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Glaude

KVF Richard Mille RM35-02 v2

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Glaude

https://i.imgur.com/TbdLHMN.png

 

Richard Mille is probably latest big brand in the game, conceptualised in 1999 but created only in 2001 by, you guessed it, Richard Mille but with the help of Dominique Guenat owner of the Montre Valgine,a watch brands created in 1900.
Before being a watch creator, Richard Mille was working at the French luxury jeweller Mauboussin, a disagreement on the commercial take of this jeweller and Richard Mille lead him to quit this job. Mauboussin being a very classic and fashion oriented watch sellers, it's easy to speculate that this classic approach could have been the pinnacle of the disharmony.
It's funny to see that Richard Mille teamed up with Montre Valgine, also a very classical and formulaic watch maker.
Richard Mille took care of being strongly backed up by having the support of Audemars Piguet when conceptualising the brand.
Despite being a very modern brand, Richard Mille is perpetuating a long tradition called établissage, that consist of having pieces of watches made by small very specialised manufacturers and assembling them in house. Richard Mille owns those manufacturers but it still considered as établissage.
The brand is very active, with 54 different models (without counting the colour & material variations) for only 17 years of existence, that's around 3 watches a year with only 140 employes (in all division, including non watchmakers).
Strongly influenced by the automotive market and the latest industrial trends, one could say all Richard Mille look the same but that would be a gross misunderstanding, go have a look on their website, you could be surprised by some of their very elegant timepieces.
But the one that interest us today is the :
 

KVF Richard Mille RM35-02 v2

2ReQTFVl.jpg

 As usual, the pictures are reduced & cropped to fit the template of the review, I strongly encourage you to click on them to enjoy the full resolution & details.

https://i.imgur.com/tkMeutF.pngTechnical datasheet from the TD & truth about each one :
If no observation in bold then the information from the seller is either true or unverifiable. Italic bold texts are added informations about the rep.

Case: Titanium PVD Coated and Forged carbon front & back
Band: Red rubber strap
Movement: Miyota 8215 21600 bph
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Case width: 43mm | 44.4mm
Case lenght: 50mm | 50.1mm
Overall thickness : 16mm | 16.6mm
Crystal: Sapphire Crystal | Checked with diamond tester = positive Sapphire crystal
Strap size : 25mm-27mm | 90mm-117mm (short & long side)
Weight : 99.4gr (case + strap & clasp)

 

https://i.imgur.com/tkMeutF.pngAbout the watch :

https://i.imgur.com/dXvI5fwb.jpg

The rep

https://i.imgur.com/uH4iEhBb.jpg

The gen


Also known by its full name RM35-02 RAFA, this watch is part of the Rafael Nadal collection. Beside being a big fan of his own name (you'll see that Richard Mille is written literally on every part of the watch) he's also a fan of sponsoring (spending around 60 million € per year) and like to provide celebrities with their own watches.

Rafael Nadal is one of the best fitted celebrity with 7 models to his name.
The core of the RAFA series is to be able to withstand hard conditions, if you look closely at some of the Rafael Nadal tennis match, you'll often see that he's wearing a Richard Mille.

Without going into a lot of details and numbers, you could guess and I confirm, after reading up on the subject (I'll link two interesting scientific studies on the subject) that there are a lot of vibrations and shocks on the wrist when playing tennis, especially at this level. We are talking of someone capable of sending a 217 km/h ball (135 mph). I'll let you imagine the g-force that the watch is withstanding.
According to the marketing material, this RM35-02 is said to be able to withstand around 5000G (previous RM35-01 was rated for "only" 88G).

The second feature required for such a use is obviously the weight, the gen is around 60 gr (which was a VERY hard information to find !). The use of Titanium and Carbon for not only the case but the mechanism is allowing this series to have a very high weight to resistance ratio.

The RM35-02 is the first Nadal watch to be an automatic and exist in two finishes the full forged carbon and the forged carbon-quartz version, they will run you a mere 145 000 €

 

https://i.imgur.com/tkMeutF.pngThe case :

https://i.imgur.com/GIzZeYDb.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/k10GzD9b.jpg


While I wait for Thommo to deliver the spectrometer (he said a little delay was to expect, I'm confident). There's something that I can guess by looking at the macro shots.
The gen is made of Titanium on the sides (the base material of the whole case) coated by PVD in black and the bezel and back case are made from a material called forged carbon.

What the hell is forged carbon ?
If you don't know how Carbon fibre parts are made, this need a short explanation : carbon fibre parts are made by sticking layers of carbon fibre sheets and impregnate them with a resin, the strength comes from the alignment of the fibre in the sheets.
Forged carbon is made by shredding regular woven carbon into very tiny fibres, mixing them with a resin and press them into the desired shape. This process was developed by Lamborghini to circumvent the limitation in terms of shapes, from the regular carbon fibre fabrication process.
The genuine is made from a specially developed type of forged carbon called NTPT, requiring a very complex manufacturing process to prevent it from being too fragile (regular forged carbon is more fragile and less resistant than traditional carbon fibre)

Judging by the macro shots, it seems that the top and bottom are indeed forged carbon, you can see some pressing defect and shipping from the finishing. Since making forged carbon is cheaper than carbon fibre, we could only assume this was greatly appreciated by our Chinese factory supreme leaders.

https://i.imgur.com/9hQohSab.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/4U4uG8ib.jpg


The genuine case is 44.5mm wide, 49.94mm tall and 13.05mm thick (measurements excluding the crown). The rep is 44.4mm wide, 50.1mm tall and 16.6mm thick.
Pretty spot on work from the factory except for the thickness but this is due to a clever little trick used to hide the movement and make it look like the genuine movement, more on that later.
I doubt anyone would be able to spot the thickness difference of the case, so for me, it's a win !

