RICHARD MILLE RM 38-01 Manual Winding Tourbillon

After the success of the Richard Mille Limited Edition RM 038 Golfer’s Tourbillon released in 2011, Richard Mille has undertaken the development of yet another specific tourbillon watch for Bubba Watson with added functionality to complement his powerful drives on the course. Finally, after a long wait, we were able to get our hands on one of these 50-piece limited edition watches and work on a proper hands-on review with live pictures. The Richard Mille RM 38-01 Tourbillon G-Sensor Bubba Watson, is a timepiece that combines a patented G-sensor with a tourbillon mechanism, thus providing new insights for golfers during their game. The mechanical G-sensor, a Richard Mille world first containing more than 50 moving parts within a mere 17mm, allows the user to see the accumulated motion of their swing in G’s. Now, this new watch is not the watch that Bubba Watson was wearing while playing The Masters last time he won the tournament for the second time. Instead, Bubba was wearing the Richard Mille RM038 released in 2011.

Fitted with a fully skeletonized dial with a nice contrasting white flange with green minute track, the layout features a G-sensor, placed under 12 o’clock and equipped with a sapphire crystal yellow and red half moon indicator able to record the force generated by a golfer’s swing, specifically during the last segment and marked by the white and green hand on it. The RM 38-01 can record up to 20Gs of acceleration, a very important insight for golfers such as Bubba Watson, renowned for his ability to hit a ball at more than 310 km/h. Resetting the sensor back to zero for the following swing, is done by simply pressing the aerodynamically formed pusher at 9 o’clock. At 6 o’clock a tourbillon does a full rotation every 60 seconds. The movement without any mainplate is fully suspended and anchored to the edges of the case, creating a beautiful spectacle on the dial side.

On looking at the RM 38-01 Bubba Watson, one’s attention is immediately drawn to the unique green case —Bubba’s favorite color— which upon closer examination again demonstrates the mastery and insight of Richard Mille in the revolutionary application of industrial materials for 21st century watchmaking. The front and back bezels of the tripartite case measuring 42.70 x 49.94 x 16.15 mm are created in TZP-G, a ceramic class of material based on microscopic tubes of alumina oxide powder injected with green colorant at a pressure of 2,000 bars. This is followed by a long and difficult machining and grinding process with diamond tooling in order to obtain the exact complex curves and arcs typical of Richard Mille’s designs.

The result is a material that offers 20-30% more stiffness in comparison to traditional ceramics. These qualities make this the ideal material for a bezel that is commonly highly exposed to impact. In the last stage, the material is then delicately worked in order to create an attractive matte surface finish and further complemented with a central caseband in grade 5 titanium molded with white rubber, thus providing comfort and lightness for the user under all conditions. The tripartite case is water resistant to 50 meters, ensured by two Nitril O-ring seals and it is assembled using 20 grade 5 titanium spline screws and abrasion-resistant washers in 316L stainless steel. Additionally, located on the left caseband at 9 o’clock, a rectangular mirror polished and satin brushed pusher with grooves can be pressed to reset the G-Sensor measurements as necessary.

Lastly, the watch also features a crown with the traditional rubber o-ring and with a special cap with the dimples and glossy finish of a golf ball. The crown on this watch is the icing on the cake or the cherry on top of the cake. The G-sensor mechanism is integrated into the heart of a manual winding tourbillon movement calibre RM38-01 which provides a 48-hour power reserve when fully wound while beating at a frequency of 21,600 vph. The movement is a technological marvel with its highly skeletonized, asymmetrical flying bridges and plates machined from grade 5 titanium with PVD treatment. The display case back allows for full view of the movement that almost resembles the grooves on the sweet spot of a golf clubface. The anti-reflective treatment on the sapphire crystals on this watch —and just like on all other Richard Mille timepieces— is perfectly applied to avoid unwanted glare when reading the time or appreciating the movement from the back. The watch is rounded out by a ventilated white rubber strap with the classic Richard Mille double folding clasp. The buckle is made of brushed titanium.

On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and extremely comfortably thanks to its tonneau-shaped case. Just like with any other Richard Mille timepieces we’ve reviewed, this is one of those watches that you just don’t want to take off. The looks, the inner workings and the craftsmanship behind it, make Richard Mille one of our favorite brands and one that you rarely see in the wild, especially when it comes to watches worth close to a million dollars.

Next time you get to Hole 14 at Pebble Beach, make sure you have this Richard Mille RM 38-01 Tourbillon G-Sensor Bubba Watson strapped to your wrist. That way, you’ll be able to measure the g-force of your swing while teeing-off from that super long 572-yard Par 5 dogleg.

The Richard Mille RM 38-01 Tourbillon G-Sensor Bubba Watson is only available in a limited edition of 50 pieces worldwide.

Leave a Reply