Richard Mille RM025 Tourbillon Chronograph Divers
Richard Mille once said “I am a victim of my own inability to compromise. Every time I get to a point where I need to decide whether to save cost or to push performance to the very extreme, I always choose the latter course.”
If you’re a fan or a follower of the brand, this quote probably explains a LOT.
First launched in 2001, Richard Mille is now the eighth Swiss billionaire brand, joining AP who passed this not insignificant marker back in 2019.
Their watches command eye watering prices and regularly lead the market with new technical innovations, and case materials such as TPT Quartz, NTPT carbon mixed with gold leaf, and sapphire.
Love them or hate them, they are here to stay and it's probably time to introduce one of the mad and bad big boys that strays away from old school Swiss watchmaking, the RM025 Tourbillon Chronograph Divers.
This is one of Richard Mille’s rare round watches, the other being the RM028, another member of the dive line-up.
Normally they tend to produce tonneau shapes so this is one of the first departures, the second is a whopping 300m water resistance compared to their usual 50m standard.
This is a serious and complicated dive watch (and one that will probably never see depths greater than a Las Vegas swimming pool :D)
So, what’s it like to strap over a quarter of a million pounds on to your wrist?
Incredible and insane at the same time.
First thing, it’s big, like REALLY big.
At just over 50mm wide and 19mm thick, this makes the Rolex DeepSea and Omega’s relatively new “Ultra Deep” look positively shy.
That said, they are different beasts.
The DeepSea and Ultra Deep are chunks that can withstand enough pressure for a picnic at the bottom of the Mariana Trench while the RM it’s carrying some serious firepower under the hood in the shape of tourbillon and chronograph complications.
And you know? I completely forgive the size as there’s something to be said for if you’ve got it, flaunt it.
Nobody wears a Richard Mille for its subtlety.
Taking a look at the dial, it’s beautifully finished with RM’s signature skeletonisation with the base plate made of “carbon nanofiber” because why not.
At the 6 we’ve got the tourbillon sitting beneath the yellow running seconds of the chronograph, a minute counter at 9, and up at the top of the dial you can see the power reserve and torque indicator pairing with the torque on the left and power reserve to the right.
As this is a manual wind movement (which cannot be overwound as a safety feature) it’s useful to be able to check power reserve at a glance and top up as needed.
The movement can run for over 50 hours but RM recommend that as the limit as overwinding can affect torque and timekeeping.
Thats where the torque indicator comes in.
Full or overwinding increases torque which can speed up the movement while low torque when the watch is running down power can lead to movement slowdown, so its best to keep an eye on the indicator to make sure that it’s running in the middle range for best accuracy.
Speaking of manual winding, off the top of my head I cant think of another manually wound diver with a 300m rating apart from Panerai, who employ a crown locking mechanism to ensure water resistance.
The RM025 uses an oversized crown with no such locking device so I can only assume that the gaskets in this thing are more than up to the task.
The crown is press in button type rather than the standard pull out, and as you push it in you can see the hands on the functions indicator located at 4 jump between
H - Hands - for time setting
N - Neutral - its normal operating position
W - Winding - does what it says on the tin
Although the dial is complex and full of information, thanks to the fat hands with a generous fill of luminova, it’s totally readable at a glance which is exactly as it should be for a dive piece.
Moving on to the case, it’s just gorgeously finished. Brushed rose gold shoulders with case and dive countdown bezel in titanium give it a totally acceptable luxury tool look and makes it fairly lightweight despite its imposing size.
The bezel is interesting here as it locks to prevent accidental rotation as you’re either knocking against coral or a bottle of Bollinger.
To unlock it and allow rotation, you need to press both the triangle at 12 and 30 marker at 6. This releases the bezel lock so that you can set it, and it locks in place once you release pressure on the two buttons. Typically there is no play here and the sensation of engineering as you turn it is just top notch.
The strap is made from a substance called Kalrez which is used in Pharma and aerospace industries. It is totally chemically resistant, and will keep its shape without deformity up to 327 degrees centigrade.
It wont degrade, it wont bleach out with UV as some rubbers can, and it wont weaken with cleaning or regular sea dips.
In short, even the rubber strap enjoys the same bonkers level of over engineering that makes Richard Mille one of the stand-out leaders in the watch game.