The case is what's called a Tonneau shape (didn't forget you @semperfi55;) ) in the vein of Franck Muller and other rectangular watches.
This grants the watch a thinner profile than what the dimension could suggest, and as @_DC_ will confirm, they wear a lot thinner than you would expect !

The bezel and back case are secured by 8 screws in the classical Richard Mille shape (as you can see on the dots before the title of this section). The 4 remaining screws (different shapes) are used to secure the strap.
Besides the lovely forged carbon pattern of the bezel, there's surprisingly nothing else going on the front of the case.
The back is emblazoned by the first but not the last occurrence of the Richard Mille name, along side with a Swiss made text and an obscure logo, which after a complicated research, turned out to be the Montre Valgine old logo (you can find it on their dial, it's the V letter weirdly shaped).
I couldn't find the meaning of the circled D letter (maybe a hint that they gave you the D with their price ?)
@6 the engravings are the watch model, the material type code and the serial number.
@3 is the water resistant 50m text, but I wouldn't put that to the test.

cFcdICpb.jpg 3ATsJUDb.jpg shdy3S0b.jpg ws0IXu1b.jpg


The crown is sitting a bit further out in comparison to the gen, but I've only noticed it when writing this review, so it shouldn't bother anyone.
To go with the overall red look, the crown is encapsulated into a red rubber ring (removable if needed and interchangeable with other colours available on Aliexpress).
This rubber ring make the operating of the crown very pleasing on the fingers. The front of the crown is showing the same screw design and have a "rugged" look to it, almost like it's made from forged carbon too, very nicely done.

The crystal on the front is a positive match for sapphire, no scratch to be feared. TDs website states that the crystal is coated with anti reflective film, if that's true, it must be the weakest coating possible, a nice improvement on this rep would be a 2x AR treatment, especially on this type of dial.
The crystal on the back is a regular mineral glass.

 

https://i.imgur.com/tkMeutF.pngThe dial :

https://i.imgur.com/fPMKWoFb.jpg
Rep dial

https://i.imgur.com/IACzQ32b.jpg
Gen dial


Don't let the lighting and angle difference fool you on those gen vs rep pics, there's almost no difference on the top of the dial, the only one is the colour of the jewel on the rep (reddish on the rep, white on the gen).
The factory used a clever technique to circumvent the nudity of this highly skeletonised dial, they sandwiched the movement in two fake plates. But not any fake plates, everything is "real" on them, gears, springs, jewels they are just non-functional.
You have to stare at the dial to see that they are not working alongside the advancement of the hands, so at a distance, it's impossible to tell.

Jumping to the eyes the Richard Mille (again) text @12 and the RM35-02 RAFA box @9 are in a bright yellow colour.
Amongst the various details of the dials the Richard Mille name managed to appear once more on one of the skeletonised fake bridges. A star (makers mark for the movement manufacturer Vaucher), jewel count and serial number complete the tiny details printed on the bridges.
In the bottom, printed on the angled chapter ring lye the notorious Swiss made text, in bright yellow too.
The chapter ring is indicating the minutes with a simple red line, giving depth to a dial that wasn't really lacking it.
Lume spots are representing the hour marks along with 4 white, a bit larger, white lines at 1, 5, 7 and 11, the four corners.

This three-hander sports two very large hands for the minutes and hours, the hours one is shorter and beefier, with an hour glass/arrow-shaped lume at the tip, in concordance with the minute hand.
The second hand is shaped like a bow arrow with a red tip hollowed out to leave room for a tiny rectangle of luming compound.

Don't get too excited by the lume (looking at you @McGilli) because it's very weak, as you'll see on the shot below, the first one from the left is the closest to what a freshly exposed lume dot look like in real life. The other shots are the result of some photography shenanigans

GS75UzSb.jpg Cow3u18b.jpg 4wbl3Olb.jpg nhFPUHtb.jpg

Back to the hands, the second is polished very nicely, the minute and hour have two types of finishing. The first one is the same polished look as the second hand but the other one is a quite exquisite brushed finish that give the hands a depth impression by the contrast with the polished sides.
These hands are skeletonised for you to admire the movement and as an added benefit, to spend more time looking for the position and tell the time... bad eyesight, don't buy this model !

  

https://i.imgur.com/tkMeutF.pngThe movement :

https://i.imgur.com/NSZhfplb.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/Izi373Hb.jpg


The RMAL1 movement in the genuine version is where the real toughness of this watch comes from, it's that part of the watch which need to endure the shock, accelerations and vibrations.
Build in grade 5 Titanium RM then sand blasted to ensure proper adhesion of the PVD after being electro oxidised by a Titalyt treatment (increase the hardness of the titanium).
With its 32 jewels, the heart of the watch beats at 28800 bph and is an impressively thin 3.15mm.
Being a double barrel movement, the power reserve is around 55 hours.

