As winter approaches the northern hemisphere, prepare for a tropical getaway with the 47mm titanium Richard Mille RM028 Diver. More than another “dive watch,” the RM028 combines Richard Mille‘s signature technology, techno-style, and renewed ergonomics in a package that’s ready for aqualung action in the Florida Keys.
Launched in 2009 as the more practical successor to the RM025 diving tourbillon, the RM028 is no less spectacular on the wrist. A 47mm brushed titanium case ensures that the class and mass of this Swiss sea monster are inversely proportional. From an ergonomic standpoint, the visually imposing RM028 Diver wears with the ease of a 40-42mm steel watch. Weight is minimized by the exotic alloy of the case, total absence of a conventional dial, and skeletonized titanium movement.
Richard Mille’s endeavors in the dive watch class have brought about a series of innovations in the RM028. Foremost among these refinements is the unique unidirectional locking dive bezel. When both security plungers are depressed, the bezel can be set to track dive times of up to an hour. Richard Mille enhances the traditional screw-down crown with an oversized diameter and rubber-coated knurled edge that ensures easy manipulation when hands are wet or gloved – a traditional Achille’s heel of dive watch designs.
The supple natural rubber strap features a backside relief channel to permit escape of moisture and grit; for good measure, the signal red strap and titanium pin buckle also look the business when worn high and dry.
Richard Mille employs a completely open dial with three sapphire crystals to convey time and date information on the RM028. The first sapphire covers the assembly; the second serves as a platform for calibrations, the date window, luminescent hour indices, and text; the final sapphire is a mobile ring bearing the numerals of the date sequence. The stacked sapphires create the illusion that the features of the dial are floating in nautical suspension above the PVD blackened plates of the RMAS7 movement.
And the Richard Mille RMAS7 is worthy of admiration. An automatic caliber designed with active lifestyles in mind, the RMAS7 is also a showcase for Richard Mille’s instinct for innovation. Skeletonized titanium plates minimize inertia and secure the movement against shock; elastomer isolation units add insulation at the case clamps. The free-sprung balance features variable-inertia balance blocks that protect the timing regulator from being jolted into fast or laggard operation after the wrist takes a knock.
Twin mainspring barrels provide a steady release of torque across the 55-hour power reserve. The Richard Mille-exclusive variable inertia winding rotor can be customized to wind the watch more or less aggressively depending on the activity level of the user; for good measure, the rotor spins on low-friction winding bearings that require no lubricant.