The combination of the tourbillon escapement and the chronograph paired with the unprecedented fine skeletonisation make this particularly innovative watch the absolute chronograph perfection
The 2019 Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix was occasion for the brand to present the RM 50-04 Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph Kimi Räikkönen. The piece pays homage to both this great driver and his team Alfa Romeo Racing Team. The design and execution of the watch demonstrate a highly conceptual holistic approach to the movement, case and dial. As a result, everything has been constructed according to extremely rigorous specifications, in the manner of analytical engineering methods used in the design of Formula 1 racing cars, where the chassis and the engine are developed in complete harmony. For example, a casing ring is no longer used, and the movement is mounted on chassis mounting rubbers (ISO SW) fixed by grade 5 titanium screws. Features such as these are evidence of uncompromising workmanship.
The colours used on the C38 single-seater are showcased on the bezel and case back in white Quartz TPT®. This is achieved by interlaying 600 layers of silicon each 45 microns thick and impregnating them with a white matrix before heating them to 120 °C in an autoclave. This process gives the material a very high resistance/weight ratio, non-allergenic properties, and excellent resistance to UV rays. Developed by North Thin Ply Technology, the technique is also used on the Carbon TPT® caseband, but this time using carbon fibres. The case of the RM 50-04 is water-resistant to 50 metres thanks to two Nitril O-ring seals. The case is assembled with 20 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and abrasion-resistant washers in 316L stainless steel.
The calibre RM50-03 weighs just 7 grams and fully deserves its qualifier ‘ultralight’. The secret to its feather weight lies in the use of grade 5 Titanium and Carbon TPT®, and in the extreme skeletonisation of components. Likewise, the density, stiffness and low thermal conductivity of titanium make it a material of choice in Formula 1 engineering build programme. The baseplate and a portion of the bridges are crafted in grade 5 titanium, a biocompatible, highly corrosion-resistant and remarkably rigid alloy, which enables the gear train to function effortlessly. The alloy is 90% grade 5 titanium, 6% aluminium and 4% vanadium. This combination further increases the material’s mechanical properties, which explains its frequent use in the aerospace, aeronautics and automobile industries. Some of the bridges belonging to the split-seconds chronograph are made from Carbon TPT®, as is the transverse carriage supporting the entire calibre, together with the barrel and tourbillon bridges. Attached to the caseband, this carriage circumvents the need for a casing ring, allowing the movement to be perfectly integrated into the case. All of these technical solutions give this complex calibre—with its extreme weight to resistance ratio—an impressive resistance capacity, tested in our workshops to shocks of 5,000 g’s.