The rep doesn't have the same characteristics, of course, I'm unable to confirm whether the bridges and fake baseplate are in titanium but they are PVD coated.
Cleverly sandwiched between the fake plate, the Miyota 8215 is beating at 21600 bph with 21 jewels and is 5.67mm thick, not very big but still far from the gen, that probably explain why the rep is thicker in general. Along with the fake plate, it was probably impossible to keep a good appearance without gaining a little gut !

This is a reliable movement, found in a wide variety of gen like Citizen, Festina, Invicta and many of our beloved rep.
Known to be subject to stuttering is the hand is either too long or too heavy, I didn't notice it on this rep.
The power reserve of this Miyota is around 42 hours.

The genuine movement and the rep winds unidirectionly anticlockwise, so don't worry if somebody inspect the back of your watch ...

Unfortunately for us, the rep doesn't allow the same level of adjustability as the gen rotor.
On the gen depending on your wrist activity (if you know what I mean...) you can have it adjusted (come on you won't do it yourself on a 145 000 € watch !).
This could have been easily replicated since it only requires two screws and a rotor made in three parts rather than just one like it actually is.
Assembly would have been longer and required more attention, but this would have been a nice touch.
You could mod the rotor yourself if you are handy but I don't know if this adjustment does really make sense, even on the gen.

 

https://i.imgur.com/tkMeutF.pngThe strap & buckle :

https://i.imgur.com/G9qjHV4b.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/5CUR1fgb.jpg


One thing that got me interested into this rep when I saw the ad in M2M was the rubber strap.
I know this colour won't be to everyone tastes, but I like red, I like pink, I like violet, why the last two colours ? Because depending on the lighting this strap can appear in different shades, including those two.

You may be wondering how a rubber strap can be fitted on such an expensive timepiece, rather than leather or even carbon ?
First of all, on the gen, it's not any kind of rubber, we are not talking about silicone nor elastic bands.
This "luxury" rubber is a product called Karlrez (FFKM) and is made to withstand all the chemicals and to maintain its integrity up to 327°C (620.6 °F).
Beside this chemical and heat resistance, its also UV resistant, which is important because it's the number 1 enemy of rubber : the sun.

All this seems like marketing claims, but just to give you an idea on how serious this material is, it's made by the DuPont conglomerate, also responsible for the creation of : Kapton, Kevlar, Nylon, Neoprene, Teflon or Corian.

Of course, I can't determine if the rep rubber strap is made of the same material (probably not !) but what I can tell you is that this rubber strap is the most comfortable strap I have. The flexibility yet resistance is absolutely fantastic.
I had other rubber straps and they are nothing common with that one !
If you were not sure yet that you were wearing a Richard Mille piece, the strap & clasp should convince you, being remembered 3 times on them, on the inside of the strap, on one of the keepers and on the clasp.
Among the tiny details, the first keeper is secured in place with tiny rubber tabs, if you were to remove the second one but still wanted to keep the same number of Richard Mille appearance, you could easily switch them.
The shape of the strap is following the side of the case and hug it closely, making it look like the clasp and the case were fused together, it's a subtle but very nice design thought.

A word about changing the strap, it's supposed to be secured by the two top or bottom screws, I have yet to try to change it, but if it weren't for this method, then you would have to unscrew the whole case back. I'll update this review with the correct information when I switch straps.
A special screwdriver is required, you can find them on aliexpress or dhgate, or you can build one yourself with a tiny metal pipe and a file.

The clasp is also following this design and have the same profile. Very easy and securing, the clasp is a double deployant spring loaded, which make it easy to remove when you want, but secure on your wrist, yet allowing some play if your wrist were to swallow a bit under the scorching sun.
The inside of the clasp is marked with the word Titanium, no idea if it is, but given the weight, I think it could be true, all the attention to details that was put into this rep make it believable that titanium (which is not that expensive on lower grades) was used.

 

https://i.imgur.com/tkMeutF.png My overall impression & Some beauty shots :

First thing first, I know this type of watch and even the brand isn't to everyone taste ! But life would be quite boring if everyone were to like the same things, the spice comes from when you can relate with someone else on a common taste.
This watch is big, flashy, not in the regular watchmaking codes. Celebrities are the main wearers (for a price reason also !) so that make it hard to be able to pull it off if you in that sort of mentality.
Fortunately I'm not and I don't care about having a big, flashy watch, in the end it's fun. And fun is exactly what this watch is. With the carbon look, skeleton dial, red accents and unusual shape, this is a conversation starter like not many else.

Quality-wise, it's very well-made, well put together and you don't have the feeling of wearing a plastic watch, it feels solid !
KVF are responsible for a lot of the recent high quality (and high price tag) RM reps and this reputation, as far as this rep goes, is well justified !

