Richard Mille RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne

For its latest new release of 2023, Richard Mille has just announced a new version of the RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne that embraces a crisp black and white colorway with a case that is crafted from white Quartz TPT, Carbon TPT, and titanium. From a design and movement standpoint, the Richard Mille RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne is hardly a new watch, as this core concept and the RM21-02 movement were both originally unveiled back in 2009 with a set of models that featured cases crafted from 18k gold. However, the new 2023 RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne takes that original concept in an entirely more modern direction with high-tech case materials and a distinctly contemporary overall appearance.
Over the years, Richard Mille has produced several different variations of the RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne, although the latest 2023 version is most closely related to last year’s limited-edition model that featured green Quartz TPT case components and orange accents. What this means is that you get Richard Mille’s signature tonneau-shaped case in a format that measures 42.68mm in diameter by 14.3mm thick with a lug-to-lug profile of 50.12mm. However, on the new 2023 Richard Mille RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne, the center caseband is made from grade 5 titanium, while the pillars that run down either side of the case and cover the titanium connecting screws are crafted from black Carbon TPT.
The white and black colorway extends throughout the rest of the watch, with the caseback appearing in white Quartz TPT with a clear sapphire display window, while the bezel features a multi-component structure with a black Carbon TPT center section paired with white Quartz TPT segments running down either side for the areas that hold the grade 5 titanium connecting screws. An anti-glare sapphire crystal sits above the dial, water resistance comes in at 50 meters to protect against daily contact, and to complete the entirely white and black color profile, the ventilated strap is made from white rubber with black contrasting inlays. At the 3 o’clock location on the new 2023 RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne is a winding crown that appears in white and black to match the rest of the watch, and at the tip of the crown is a titanium button, which serves as the watch’s function selector switch. Just like a number of other Richard Mille watches, including previous models based upon this platform, the crown on the RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne does not pull outwards at all, and instead pressing the button on the tip of the crown lets you swap between the different modes (winding, setting, and neutral), in somewhat of a similar fashion to how a transmission works on a car. The dial layout on the new 2023 Richard Mille RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne is virtually the same as what can be found among previous executions of the model, and it features a skeletonized pair of centrally-mounted hands for the hours and minutes, along with a clear sapphire dial and applied Arabic numeral hour markers. The tourbillon symmetrically resides at 6 o’clock, while the indicator for the function selector switch appears with its own dedicated hand directly next to the 4 o’clock hour marker. Meanwhile, placed near the very top of the dial are two additional multi-colored, arc-shaped displays, with the one on the left serving as a power reserve indicator, while the other is a torque indicator that provides information about the chronometry quality of the tension in the mainspring. Basically, what this offers is a visual representation of how accurately the watch will run depending on the amount of tension in the mainspring. Above or below a certain point, accurately will suffer, and the torque display is intended to help users achieve optimum timekeeping performance. Lastly, sitting visible though the transparent dial along either side of the display on the new 2023 Richard Mille RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne is a mainplate crafted from HAYNES 214, which is an alloy consisting of nickel, chromium, aluminum, and iron that is capable of withstanding temperatures in excess of 955 degrees Celsius (1,751 degrees Fahrenheit). The geometric honeycomb pattern of the HAYNES 214 mainplate provides extreme stiffness with a low thermal expansion coefficient, and the alloy has been given a jet-black PVD finish to match the rest of the colorway of this particular model. Powering the new 2023 Richard Mille RM 21-02 Tourbillon Aerodyne is the same Caliber RM21-02 manual-wind movement, which runs at a frequency of 21,600vph (3 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 70 hours. The bridges of the movement are all crafted from grade 5 titanium, and in addition to featuring a function selector switch, tourbillon, and three additional indicators dedicated to the crown function, torq display, and power reserve, the Cal. RM21-02 also incorporates a modular time-setting assembly that can be removed through the caseback whenever adjustments or maintenance are needed, and this means that routine work can be performed without having to dismantle the movement from the mainplate or even remove the dial and hands from the watch.

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