Manual winding tourbillon movement with hours, minutes, dual time zone indicator, function selector, power-reserve and torque indicators.
The culmination of another stage of development, the RM 003 was directly presented after the introduction of the RM 002, with the addition of a second time zone function to the tourbillon movement. The visual/technical approach to the time zone function was novel and featured a sapphire crystal disc and a white section at 3 o’clock. The black hours on the disc were virtually invisible inside the movement, but when they were situated over the white section, they became clearly visible and seemed to ‘light up’.
This ingenious concept was later transposed to several other Richard Mille timepieces, such as in the date windows of the RM 005, 010, 016, 023 and others. The desired time zone could be easily selected using a pusher at 9 o’clock. This function, positioned at the centre of the movement, made the case slightly thicker than the RM 002 (13.65 mm compared to 11.95 mm).
The original model initially followed the pattern of the RM 002 with its titanium baseplate, but the RM 003 went on to become the first model – after the introduction of carbon nanofibre in the famed RM 006 Felipe Massa – to use a carbon nanofibre baseplate, known as the RM 003-V2 version. The base movement of this carbon nanofibre RM 003-V2 saw three further technical variations in the years following its release.
This can be most easily noted by observing the back of the movement, where the one-piece stiffening plate unit was reworked into two and then three separate units. The RM 003-V2 has been revisited in many different editions, including the well-known ‘All Gray’ finished case from 2009.