Polo is the  sport of a true  gentleman. It is a perfect meeting of man  and  beast, of strength and precision, speed and serenity. For its part, the RM 53-01 is the ‘smashing’ new result of the encounter between Richard Mille and Pablo Mac Donough,  one of the  world’s best players. Sporty and dynamic, this  watch   reveals a  suspended tourbillon  calibre,  visible  through the  unprecedented laminated sapphire glass  of its Carbon TPT®   case,  a complex armour  of an entirely new  kind for this  high-risk sport, the  epitome of manliness. .

That  one  of polo’s greatest champions should  be  able  to wear  a watch in the  midst of play, and  a tourbillon at that, is by no means a miracle. Rather, it bespeaks years of research and studies of how a wristwatch resists when confronted with violent blows. Experts in this area, the brand designed the RM 53-01 around a single  goal: making  it extremely tough, while unveiling  its calibre.

‘Polo is a dangerous sport, and  hard  knocks  are  a regular occurrence. It’s a very  elegant game, but  also  a contact sport,’ explains Richard  Mille. ‘Given that Pablo  has  sustained a large  number of fractures in the  course of his career, I asked our teams to come  up with a watch that could resist the many  types of shocks arising  in a polo match, whilst leaving  the  movement visible.’


Well aware that regular glass  would not provide the  necessary resistance to ward off the  impact of a mallet, engineers for the  brand, collaborating with Stettler – a world-renowned sapphire specialist – took inspiration from current practices in the  automotive realm to produce a laminated glass.

Use  of  this   glass,   composed  of  two  sheets of  sapphire  glass   separated by  a  thin   Polyvinyl film, constitutes a horological first. In the  face  of the  strong shockwave produced by a blow from  a mallet,  the   glass   will crack,   but  without ever   shattering. With  anti-reflective and  UV coatings, this  glass,   which  preserves the  movement from  the  external environment, is  a  patent-pending Richard  Mille exclusive.

Punctuated by notches that reinforce its structural integrity, the  case is machined in Carbon TPT®, a fabulously tough and  virtually indestructible protection, recognised for its excellent resistance to micro-cracks and  tears. The characteristic damascene sheen of Carbon TPT®  and  sharp lines of the case speak to the  especially sporty nature of this watch.

Shock is the enemy of a tourbillon movement. Richard  Mille’s solution to this? Why, a cable-suspended movement! The atypical architecture of this design required the creation of two separate baseplates. The  first, or  ‘peripheral’ plate,  is fixed  to the  case and  supports the  tensioner mechanisms. The second, known as the  ‘central’ plate,  is linked to the  peripheral plate by cables and  incorporates the wheels comprising the  calibre as well as the  winding mechanism.

The central baseplate rests, like a spider in the  middle  of its web, on two braided steel cables just

0.27  mm in diameter. These cables, sketching a three-dimensional structure in their  path through

10 pulleys,  are  anchored by 4 tensioners. The watchmaker is responsible for tensioning the  cables by  rotating a  spline   screw located at  the   centre  of  each  tensioner.  By  ensuring  an   even distribution of  tension, this  pulley  system guarantees perfect balance of  the  whole  mechanism. The   suspended  movement  and   the   use   of  grade 5  titanium  (double baseplate  and   bridges) contribute increased stiffness, while  ensuring smooth functioning of the  going  train  and  optimal shock  protection.

The RM 53-01 Tourbillon  Pablo  Mac Donough  is a limited edition of 30 pieces in Carbon TPT®.