To finish and just for fun, I've counted : 6 is the amount of time you'll find the name Richard Mille on this watch, but I guess it goes with the guy

Thanks for reading !

gHXYh1Ib.jpg IpNszssb.jpg I7JJO1Vb.jpg EvMdtlnb.jpg V2QKvRKb.jpg dJlVZ8mb.jpg k61Peabb.jpg 2K2Xm2Ib.jpg cR0kebub.jpg 5XCW6e2b.jpg  frEVZzvb.jpg tRC8FMab.jpg hgwksSqb.jpg WIJeWEhb.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/tkMeutF.png The informative links :

Comparison of Ball-and-Racquet Impact ~orce Between Two Tennis Backhand Stroke Techniques

Tennis Racket Vibrations and Shock Transmission to the Wrist during Forehand Drive

And the usual round of tags :
@bdnica, @HeavyKrush, @Logixa, @Foxindebox, @RussP, @deju, @paccbet, @GC, @MAJ75@BenjaminButton, @Mr Stubbs, @tabuktime, @Luxuracer, @Junior88, @GenTLe, @VMSG, @Tits McGee, @omegex, @GingerBlubba, @Sukkies

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Logixa

another excellent review mr. croissant! Just a shame i dont like RM... or Hublot...

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Junior88

I agree. Another stellar review my bagel-like friend!

But sadly, I also am not a fan of RM. 

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Glaude
29 minutes ago, Logixa said:

another excellent review mr. croissant! Just a shame i dont like RM... or Hublot...

Thanks, fucker. That's fine, I know this isn't to everyone liking !

3 minutes ago, Junior88 said:

I agree. Another stellar review my bagel-like friend!

But sadly, I also am not a fan of RM. 

Thanks my furry friend ! 

I was prepared to have less positive feedback on the watch itself, but at least, with that review, you have every bit of info to be sure you like or don't like the watch ;) 

Now, go buy that IWC, come on, go ! :D 

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TheGingerFerret

I'm so annoyed I let you buy this!!! Especially for the price you paid!!  Daylight robbery. Think of me if you fancy M2Ming it. Or maybe swapsies for a couple of months with my RM when you get bored of it?

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VMSG

I'm not a fan of RM, but i'm a fan of your reviews! great review mate!

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Glaude
Just now, GingerBlubba said:

I'm so annoyed I let you buy this!!! Especially for the price you paid!!  Daylight robbery. Think of me if you fancy M2Ming it. Or maybe swapsies for a couple of months with my RM when you get bored of it?

You can't say that this didn't sit in M2M long enough for anyone to buy it before me ! And the price I got was thanks to @peroperox nice gesture in the acceptance of my low-ball offer ! 

Post a nice pic of your RM, so that I might consider a temporary exchange in the future, maybe... 

1 minute ago, VMSG said:

I'm not a fan of RM, but i'm a fan of your reviews! great review mate!

Thanks ;) 

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TheGingerFerret
12 minutes ago, Glaude said:

Post a nice pic of your RM, so that I might consider a temporary exchange in the future, maybe... 

I don't really do nice photos, but here it is. A lot more stealth than yours. A swap is a great idea! Not now, when you're less enamored by it - next year or something.

xbI9f.jpg
xbcTp.jpg

 

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Glaude
1 minute ago, GingerBlubba said:

I don't really do nice photos, but here it is. A lot more stealth than yours. A swap is a great idea! Not now, when you're less enamored by it - next year or something.

https://picr.me/i/2018/11/06/xbI9f.jpg
https://picr.me/i/2018/11/06/xbcTp.jpg

:thumbsup:

That can definitely happen ! What model is yours ?

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TheGingerFerret
52 minutes ago, Glaude said:

:thumbsup:

That can definitely happen ! What model is yours ?

It's a Bubba Watson one. It's a boutique special or something. I think it's the RM 055-22. Definitely 55.

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McGilli
2 hours ago, Glaude said:

I know this colour won't be to everyone tastes, but I like red, I like pink, I like violet, why the last two colours ?

OMG - I thought this was it!!!!!

I read that - and I said to myself "This is it - Glaude is going to tell us a fantastical story about how these colours impacted his life in some profound way when he was growing up... How when he was in a stroller, at the park, and his parents walked away to talk to someone familiar, and a strange woman came up to him, knelt down - and her lipstick - was identical to the colour of this strap - and she told him something that he would never forget and that came true later in life - before his parents ran back chasing the lady off telling little Glaude not to listen to anything the lady said as she was crazy.

PS - she told you she was your father.

And we got:

2 hours ago, Glaude said:

Because depending on the lighting this strap can appear in different shades

O well - Like I always say - I'm my biggest fan!

---

These are the only watches I actually don't appreciate from a looks perspective - but I was fascinated to learn about the fake movement on it. That was worth the read for me!

Will you ever actually wear this watch over your others? This isn't your usual style....

 

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Glaude
26 minutes ago, McGilli said:

OMG - I thought this was it!!!!!

---

These are the only watches I actually don't appreciate from a looks perspective - but I was fascinated to learn about the fake movement on it. That was worth the read for me!

Will you ever actually wear this watch over your others? This isn't your usual style....

 

And sorry to disappoint you, I have no memory of my past... all erased by the amount of info needed for those reviews :lol: 

I actually wear this watch more often than others, there's really something about them, you have to see them for real to understand it ! 

Thank you for your comment and for taking care of the twisted mind part of the reviews ! ;) 

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McGilli
39 minutes ago, Glaude said:

And sorry to disappoint you, I have no memory of my past... all erased by the amount of info needed for those reviews :lol: 

I actually wear this watch more often than others, there's really something about them, you have to see them for real to understand it ! 

