Over the past two decades, Richard Mille has been showing the watch world that a watch design that verges on the avant garde does not have to be a delicate piece that is intended to live a life in the safe. On the other hand, these designs all but demand to be seen on the wrist by all in the immediate area. Even in a design that has a muted color palette like the Richard Mille RM67-02 Extra Flat Sebastien Ogier.
The RM67-02 line finds its roots in the RM67-01, which first graced wrists in 2016. The -02 release happened just a year later, in 2017. At that time, there were two versions released — the Sprint and the High Jump. As these were introducing a sportier version of the RM67-01, it made sense that the designs were honoring athletes at the top of their game. After those initial releases, there were models produced for a medal-winning Alpine Ski racer, a world champion tennis player, and then this model, for French Rally Racing champion Sebastien Ogier.
The design of the Richard Mille RM67-02 Extra Flat Sebastien Ogier — much like any Richard Mille design — is what catches the eye. While you might at first dismiss the case as “just another” carbon fiber creation, the realization is that there’s a bit more here. The official name for the material is Carbon TPT. Here, alternating layers of carbon fiber are put down, which is then set with a resin (sometimes in color, but here it stays dark). This process forms both the top and bottom plates for the case, as well as the band that makes up the central portion. The resulting construction is light and thin (in this case, 7.5mm thick) while still offering amazing strength.
The case itself is set with 8 pentalobe fasteners, another hallmark for the brand, along with the bumps on the sides of the case that help with structure as well as additional protection for the movement. While the patterns of the case are certainly eye-catching, they act more as a wide frame for the movement that takes up residence under the sapphire crystal.
While the case materials and design garner a lot of attention, the movement is worthy of the spotlight as well. The CRMA7 movement is automatic, and a derivation of the CRMA6. The main difference between the two is that the CRMA7 is missing the indication for the position of the crown. Still, you’ve got a baseplate and bridges made from Grade 5 titanium, finished in PVD and creating the webbed superstructure that you can see.
Turn the watch over, and you’ll see a skeletonized rotor made of the same Carbon TPT that comprises the case. While it’s strong and light, that doesn’t exactly correspond to an efficient winding. To address that issue, Richard Mille places a white gold segment on the edge of the rotor, to give some weight to the spin.
Turning the watch back over, you’ll notice the major nod to color on the watch right in the center. The blue, white, and red are of course for the colors of the French flag, putting a subtly bold pop of color in the mix. This then also allows the palette to expand to other parts of the watch, with the red band on the white gold crown, the white of the luminous pips and hands, and the blue band attached to the watch.
Versus The Competition
In many ways, Richard Mille is in a category all of its own. Still, that does not mean you cannot find watches that can hit some of the same notes, albeit in different form factors. The first that we might point you at would be the Zenith Defy Zero G “Gravity Control”. The case may not be as exotic as the RM, but the movement is definitely worth another look. It may — at first — look like a tourbillon, but something else is going on here. Here, the regulator is set in a gyroscope so that it is always vertical, ostensibly negating the effects of gravity. It’s a feat of engineering, and one worth busting out the loupe for.
The other one you’ll want your magnifier for is the MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual. Rather than focus on a wholly new element to the movement, as the Zenith does, the MB&F goes for that classic feat of watch making, the perpetual calendar. Here again, the movement was built from the ground up to make it all work, and be as user-friendly as possible. While a perpetual calendar is normally a more reserved design, this one shows what can be done when the watch designer is given a blank sheet of paper and free reign to create.
To us, the Richard Mille RM67-02 Extra Flat Sebastien Ogier feels like a tale of two siblings. The first sibling is the case, which on a Richard Mille usually gets all of the attention, due to material usage and (usually) bold colors. The quieter sibling that is sometimes overlooked, in this analogy, would be the movement. While it can fade into the background with a color that matches the case, it’s there quietly getting the job done, and more than happy to show off how it does it through the sapphire crystals, should one be willing to take the time and peruse the carbon structure.
Just as the case and movement of the Richard Mille RM67-02 Extra Flat Sebastien Ogier present contrasts, the overall design of the watch does the same. Seeing it in flat photos, it seems blocky and overly large. Seeing it on the wrist, or checking the spec sheet, you quickly realize that there is something else going on. As we mentioned, it’s quite thin (7.5mm), and it’s 38mm x 47mm, making it a fairly compact watch. All of this of course makes up for a super light watch that will be more than happy to go bombing down some twisty dirt roads with you. And should your co-pilot mis-communicate the correct approach speed and angle of the turn, well, the watch shouldn’t miss a beat.