By Alex Jackson

As always, Richard Mille has something totally insane to show off on the first day of SIHH. This year it’s the RM 53-01 created in partnership with Argentinian polo player Pablo Mac Donough. The watch immediately looks like a classic Mille creation, with the tonneau case in Carbon TPT, the visible spline screws, and the futuristic-looking open-worked movement taking center stage. This movement happens to feature a large tourbillon at six o’clock and to be suspended from the sides of the case by a system of steel cables and pulleys. As with many other Mille’s, there’s also plenty of less in-your-face tech at work too, including a high-efficiency winding system, a fast-rotating barrel for more consistent performance, and a free-sprung, variable inertia balance. Yeah, the RM 53-01’s no joke.

Why This Watch Matters

There are a few other watches to keep in mind when looking at the new RM 53-01. First is the brand’s earlier collaboration with Mac Donough, the RM053, released in 2012. It’s one of the more unusual watches that Richard Mille has produced, with a case resembling something you might take into battle or to the bottom of the sea, with two intersecting openings for the dial and the tourbillon. This time around, the brand has opted for a more Mille-traditional tonneau case with the movement dramatically filling the large opening. That movement draws on technology shown in a few prior RMs, including the all sapphire RM 56-02 and the Rafael Nadal RM 27-01, specifically the cable suspension system.

Initial Thoughts

I’ll be honest here. While I find Richard Mille watches extremely interesting in a vitrine or on a table, there ar very few that I would actually want to wear (the impossibly light Rafael Nadal RM027 being at the top of the list). This watch looks technically bonkers, from the suspension system to the movement architecture to the weight reduction measures. I’m very much looking forward to picking it up and smiling as I shoot a couple of photos, but
I think that’s as much time as I’ll need with it.

The Basics

Brand: Richard Mille
Model: RM 53-01 Tourbillon Pablo Mac Donough
Dimensions: 44.5mm x 49.94mm
Thickness: 16.15mm
Case Material: Carbon TPT
Lume: Yes, hands and hour markers
Water Resistance: 50 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Blue silicone

Pricing & Availability

Price: $1.6 Million US
Availability: Limited Edition: 30 pieces

The Movement

Caliber: Caliber RM 53-01
Functions: Hours, minutes, tourbillon
Dimensions: 31.94mm x 30.26mm
Thickness: 6.35mm
Tourbillon Diameter: 12.4mm
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Winding: Manual
Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 vph)
Jewels: 19
Additional Details: Movement is suspended in the case by two braided steel cables held tight with 10 pulleys and four tensioners, bridges are made from grade 5 titanium

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