Thank you for your comment and for taking care of the twisted mind part of the reviews ! ;) 

No problem. In the future - you just send a me a photo of the watch you are reviewing - and I will send you a paragraph with the 'real' history of that watch for inclusing into your review.

But trust me - I totally understand if you don't want that! :)

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_DC_

Really superb review mate, as always. Not bad for a cheese eating surrender monkey :dingleberry-nemesis:!!

Unlike others in this thread I love RM (as you well know). Hoping for more improvements and new releases in the time only RM segment, and the accompanying Frenchie review to go with them!!

Ignore the haters!

DC

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Glaude
24 minutes ago, _DC_ said:

Really superb review mate, as always. Not bad for a cheese eating surrender monkey :dingleberry-nemesis:!!

Unlike others in this thread I love RM (as you well know). Hoping for more improvements and new releases in the time only RM segment, and the accompanying Frenchie review to go with them!!

Thank you very much mate ! I knew you would appreciate that review, even from a :dingleberry-nemesis: :whiteflag: :Monkey: ... :D 

25 minutes ago, _DC_ said:

Ignore the haters!

DC

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "hater gonna hate gif"

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omegex

Thanks for  a great review Glaude.  As the saying goes, one man's meat is another man's poison and I'm in the latter category.

The hour and minute hands seem to be lost in the movement somewhere whilst  the seconds hand only stands out due to its red tip. Certainly a watch I would pass by.

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TheGingerFerret
3 minutes ago, omegex said:

The hour and minute hands seem to be lost in the movement somewhere whilst  the seconds hand only stands out due to its red tip. Certainly a watch I would pass by.

You don't buy it to tell the time! Sheesh!!!

You buy it to tell people you're a squillionnaire!!!

Obvs! :facepalm:

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omegex
3 minutes ago, GingerBlubba said:

You buy it to tell people you're a squillionnaire!!!

 

Oh I see. Given the scruff order I dress in, I might get away with that :D

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Glaude
43 minutes ago, omegex said:

Thanks for  a great review Glaude.  As the saying goes, one man's meat is another man's poison and I'm in the latter category.

The hour and minute hands seem to be lost in the movement somewhere whilst  the seconds hand only stands out due to its red tip. Certainly a watch I would pass by.

The do look lost in the pictures, but you can easily see them in reality, they pop out of the dial, but it's certainly not the watch for everyone !

Thank you for your comment ! ;) 

39 minutes ago, GingerBlubba said:

You don't buy it to tell the time! Sheesh!!!

You buy it to tell people you're a squillionnaire!!!

Obvs! :facepalm:

I'm a squirtllionaire !

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Luxuracer

I would never guess you would own a Richard Miller ... BUT here you are ... with another wonderful review.

FUCK!

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HeavyKrush

Jesus G, another great review mate??? You have a job right? Being in Vegas right this very minute and just poked my head into the Richard Mille boutique last night, I'd say this is a stunner buddy. Good work.

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Glaude
1 hour ago, Luxuracer said:

I would never guess you would own a Richard Miller ... BUT here you are ... with another wonderful review.

FUCK!

:rofl: Richard Miller, isn't that the beer guy or something like that ? 

I do like THIS Richard Mille, I don't like all of them, and there's some I absolutely hate !

Thanks for the kind words, Luluracer ;)  

14 minutes ago, HeavyKrush said:

Jesus G, another great review mate??? You have a job right? Being in Vegas right this very minute and just poked my head into the Richard Mille boutique last night, I'd say this is a stunner buddy. Good work.

And two more to go, of DHGate purchase though, but some good ones !
Thank you very much for the comment, did they have this model in the RM boutique ?

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judas9r
18 hours ago, Glaude said:

https://i.imgur.com/TbdLHMN.png

 

Richard Mille is probably latest big brand in the game, conceptualised in 1999 but created only in 2001 by, you guessed it, Richard Mille but with the help of Dominique Guenat owner of the Montre Valgine,a watch brands created in 1900.
Before being a watch creator, Richard Mille was working at the French luxury jeweller Mauboussin, a disagreement on the commercial take of this jeweller and Richard Mille lead him to quit this job. Mauboussin being a very classic and fashion oriented watch sellers, it's easy to speculate that this classic approach could have been the pinnacle of the disharmony.
It's funny to see that Richard Mille teamed up with Montre Valgine, also a very classical and formulaic watch maker.
Richard Mille took care of being strongly backed up by having the support of Audemars Piguet when conceptualising the brand.
Despite being a very modern brand, Richard Mille is perpetuating a long tradition called établissage, that consist of having pieces of watches made by small very specialised manufacturers and assembling them in house. Richard Mille owns those manufacturers but it still considered as établissage.
The brand is very active, with 54 different models (without counting the colour & material variations) for only 17 years of existence, that's around 3 watches a year with only 140 employes (in all division, including non watchmakers).
Strongly influenced by the automotive market and the latest industrial trends, one could say all Richard Mille look the same but that would be a gross misunderstanding, go have a look on their website, you could be surprised by some of their very elegant timepieces.
But the one that interest us today is the :
 

KVF Richard Mille RM35-02 v2

2ReQTFVl.jpg

 As usual, the pictures are reduced & cropped to fit the template of the review, I strongly encourage you to click on them to enjoy the full resolution & details.

https://i.imgur.com/tkMeutF.pngTechnical datasheet from the TD & truth about each one :
If no observation in bold then the information from the seller is either true or unverifiable. Italic bold texts are added informations about the rep.

