RICHARD MILLE RM 032 LES VOILES DE ST. BARTH WATCH
An aggressive diving chronograph designed to celebrate the return of one of the world's greatest regattas, Les Voiles de St. Barth.
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused long disruptions and delays around the world, with one major regatta suspended for two years, Les Voiles de St. Barth. The 11th edition of the event took place from April 17 to 23, with 71 teams and 700 sailors competing in Maxis, Super Maxis, Multihulls, Spinnakers and Melges 24s. Richard Mille has been the main sponsor since 2010 and launched the RM 032 Les Voiles de St Barth to celebrate the return of sailing. This is another piece that has been thoroughly designed and executed (in this case a diver/chronograph) to back up its looks with performance, and it's certainly polarizing. It might not be for everyone (if you can afford it), but it does have an exotic appeal.
For starters, it's a huge watch by any measure. 50mm in diameter and 17.8mm thick, no need for small wrists. The case materials feature a grade 5 titanium case mid-layer and carbon TPT case back, lugs and inserts that help keep this behemoth light. Size aside, the Caribbean-colored aqua rubber strap, the left half of the bezel (with the aqua numerals on the right half indicating the 15-minute mark) and the ring on the crown really stand out. White, yellow, red and green can also be seen throughout the case and dial. It's certainly an unusual aesthetic, but we know Richard Mille did his thing (and succeeded).
Flat titanium pushers at 2 and 4 o'clock operate the flyback chronograph, while the bottom pusher stops, resets and restarts the counter with a single press. The function is even engraved on the end of the fader, while START/STOP is engraved on the top fader. The crown is interesting, it is able to lock itself and the pusher by turning the ring. Colored indexes indicate position - green to unlock, red to lock. The pusher will also lock the unidirectional rotating bezel. It has a sapphire crystal on the front and back, and is water-resistant to 300 meters, ISO 6425 for a diver's watch.
The dials are mostly hollowed out with PVD-coated titanium bridges and bridges. Below the glass is a series of red lines to emphasize the 15-minute diver's scale, and white hour markers and 12/9 Arabic numerals appear to float below the crystal. The sword-shaped (ish) skeletonized hour and minute hands, as well as the chronograph second and minute hands, have lumen inserts. Besides being a flyback chronograph, it is also an annual calendar with the big date at 12 o'clock and the month at 4:30. The 12-hour counter at 6 o'clock and an "indicateur de marche" at 3 o'clock, Rotates at 2 rpm to show that the movement is running (in place of the seconds hand). The whole watch is busy, bold, very Richard Mille.
Powering this machine is the automatic RMAC2 movement, which has been seen in many Richard Mille models and has a similar (and different) overall aesthetic to the watch here. It has 62 jewels and provides a power reserve of 55 hours via twin barrels at 4 Hz. One that really stands out is the rotor, which can change itself like the swept wings of the F-14 Tomcat. This variable geometry rotor has two open "wings" at the end that fold into the rotor in six positions, making it spin faster (for casual wear) or slower (for active sports) competition). The back cover has to be opened for this as it can't be done on the fly so the user can't adjust it. The free-spring balance with variable inertia also provides greater shock resistance and reliability.