The transparent sapphire case — which is made up of three parts, each milled and ground from blocks of solid sapphire — has a hardness of 1,800 Vickers and is virtually scratch-resistant to any material short of diamond. Sapphire is also used in movement parts, including the winding barrel bridge, the center bridges, and even the tourbillon. Every RM 56-02 watch, created by the specialists at the Stettler firm in Lysa, Switzerland, requires 40 days of continuous 24/7 machining for the case followed by 400 additional hours for machining and finishing of the movement bridges.
Despite its somewhat delicate look, the Richard Mille Tourbillon RM 56-02 Sapphire is water-resistant to 3o meters thanks to two transparent nitrile O-rings assembled with 24 spline screws made of grade 5 titanium. Both the front and back bezels of the case are treated with anti-glare protection. The “see-through” aesthetic extends to the partially translucent strap, created exclusively for Richard Mille from a proprietary Aerospace Nano material whose silky, organic texture complements the ergonomic design of the case. The Richard Mille Tourbillon RM 56-02 Sapphire is an extraordinarily limited edition, priced for a very fortunate few; only 10 pieces will be available worldwide.