Contact [email protected] for pricing and availability; Either I have it, or I can get it! Richard Mille vs. Patek Philippe is the luxury watch battle on today’s Versus! Watch buyers and watch collectors are in for a thrill as we compare two of the top watch brands in Swiss high horology. Both of these premier sports watches are automatic annual calendar flyback chronographs, so the feature content is sky high. Richard Mille’s legendary RM011-FM Felipe Massa brings a neo-tonneau case and Formula One sensibility while Patek Philippe’s 5960 is a Geneva aristocrat with functions to match the RM011-FM and form to please the tastes of veteran watch buyers.
The Richard Mille RM011-FM “Felipe Massa” bowed in 2007 as a mass-production solution to Richard Mille’s early volume struggles. Despite its near-entry-level status among RM complications, the RM011 quickly ascended to flagship status for the watchmaker that touts its “racing machines for the wrist.”
With Richard Mille’s signature tonneau case and transparent sapphire dial, the RM011 looks the part of a brand-definine watch. Its white gold facing places and grade five titanium mid-case fit more comfortably than expected on a small wrist. The curved caseback, supple strap, and compact 50mm lug-to-lug dimensions render this Richard Mille chronograph more compatible than expected with small wrists.
A sapphire dial carries chronograph registers, annual calendar display, and the hours of the day. The carbon composite chapter ring bears the luminescent hour indices and the tachymeter scale. Beneath the dial sits Richard Mille’s automatic caliber RMAC1. The movement is comprised of a Vaucher base caliber with a 50-hour power reserve, and the flyback chronograph – annual calendar module is provided by modular complication specialist Duboz Depraz.
The titanium bridges and plates, black PVD finish, and skeletonized structure are customized for Richard Mille. A variable-inertia winding mass can be set to tailor winding vigor to the activity level of the owner. A free-sprung balance and four rubber shock absorbers protect the Richard Mille RMAC1 from shock on the wrist.
Patek Philippe launched its first steel 5960 in 2014; the black dial 5960/1A-010 was launched at Baselworld 2017 and discontinued before Baselworld 2018. Given that only 20% of Patek Philippe watches are built in steel, most of those are Aquanaut, Nautilus, and ladies Twenty4, plus the fact that 5960/1A production was split between two dials… you get a sense that this Patek Philippe complicated chronograph is destined to become an investment.
Each 5960/1A features a sinuous stainless steel case and a supple five-link stainless steel bracelet to match. The matte black dial of the -010 variant of the 5960/1A offers a more forceful wrist presence than its white dial 5960/1A-001 running mate. The larger indices, seconds track, and meaty hands of the steel 5960 better balance the visually dominant monocounter at six o’clock. The annual calendar display and power reserve indicator sit at the top of the dial; a chronograph hours counter, 60-minute counter, and AM/PM indicator sit at the bottom of the dial.
Patek Philippe’s caliber CH 28-528 IRM QA 24H offers the integrated construction and manufacture pedigree that the RMAC1 lacks. The movement matches the Richard Mille’s flyback chronograph function, annual calendar, and automatic winding, but the Patek Philippe in-house movement pulls ahead on refinement and features.
With three apertures for the day, date, and month, this movement makes the Patek calendar more intuitive to read. A power reserve indicator makes it easier for watch collectors to monitor the watch lest the calendar stop, and a traditional column wheel function selector is paired with a modern vertical clutch for a functionally superior answer to the Richard Mille. A Spiromax silicon hairspring guards against magnetism and a free sprung Gyromax balance allows the Patek Philippe caliber to be regulated in six positions and guaranteed to -3/+2 seconds per day.
Patek Philippe’s Geneva finish is superior to the dour industrial aesthetic of the RM011. Each 5960/1A features a caliber blazon with cotes de Geneve, micro-perlage engine turning, mirrored black polished screw heads, and mirrored anglage bridge beveling.
Get ready to cheer for your favorite titan of time; Richard Mille vs Patek Philippe on Versus starts now!