Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Out of this World! The Richard Mille Planetarium Tellurium

I'm proud to be one of the first to unveil the Richard Mille Planetarium Tellurium. A massive achievement in horology with an entirely new mechanical interpretation of a centuries old tradition - Depicting the universe as clockwork. Created by the revolutionary independent watch brand, Richard Mille (with obvious watch case design) and developed by mastermind Stephen Forsey and Robert Greubel of CompliTime and an exclusive look into his original drawings for the Planetary Tellurium below the photos...

Text by Theodore Diehl for Richard Mille (For the complete story, visit Horomundi-->LINK)

"Despite its enormous complexity, the Richard Mille Planetarium- Tellurium is designed to be: - easy to understand - easy and practical in use - precise and reliable This means that for the first time, an object of this type will be able to be operated by someone who is not a specialist.


First of all, the diameter of the earth has for practical and aesthetic reasons been notably enlarged in the Planetarium-Tellurium (in reality, the earth is 109 times smaller than the sun) allowing a good view of the continents and indeed of countries. All the planets can be seen perfectly, although these, as explained above, are not to scale regarding size and distance. The indications (date, equation of time, zodiac) are represented in an easily readable and consistent way, and on a separate area from the layout depicting the rotation of the planets.

Indications, front panel


Astronomic representations (R) and indications (I)
  1. - Rotation of the earth on its axis (R)
  2. - Rotation of the earth around the sun (R)
  3. - Obliquity of the earth (R)
  4. - Rotation of the moon on its axis (R)
  5. - Rotation of the moon around the earth (R)
  6. - Phases of the moon (I)
  7. - Equation of time (I)
  8. - Mercury (R)
  9. - Venus (R)
  10. - Sun (R)
  • Rotation of the earth on its axis (R) One rotation on its axis in 24 hours. Error: +1° in 7.7 years
  • Rotation of the earth around the sun (R) One rotation in 1 year. Error: -1° in 2 million years. This rotation is used as the basis for indicating the seasons, the equinoxes, solstices and zodiac signs, represented in their respective windows.
  • Obliquity of the earth (R) Exact rotation, the tilt of the earth’s axis between the two poles: 23.5°. This tilt towards the sun provides a perfect understanding of the phenomenon of the seasons.
  • Rotation of the moon on its axis and rotation of the moon around the earth (R) The calculation of the rotation is based on a synodic month of 29.53058912 days (time interval between two new moons). Error : +1° in 168 years.
  • Phases of the moon (I) The phases of the moon are represented on the moon itself with a surrounding ring that represents the area visible from the earth.
  • Equation of time (I) The equation of time is represented by a hand and a dial divided into sectors on the front part of the planetarium. The hand represents in + or – the minutes that must be added or subtracted from the mean time in order to obtain the true solar time.
  • Solar time. Associated with the equation of time, it represents the true time in relation to the sun. This indication is connected to the planetary mechanism and is on the dial.
  • Mercury (R) Representation of Mercury performing a rotation around the sun in 87.9 days. Mercury does not rotate around its axis.
  • Venus (R) Representation of Venus performing a rotation around the sun in 224.7 days. Venus does not rotate around its axis.
  • Sun (R) Static representation of the sun in the centre of the Planetarium Tellurium.
  • Time indications - Hour - Minute - Time zones - Date (Perpetual calendar) - Day (Perpetual calendar) - Month (Perpetual calendar) - Year, decade (Perpetual calendar) - Leap year - Power reserve - Seasons, equinoxes, solstices, Zodiac signs
MATERIALS USED Titanium, steel, brass, gold, silver, red corundum

Another unique aspect of the Richard Mille Planetarium-Tellurium is the addition of a perpetual calendar to the astronomic representations in combination with a détente chronometer escapement. The addition of a highly accurate going train and winding barrel of the planetarium to this escapement make this the most accurate clockwork Planetarium Tellurium of its kind.

The clock will be unveiled at the September 2007 Tempus - Temple of Time in Singapore.

A one of a kind creation, the price? Well into seven figures.

More information at Horomundi here-->Link
Richard Mille website-->Link

View of the interior without the Sun in position.
Titanium bridges/plates

Planetarium Terrurium Drawings
by Stephen Forsey of (Greubel Forsey)

The latest Richard Mille RM011 Chronograph
Photos by Mike Disher of TimeZone

Highlights of other Planetary devices, clocks and watches include the 18th century Planetarium clock below by Jean-Andre Lepaute of France.

Table Clock with Planetarium circa 1770
Collection of the Beyer Museum

Our solar system has even been reduced to a mechanical wristwatch with this recent Christiaan van der Klaauw "Planetarium." Previously featured here-->Link

Other phenomenal wrist galaxies like the 1985 Ulysse Nardin's Planetarium Copernicus and more recent, the Trilogy Set including the Astrolabe.

Boy, if I didn't feel small in this Universe, I sure do now!

Lastly, learn about the very first mechanical astronomical device nearly 2000 years old, the ancient Greek Antikythera Celestial Calculator-->Link

Related Posts;
Other Astronomical Timepieces-->Link
All Clock Posts-->Link
Complication Timepieces-->Link
Richard Mille-->Link
$2,000,000 Hatching Astronomic Clock by Vacheron Constantin --> Link

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