Born over 2,500 years ago in the steppes of central Asia, polo is today a demanding sport played by gentlemen such as Pablo Mac Donough. On the field, the impacts and collisions can be violent, and the Argentine has suffered multiple fractures during his career. Since the protections used in a match are limited, designing a watch that might survive such a test looks like a tall order. And yet this is the challenge successfully faced by Richard Mille with the new RM 53-01 Tourbillon Pablo Mac Donough.
To make a timepiece that can really withstand punishment, the watchmakers have astutely combined various technological innovations. The barrel-shaped case is made of carbon TPT, providing excellent resistance to micro-splits and micro-cracks. It is fitted with a new-generation sapphire glass inspired by the laminated glass used in cars. A polyvinyl film is sandwiched between two sapphire glasses, and due to this procedure, if ever a polo mallet hits it, the glass may crack, but will not break and the mechanism will be untouched! An anti-UV and anti-reflection treatment also protects the tourbillon movement on this edition limited to 30 watches.
As a result, the calibre and its surprising structure are protected by real armour. Two braided steel cables, 0.27mm in diameter, spin a web with the help of 10 pulleys, and are connected to four wire-strainers fixing the grade 5 titanium central plate. By guaranteeing constant tension, this pulley system provides the mechanism with perfect equilibrium and optimal shock-absorption.
The calibre of the RM 53-01 will resist impacts of over 5,000g, while ensuring a power reserve of 70 hours.