SIHH '18 - Extreme Sportsmanship: Richard Mille RM53-01 Tourbillon Pablo Mac Donough

A heavy hitter for the world of polo.

BY Celine Yap | Jan 18, 2018 | Feature

Image by Richard Mille

Richard Mille returns to the polo field with a ground-breaking new watch for its brand ambassador, polo star Pablo Mac Donough. The RM53-01 continues the story that began with the RM53 Tourbillon, a hyper-aggressive contraption with a metal to movement ratio that’s quite simply insane. The new model presents several breakthrough technologies allowing Richard Mille to construct a wristwatch that could withstand the rigours of the polo field, where errant mallets, flying polo balls, or a horse’s misstep deal serious damage.

The movement here is buttressed by a system of cables and pulleys, not unlike those used in the RM27-01. Suspended within the case, it is sandwiched between two sapphire crystals that are the main innovation in this timepiece. Where the RM53 is fully covered with metal, the RM53-01 uses sapphire crystal like any other Richard Mille model, except that this is no ordinary sapphire crystal. Composed of two 1.1mm layers cut from a single block of sapphire, it has a 0.2mm polyvinyl sheet between the layers holding them together, ensuring that the crystal does not shatter even when hit hard by a hammer. Similar to tempered glass, it can be broken but not a single shard will detach.

An excruciating amount of attention has been directed to the sapphire glass but the brand hasn’t overlooked the other areas. RM53-01 is characteristic of all modern Richard Milles, with a carbon TPT case, sky blue livery, and a breath-taking open-worked movement.