Richard Mille RM 011 Brown Silicon Nitride

Richard Mille introduces a new RM 011 featuring a bezel and caseback made of brown silicon nitride, a material never before used in watchmaking, according to Mille (and I believe him).  Brown silicon nitride is a essentially a ceramic, and an extremely hard one at that.  At 1,500 Vickers, — versus 150-190 for 316L steel alloys — the material was heretofore used in bearings, metal-cutting tools, and other high-temperature applications.  And now the high-tech, high-performance material can add “high performance wristwatches” to its list of application uses.

Richard Mille RM 011 Brown Silicon Nitride

RM 011 Brown Silicon Nitride

RM 011 Brown Silicon Nitride Closeup

Silicon nitride is used for the bezel and case back of the RM 011.  According to Mille, these parts are machined with diamond (10,000 Vickers) tools that are capable of performing the complex operations required by the barrel shape whilst guaranteeing strict tolerances and an exceptional case finish (satin-brushing and microblasting).  The satin-brushed case-middle, crown and push-pieces are made of 18-carat red gold, and the push-piece  guards from polished grade 5 titanium.

If you found the green and orange RM 59-01 (aka The Beast) a bit too much on the flashy side, could this new RM011 be your thing?  Available at Richard Mille boutiques.