This is the Richard Mille RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat. One of the few models from the brand that is actually somewhat subtle on the wrist. Whether “understated” is the look you’re going for from a 6-figure watch is another question. First shown to the market around the end of 2015, Richard Mille has come a long way as a brand since. Introducing many more timepieces, each more elaborate than the last. Yet, the simple RM 67-01 remains a popular choice with collectors. If you close one eye and squint, it’s the closest thing the brand makes to a dress watch. Although it still has that hi-tech, sporty appeal. Plus, it’s very wearable. Let’s get into the detail and find out why collectors love the Richard Mille RM 67-01.
A (Very) Brief History Of The RM 67-01
When most people think of Richard Mille two synonyms come to mind: expensive and chunky. Or some variation of those themes. (Case in point.) This is no bad thing mind you. But the brand is not exactly known for its slim timepieces that hide away under the cuff. Instead, it makes complex, tonneau-shaped watches that announce their presence on the wrist. This is one of the reasons why Richard Mille has become so popular with the noveau riche. As the saying goes, if you’ve got it, flaunt it, right?
It seems not every Richard Mille fan wants to broadcast their bank account on their wrist though. Surprise, surprise. Some aficionados of the brand prefer something a little more subtle. Richard Mille has been aware of this for years and year of course. Which is why the brand debuted the rectangular RM 016 Extra Flat in 2007. Followed by the round case RM 033 Extra Flat in 2011. Neither though feature the brand’s now iconic tonneau case shape. Which is why the RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat continues to be king of RM’s modest offering of thin watches.
The Richard Mille RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat
At 38.7mm x 47.52mm x 7.75mm the RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat can legit call itself ‘thin’. Although with those dimensions it’s still not exactly a shrinking violet on the wrist. But while the end result is less watch, it actually required a heck of a lot of work to make it a reality. Keep in mind, this was the first time Richard Mille’s trademark tonneau shape appeared in extra flat form. So, the team had to go back to the drawing board on several areas.
The In-House Movement
The most obvious starting point of course was the movement. The RM 67-01 features the automatic calibre CRMA6, which measures a mere 3.6mm thick. A new calibre at the time, it was designed by Richard Mille and manufactured externally. The baseplate and bridges are grade 5 titanium. They’re finished with a combination of gray and black electroplasma treatments. The winding rotor weight meanwhile is in platinum. It uses RM’s OneWay® winding system and ceramic ball bearings for efficient winding.
The movement is open-worked on both the front and the back. A familiar sight on many Richard Mille timepieces. Part of the reason for this was to give the RM 67-01 a sense of depth. No mean feat to achieve with an extra flat watch.
The 3-layer construction on the front draws the eye from the edges of the bezel to the central time display. The rear of the movement features a large open worked winding barrel and rotor. As well as going train and automatic winding mechanism bridges. There’s also a free-sprung balance offering better protection in the event of shocks. And guaranteeing better chronometric performance over time. (At least according to RM.)
Back on the dial side the RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat displays the time and date only. It’s easy(ish) to read and features RM’s well-known over-sized Arabic numerals. In this iteration they’re crafted from solid metal. And then mounted on two linked and rigid titanium rails attached to the movement. You will also notice between 1 and 2 o’clock that there is a function indicator for Winding, Date and Hand setting. When you pull the crown out the indicator moves, so you can see which setting you’re on and adjust as necessary.
The Extra Flat Case
The other critical component in a thin watch is of course the case. At the time of release, Richard Mille made a big deal about all the work put in to the grade 5 titanium case of the RM 67-01. The tonneau-shaped case is already known to be quite complex to construct.
The refined dimensions of this slimmer case meant it became even more so. Adding up to 6 hours of pure machining time, not to mention weeks of preparatory work required. In total, each case requires more than 215 separate machining operations. And that’s before the hand-brushing and polishing required to get a finished product.
Price & Availability
As you might expect, at release pricing of the RM 67-01 was reasonable. By Richard Mille standards at least. The titanium RM67-01 version started at US$85,000. And the white gold version was US$115,000. Big money for a time and date only model but this is the rarefied air that RM occupies. Then popularity and low production volumes came into play. Combined with the fact it’s difficult to get any RM at retail.
Now a titanium RM 67-01 will run you north of US$200k. Assuming you can find one that is. At the time of writing our retail partner WatchBox had one in stock. But these don’t tend to hang around long.
Why Collectors Love The RM 67-01
Sure, the RM 67-01 is not anywhere near as complicated as some of Richard Mille’s other timepieces. But it’s also not as outlandish, either. (Like the over-the-top, almost unwearable ACJ RM 50-02 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph.) And here in lies the attraction to collectors.
This is a Richard Mille timepiece you can wear. It’s not super sporty either, giving it broader appeal. Plus, it’s the only extra flat, tonneau-shaped case available. Which means people will still recognise it as an RM from across the room. As opposed to the RM 033, which could be mistaken for a Roger Dubuis or the like. Price wise it’s also still affordable relative to other RM models. That said it’s not likely to see as much appreciation in value either. But you can’t win them all.
Technical Specifications: Richard Mille RM 67-01 Extra Flat
- Case: 38.70 mm x 47.52 mm x 7.75 mm – titanium, polished and brushed – sapphire crystal on both sides – 50m water resistance.
- Dial: Open-worked/skeletonized – hours, minutes, date; function indicator showing position of the crown – Arabic numerals.
- Movement: Caliber CRMA6 – 3.6 mm thick – designed by Richard Mille, manufactured externally – platinum rotor with 50-hour power reserve – 25 jewels – 28,800 vph – free-sprung balance.
- Bracelet: Leather or rubber strap with deployant buckle in titanium.
- Price: USD220,000+ on secondary market.
This article by TheWatchLounge has been sponsored by our partner WatchBox.