Case: Titanium PVD Coated and Forged carbon front & back
Band: Red rubber strap
Movement: Miyota 8215 21600 bph
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Case width: 43mm | 44.4mm
Case lenght: 50mm | 50.1mm
Overall thickness : 16mm | 16.6mm
Crystal: Sapphire Crystal | Checked with diamond tester = positive Sapphire crystal
Strap size : 25mm-27mm | 90mm-117mm (short & long side)
Weight : 99.4gr (case + strap & clasp)

 

https://i.imgur.com/tkMeutF.pngAbout the watch :

https://i.imgur.com/dXvI5fwb.jpg

The rep

https://i.imgur.com/uH4iEhBb.jpg

The gen


Also known by its full name RM35-02 RAFA, this watch is part of the Rafael Nadal collection. Beside being a big fan of his own name (you'll see that Richard Mille is written literally on every part of the watch) he's also a fan of sponsoring (spending around 60 million € per year) and like to provide celebrities with their own watches.

Rafael Nadal is one of the best fitted celebrity with 7 models to his name.
The core of the RAFA series is to be able to withstand hard conditions, if you look closely at some of the Rafael Nadal tennis match, you'll often see that he's wearing a Richard Mille.

Without going into a lot of details and numbers, you could guess and I confirm, after reading up on the subject (I'll link two interesting scientific studies on the subject) that there are a lot of vibrations and shocks on the wrist when playing tennis, especially at this level. We are talking of someone capable of sending a 217 km/h ball (135 mph). I'll let you imagine the g-force that the watch is withstanding.
According to the marketing material, this RM35-02 is said to be able to withstand around 5000G (previous RM35-01 was rated for "only" 88G).

The second feature required for such a use is obviously the weight, the gen is around 60 gr (which was a VERY hard information to find !). The use of Titanium and Carbon for not only the case but the mechanism is allowing this series to have a very high weight to resistance ratio.

The RM35-02 is the first Nadal watch to be an automatic and exist in two finishes the full forged carbon and the forged carbon-quartz version, they will run you a mere 145 000 €

 

https://i.imgur.com/tkMeutF.pngThe case :

https://i.imgur.com/GIzZeYDb.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/k10GzD9b.jpg


While I wait for Thommo to deliver the spectrometer (he said a little delay was to expect, I'm confident). There's something that I can guess by looking at the macro shots.
The gen is made of Titanium on the sides (the base material of the whole case) coated by PVD in black and the bezel and back case are made from a material called forged carbon.

What the hell is forged carbon ?
If you don't know how Carbon fibre parts are made, this need a short explanation : carbon fibre parts are made by sticking layers of carbon fibre sheets and impregnate them with a resin, the strength comes from the alignment of the fibre in the sheets.
Forged carbon is made by shredding regular woven carbon into very tiny fibres, mixing them with a resin and press them into the desired shape. This process was developed by Lamborghini to circumvent the limitation in terms of shapes, from the regular carbon fibre fabrication process.
The genuine is made from a specially developed type of forged carbon called NTPT, requiring a very complex manufacturing process to prevent it from being too fragile (regular forged carbon is more fragile and less resistant than traditional carbon fibre)

Judging by the macro shots, it seems that the top and bottom are indeed forged carbon, you can see some pressing defect and shipping from the finishing. Since making forged carbon is cheaper than carbon fibre, we could only assume this was greatly appreciated by our Chinese factory supreme leaders.

https://i.imgur.com/9hQohSab.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/4U4uG8ib.jpg


The genuine case is 44.5mm wide, 49.94mm tall and 13.05mm thick (measurements excluding the crown). The rep is 44.4mm wide, 50.1mm tall and 16.6mm thick.
Pretty spot on work from the factory except for the thickness but this is due to a clever little trick used to hide the movement and make it look like the genuine movement, more on that later.
I doubt anyone would be able to spot the thickness difference of the case, so for me, it's a win !

The case is what's called a Tonneau shape (didn't forget you @semperfi55;) ) in the vein of Franck Muller and other rectangular watches.
This grants the watch a thinner profile than what the dimension could suggest, and as @_DC_ will confirm, they wear a lot thinner than you would expect !

The bezel and back case are secured by 8 screws in the classical Richard Mille shape (as you can see on the dots before the title of this section). The 4 remaining screws (different shapes) are used to secure the strap.
Besides the lovely forged carbon pattern of the bezel, there's surprisingly nothing else going on the front of the case.
The back is emblazoned by the first but not the last occurrence of the Richard Mille name, along side with a Swiss made text and an obscure logo, which after a complicated research, turned out to be the Montre Valgine old logo (you can find it on their dial, it's the V letter weirdly shaped).
I couldn't find the meaning of the circled D letter (maybe a hint that they gave you the D with their price ?)
@6 the engravings are the watch model, the material type code and the serial number.
@3 is the water resistant 50m text, but I wouldn't put that to the test.

cFcdICpb.jpg 3ATsJUDb.jpg shdy3S0b.jpg ws0IXu1b.jpg


The crown is sitting a bit further out in comparison to the gen, but I've only noticed it when writing this review, so it shouldn't bother anyone.
To go with the overall red look, the crown is encapsulated into a red rubber ring (removable if needed and interchangeable with other colours available on Aliexpress).
This rubber ring make the operating of the crown very pleasing on the fingers. The front of the crown is showing the same screw design and have a "rugged" look to it, almost like it's made from forged carbon too, very nicely done.

The crystal on the front is a positive match for sapphire, no scratch to be feared. TDs website states that the crystal is coated with anti reflective film, if that's true, it must be the weakest coating possible, a nice improvement on this rep would be a 2x AR treatment, especially on this type of dial.
The crystal on the back is a regular mineral glass.

 

https://i.imgur.com/tkMeutF.pngThe dial :

https://i.imgur.com/fPMKWoFb.jpg
Rep dial

https://i.imgur.com/IACzQ32b.jpg
Gen dial


Don't let the lighting and angle difference fool you on those gen vs rep pics, there's absolutely no difference on the top of the dial.
The factory used a clever technique to circumvent the nudity of this highly skeletonised dial, they sandwiched the movement in two fake plates. But not any fake plates, everything is "real" on them, gears, springs, jewels they are just non-functional.
You have to stare at the dial to see that they are not working alongside the advancement of the hands, so at a distance, it's impossible to tell.

Jumping to the eyes the Richard Mille (again) text @12 and the RM35-02 RAFA box @9 are in a bright yellow colour.
Amongst the various details of the dials the Richard Mille name managed to appear once more on one of the skeletonised fake bridges. A star (makers mark for the movement manufacturer Vaucher), jewel count and serial number complete the tiny details printed on the bridges.
In the bottom, printed on the angled chapter ring lye the notorious Swiss made text, in bright yellow too.
The chapter ring is indicating the minutes with a simple red line, giving depth to a dial that wasn't really lacking it.
Lume spots are representing the hour marks along with 4 white, a bit larger, white lines at 1, 5, 7 and 11, the four corners.

This three-hander sports two very large hands for the minutes and hours, the hours one is shorter and beefier, with an hour glass/arrow-shaped lume at the tip, in concordance with the minute hand.
The second hand is shaped like a bow arrow with a red tip hollowed out to leave room for a tiny rectangle of luming compound.

Don't get too excited by the lume (looking at you @McGilli) because it's very weak, as you'll see on the shot below, the first one from the left is the closest to what a freshly exposed lume dot look like in real life. The other shots are the result of some photography shenanigans

GS75UzSb.jpg Cow3u18b.jpg 4wbl3Olb.jpg nhFPUHtb.jpg

Back to the hands, the second is polished very nicely, the minute and hour have two types of finishing. The first one is the same polished look as the second hand but the other one is a quite exquisite brushed finish that give the hands a depth impression by the contrast with the polished sides.
These hands are skeletonised for you to admire the movement and as an added benefit, to spend more time looking for the position and tell the time... bad eyesight, don't buy this model !

  

https://i.imgur.com/tkMeutF.pngThe movement :

https://i.imgur.com/NSZhfplb.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/Izi373Hb.jpg


The RMAL1 movement in the genuine version is where the real toughness of this watch comes from, it's that part of the watch which need to endure the shock, accelerations and vibrations.
Build in grade 5 Titanium RM then sand blasted to ensure proper adhesion of the PVD after being electro oxidised by a Titalyt treatment (increase the hardness of the titanium).
With its 32 jewels, the heart of the watch beats at 28800 bph and is an impressively thin 3.15mm.
Being a double barrel movement, the power reserve is around 55 hours.

The rep doesn't have the same characteristics, of course, I'm unable to confirm whether the bridges and fake baseplate are in titanium but they are PVD coated.
Cleverly sandwiched between the fake plate, the Miyota 8215 is beating at 21600 bph with 21 jewels and is 5.67mm thick, not very big but still far from the gen, that probably explain why the rep is thicker in general. Along with the fake plate, it was probably impossible to keep a good appearance without gaining a little gut !

This is a reliable movement, found in a wide variety of gen like Citizen, Festina, Invicta and many of our beloved rep.
Known to be subject to stuttering is the hand is either too long or too heavy, I didn't notice it on this rep.
The power reserve of this Miyota is around 42 hours.

The genuine movement and the rep winds unidirectionly anticlockwise, so don't worry if somebody inspect the back of your watch ...

Unfortunately for us, the rep doesn't allow the same level of adjustability as the gen rotor.
On the gen depending on your wrist activity (if you know what I mean...) you can have it adjusted (come on you won't do it yourself on a 145 000 € watch !).
This could have been easily replicated since it only requires two screws and a rotor made in three parts rather than just one like it actually is.
Assembly would have been longer and required more attention, but this would have been a nice touch.
You could mod the rotor yourself if you are handy but I don't know if this adjustment does really make sense, even on the gen.

 

https://i.imgur.com/tkMeutF.pngThe strap & buckle :

https://i.imgur.com/G9qjHV4b.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/5CUR1fgb.jpg


One thing that got me interested into this rep when I saw the ad in M2M was the rubber strap.
I know this colour won't be to everyone tastes, but I like red, I like pink, I like violet, why the last two colours ? Because depending on the lighting this strap can appear in different shades, including those two.

You may be wondering how a rubber strap can be fitted on such an expensive timepiece, rather than leather or even carbon ?
First of all, on the gen, it's not any kind of rubber, we are not talking about silicone nor elastic bands.
This "luxury" rubber is a product called Karlrez (FFKM) and is made to withstand all the chemicals and to maintain its integrity up to 327°C (620.6 °F).
Beside this chemical and heat resistance, its also UV resistant, which is important because it's the number 1 enemy of rubber : the sun.

All this seems like marketing claims, but just to give you an idea on how serious this material is, it's made by the DuPont conglomerate, also responsible for the creation of : Kapton, Kevlar, Nylon, Neoprene, Teflon or Corian.

Of course, I can't determine if the rep rubber strap is made of the same material (probably not !) but what I can tell you is that this rubber strap is the most comfortable strap I have. The flexibility yet resistance is absolutely fantastic.
I had other rubber straps and they are nothing common with that one !
If you were not sure yet that you were wearing a Richard Mille piece, the strap & clasp should convince you, being remembered 3 times on them, on the inside of the strap, on one of the keepers and on the clasp.
Among the tiny details, the first keeper is secured in place with tiny rubber tabs, if you were to remove the second one but still wanted to keep the same number of Richard Mille appearance, you could easily switch them.
The shape of the strap is following the side of the case and hug it closely, making it look like the clasp and the case were fused together, it's a subtle but very nice design thought.

A word about changing the strap, it's supposed to be secured by the two top or bottom screws, I have yet to try to change it, but if it weren't for this method, then you would have to unscrew the whole case back. I'll update this review with the correct information when I switch straps.
A special screwdriver is required, you can find them on aliexpress or dhgate, or you can build one yourself with a tiny metal pipe and a file.

The clasp is also following this design and have the same profile. Very easy and securing, the clasp is a double deployant spring loaded, which make it easy to remove when you want, but secure on your wrist, yet allowing some play if your wrist were to swallow a bit under the scorching sun.
The inside of the clasp is marked with the word Titanium, no idea if it is, but given the weight, I think it could be true, all the attention to details that was put into this rep make it believable that titanium (which is not that expensive on lower grades) was used.

 

https://i.imgur.com/tkMeutF.png My overall impression & Some beauty shots :

First thing first, I know this type of watch and even the brand isn't to everyone taste ! But life would be quite boring if everyone were to like the same things, the spice comes from when you can relate with someone else on a common taste.
This watch is big, flashy, not in the regular watchmaking codes. Celebrities are the main wearers (for a price reason also !) so that make it hard to be able to pull it off if you in that sort of mentality.
Fortunately I'm not and I don't care about having a big, flashy watch, in the end it's fun. And fun is exactly what this watch is. With the carbon look, skeleton dial, red accents and unusual shape, this is a conversation starter like not many else.

Quality-wise, it's very well-made, well put together and you don't have the feeling of wearing a plastic watch, it feels solid !
KVF are responsible for a lot of the recent high quality (and high price tag) RM reps and this reputation, as far as this rep goes, is well justified !

To finish and just for fun, I've counted : 6 is the amount of time you'll find the name Richard Mille on this watch, but I guess it goes with the guy

Thanks for reading !

gHXYh1Ib.jpg IpNszssb.jpg I7JJO1Vb.jpg EvMdtlnb.jpg V2QKvRKb.jpg dJlVZ8mb.jpg k61Peabb.jpg 2K2Xm2Ib.jpg cR0kebub.jpg 5XCW6e2b.jpg  frEVZzvb.jpg tRC8FMab.jpg hgwksSqb.jpg WIJeWEhb.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/tkMeutF.png The informative links :

Comparison of Ball-and-Racquet Impact ~orce Between Two Tennis Backhand Stroke Techniques

Tennis Racket Vibrations and Shock Transmission to the Wrist during Forehand Drive

And the usual round of tags :
@bdnica, @HeavyKrush, @Logixa, @Foxindebox, @RussP, @deju, @paccbet, @GC, @MAJ75@BenjaminButton, @Mr Stubbs, @tabuktime, @Luxuracer, @Junior88, @GenTLe, @VMSG, @Tits McGee, @omegex, @GingerBlubba, @Sukkies

Thanks, great compair and contrast review. It is a watch that facinates me but probably a little out there for my tastes, once i get hands on, I know im going to want one tho. But maybe not one with such obvious sponsorship branding. (He says looking at his Spectre)

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Glaude
4 hours ago, judas9r said:

Thanks, great compair and contrast review. It is a watch that facinates me but probably a little out there for my tastes, once i get hands on, I know im going to want one tho. But maybe not one with such obvious sponsorship branding. (He says looking at his Spectre)

Thanks man, but be careful next time when you quote, it's best no to do it for such a long message including pics etc... ;) 

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GC

I will admit, the watch is not my favorite... having said that, the review is NEXT LEVEL! 

I applaude you sir for setting the bar! Your photog is superb, truly showcasing the timepiece. 

Bravo!

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