. By the way, the arachnid visible on the dial is not purely a decoration, it also has a functional purpose since it supports the movement’s tourbillion bridges and barrels. The first watch that Richard Mille created for the Hollywood star is crafted in a limited edition of 20 pieces and placed inside a housing in white or red gold. Just like the spider-themed movement, the tonneau-shaped case is beautified with a plethora of diamond decorations.
The First Caliber with a White Gold Main-Plate
Let us start from the most notable features of the exquisite watch which is at the same time a piece of high horology and high jewelry. It is an in-house movement which was unsurprisingly named caliber RM 19-01 and it has a few traits that are not seen in any other movement of the Swiss brand. Namely, its open-worked main-plate is made of 18 K white gold which was subsequently manually polished and then coated with black rhodium plating. After that, it was totally covered with several hundred black sapphires in a painstaking procedure performed by an expert gem-setter. Moreover, the black main-plate was hollowed in the pattern which makes it look like a spider’s web. The central motif of the arachnid is likewise made of rhodium-plated white gold, but it was encrusted with diamonds, so it would stand in contrast to the blackness of the cobweb-like base-plate. As it has been mentioned, this spider also serves a functional purpose apart from an aesthetical one. The abdomen of the spider is used to stiffen the tourbillion bridges, while its legs hold the movement’s twin barrels in place.
New Power Reserve Display
There is another novelty featured in Caliber RM 19-01. It is unique when compared to the rest of the brand’s movements since it introduces a novel differential power storage system which includes a display with a printed red line that is placed on a moving disc. This indication is placed between ten and eleven o’clock positions. By the way, the power reserve of the hand-wound caliber lasts for around two days. This indication and the tourbillion are the only additional features that supplement the basic hours and minutes which are shown with two off-centered hands on the top of the timekeeper’s face.
Distinguished Technical Traits and Opulence of Decorations
Other notable traits of the movement with 21 jewels set in white gold chatons and a bit slower rate of 21,600 vph (which is common for tourbillion calibers) are more or less usual for the manufacturer. Some of them are bridges in grade 5 titanium with black PVD treatment (for improved rigidity and workings of the gear train), free sprung balance with variable inertia, titanium spline screws for the bridges (both are utilized for improved chronometric results and easier servicing), as well as more effective barrel pawl with progressive recoil. When it comes to the dimensions of the movement, it should be said that it is 30.2 mm long, 28.6 mm wide and 4.97 mm high, whereas its tourbillion carriage is 10 mm wide. Otherwise, it is worth mentioning that the caliber with KIF ELASTOR KE 160 B2B shock protection system is resistant to magnetic fields, thanks to the inclusion of a nickel-free barrel shaft.
As it is common for Richard Mille calibers, RM 19-01 is opulently hand finished. The multitude of the included decorations (apart from the already mentioned rhodium-plating and jewels set in chatons) include: burnished pivots, anglage, polishing, and sapphire blasted milling. The last three of these are likewise seen on its steel parts where they are supplemented with drawn outer faces. Finally, gear wheels of the movement which look like a spider resting in its web are concave chamfering, circular finished faces, s well as some surface or rhodium-plating which is applied before the gear teeth are cut.
Red or White Gold Housing
The first timepiece that Richard Mille made especially for Natalie Portman, RM 19-01, is placed inside a tonneau-shaped housing. The case is made out of three parts and machined in a very complicated fashion, which is usual for all Richard Mille housings. Its dimensions are: the length of 46.4 mm, the width of 38.2 mm and the thickness of 12.45 mm. As it has been pointed out, the case is available in 18 K white gold or in red gold of the same purity. Regardless of the material, the case features a bezel, a case-band and a crown covered with a multitude of diamonds. The watch is made with sapphire crystals with double anti-reflective coating on both of its sides. The one on the bezel side is 1.2 mm wide, while the rear one is 1 mm thick in the center and 1.73 mm high near the edges. Finally, we should say that RM 19-01 Natalie Portman piece is water resistant to 50 meters and paired with a black alligator strap which locks with a pin buckle. Each copy of the exquisite 20-piece limited edition is individually numbered.