Three new iterations embody the technical characteristics and savoir faire that have forged the reputation of the Richard Mille RM 07-01 ladies’ collection.
A hallmark of the Richard Mille universe, the RM 07-01 women’s collection of automatic timepieces now boasts a trio of new references that are perfect specimens of haute horlogerie encompassing cutting-edge material, dazzling diamonds and precious gold.
Giving pride of place to Carbon TPT are two models: the RM 07-01 Automatic Starry Night and RM 07-01 Automatic open-link bracelet in red gold and Carbon TPT. While the material has been incorporated in Richard Mille watch cases since its introduction in 2013, it wasn’t until 2019 when an RM 07-01 ladies watch was presented with a Carbon TPT case and bracelet – the latter being a first for the manufacture as well as the watch industry. Taking 13 months to conceptualise and design, the bracelet, comprising an incredible 200 components and weighing just 29g, has since been reserved exclusively for the women’s collection.
Distinguished by an alluring damascene pattern and moiré sheen, the Carbon TPT bracelet makes another appearance on the scintillating RM 07-01 Automatic Starry Night. Its case, made from the same lightweight yet robust high-performance material, provides the perfect canvas for a prong setting on the bezel and dial gracefully accentuated with diamonds.
The Starry Night’s mesmerising setting is where Richard Mille demonstrates its mastery in machining the highly technical material. Unlike gold, which is softer and easily manipulated by craftsmen with tools, