The RMS05: Richard Mille’s New Signature

Charles Edwards-Freshwater (Online Editor)
The Swiss watchmaker unveils its first writing instrument at SIHH

Richard Mille are certainly no stranger to the more... creative side of expression. Whilst many of their timepieces stick to a boisterous and rugged aesthetic, SIHH has proven to be an experimental showcase for the watchmaker on many occasions throughout the last few years. Their stand has often given us the first glimpses of their more intriguing creations, including their watch formed entirely out of sapphire crystal or their rather suggestive Erotic Tourbillon that could randomise intimate phrases on the dial because... why not?

Though their SIHH efforts are certainly a little more on the traditional side this year, the Swiss watchmaker still threw us a curveball by unveiling the RMS05 Fountain Pen, a writing instrument which aims to redefine the fountain pen as we know it. Though watchmaking and writing instruments have certainly met before (Montblanc being the first name to spring to mind) rarely have we seen a pen that so clearly takes elements from timepieces and transforms them into a functional part of the writing experience.

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The result of four years of research and innovation, the RMS05 is a stunning creation to look at, its multilayered NTPT Carbon casing forming a striking and darkly luxurious aesthetic. Satin-brushed and micro-blasted surfaces give the design a ripple effect, whilst the circular-grained and rhodium-plated gears, hand-polished angles and locking sections all attest to the care given to the creation of the mechanical movements which are undoubtedly the highlight of the instrument itself.

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Perhaps the most intriguing part of the pen is its skeletonised movement, a feature that forms the heart and soul of many a Mille timepiece. In this instance it has been fitted with a baseplate and bridges formed from grade 5 titanium - a feature that sets many Richard Mille pieces apart in terms of style and design.

Looks aside however, and it is the functionality of this movement that makes this pen so utterly unique.  Fitted with a recoil escapement which is more commonly found in watches, with just a push of a button the movement in the pen springs to life and smoothly produces the white gold nib in an elegant, mechanical fashion.

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The technical marvels of the pen don’t stop here however, and retracting the nib requires even more watchmaking wizardry. Simply by replacing the cap, the barrel of the pen raises in a fraction of a second via a complex mechanical system that runs throughout the body of the pen, instantly storing the nib until it’s ready to be used again and keeping it out of harm’s way. The developers even created an ingenious way to remove the ink cartridge without damaging the smooth functioning of the mechanism and the pen, again using their watchmaking knowledge to full effect.

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Whilst this may seem like an over-complication of something that should be rather simple, Richard Mille have undoubtedly added their own spin on the fountain pen, making it an instrument even more covetable than before. After all, a fountain pen in itself is a symbol of luxury in the modern age and for very good reason. Beautifully crafted and meticulously precise, the fountain pen has seen countless iterations throughout the centuries, but no creation has come close to mechanising it in the way that Richard Mille have with the RMS05.

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Arguably as much a testament to all that is Richard Mille as it is an exciting new development in the world of writing instruments, the RMS05 is the newest addition to Richard Mille’s creative excursions outside of the realms of watchmaking, the first being their mechanical cufflinks. Though still deeply entrenched in the art of timepieces and the precision and engineering involved therein, the RMS05 is a pen which is striking and unique, a writing instrument that has a certain industrial excitement to it that makes it far more interesting for watch aficionados and collectors of the unique.

It may be too early to say whether Richard Mille will continue to create future writing instruments or even try to make the RMS05 their version of the Montblanc Meisterstuck. But what we do know is that the RMS05 is one writing instrument that combines watchmaking and signature style like none other.

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SIHH wouldn’t be complete without a something a little bit unique from the Swiss watchmaker, and this year they haven't let us down.

Find out more about Richard Mille’s RMS05 HERE

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