Richard Mille RM 011 Felipe Massa Watch with New Titanium Bracelet
In the context of Richard Mille watches, the RM 011 collection needs little introduction. Originally released a few years ago, the Richard Mille RM 011 "Felipe Massa" collection was arguably the brand's original "breakthrough model", helping the ultra-premium sports watch brand achieve its current status in the luxury watch world. In 2015, Richard Mille added something arguably basic but special to the brand - the first bracelet option for the Richard Mille RM 011 is also the first bracelet for any Richard Mille men's watch.
It's true that there are bracelets available for women in the Richard Mille brand, but they are designed more like traditional jewelry bracelets than chain watch bracelets.
The full name of the RM 011 is actually the Richard Mille RM 011 (aka RM11, RM011, RM011-FM) Automatic Flyback Chronograph Felipe Massa. As the name suggests, this "standard" Felipe Massa model has several features, with a 12-hour flyback chronograph at the center. The movement also has a large date indicator, a month indicator (making it an annual calendar) and a 60-minute countdown dial. The movement is also an automatic movement, including Richard Mille's interesting (although consumers occasionally adjust it) variable geometry automatic rotor that can be "tailored" to suit the user's lifestyle. Again, the feature is rarely "played". As far as I know, there is no other chronograph movement like this in the Richard Mille RM 011.
In addition, the clear and easy-to-read dial and the perspective of the movement form the core aesthetic concept of the Richard Mille brand, integrating the mechanical movement with the overall design of the watch. Richard Mille understood many years ago what many watch brands understand more and more these days; that is consumers of luxury sports watches (of all price points) are increasingly interested in showing them on their wrists The fact of wearing a mechanical watch. This means that the movement should not be hidden, but should be prominently displayed so that the wearer and others can appreciate the "value" behind the purchase, which often plays a prominent role in the movement.
As such, skeletonized and skeletonized dials and movements are popular and often crucial elements to owning a successful ultra-luxury sports watch - something that few brands do as well as Richard Mille. Thus, the dial of the Richard Mille RM 011 Felipe Massa provides both a view of the movement and information.
However, this article is not generally about the Richard Mille RM 011, but the new bracelet option that Richard Mille first introduced for this watch at SIHH 2015. We love the bracelet option so much that we included it as part of one of our top 10 watches for SIHH 2015. What interests me more is that the selection of the Richard Mille RM 011 in the top 10 bracelets was a unanimous decision of the aBlogtoWatch team members, although not all team members were traditionally fans of Richard Mille. Produced by the Mille brand.
One thing we mentioned about the new titanium bracelet option is that it looks perfect for the look of the Richard Mille RM 011. I believe I commented that the bracelet seems to have been part of the collection for years, even though it is brand new. For those who own a titanium Richard Mille RM 011 and may want to replace the rubber strap with a titanium bracelet, this immediate "familiarity" is a good thing.
As with all Richard Mille products, the bracelet options for the Richard Mille RM 011 are expensive but well designed and, more importantly, well constructed. Each titanium link is individually machined and polished. There are no stamped parts or anything that is not individually produced and then finished by hand. Holding the bracelet together are Richard Mille's signature "spline screws" with a "spring-loaded" butterfly deployment clasp at the end. The bracelet doesn't hide any special tricks or features, but it does look and feel great.
Compared to many other metal bracelets on the market, the bracelet is very comfortable even though the links are quite thick. The Richard Mille RM 011 case is 40mm wide and 50mm high, but it is also 16.15mm thick. So what Richard Mille did was make a thick bracelet that matched the thickness of the case - which helped everything work together smoothly. Paired with a titanium case, the titanium bracelet seems to fit seamlessly with the tonneau shape of the case.
For me, the architectural details of the bracelet are the most important. For example, take a look at the indented sides of the bracelet that match the expected sides of the Felipe Massa case. The three-link style of the bracelet has a recessed center link, and although the finish is brushed, it has polished beveled edges – just like the case. What's more, the strap tapers in both thickness and width, giving it an attractively streamlined appearance on the wrist from where it connects to the case to the deploying clasp.
The important thing about the bracelet from a style standpoint is that the Richard Mille RM 011 feels like something you can wear on more occasions with more outfits. Richard Mille (intentionally) made a very casual product that few would confuse with a dress watch. It's by design, and as someone who doesn't like to wear long sleeves, I appreciate the look of a heavy sports watch. However, the addition of the bracelet makes something more...well, fancy. I would never call this (or most other Richard Mille timepieces) an "elegant watch for formal wear", but on the bracelet you can more easily pair the watch with something more "business friendly".
While not a revolution, the Richard Mille RM 011 Felipe Massa Titanium Bracelet Watch is a welcome evolution that has made Richard Mille so popular with many. Given that we're talking about Richard Mille's background and all the crazy prices that come with it, it doesn't even make sense to discuss the fact that they have cheaper titanium bracelets out there.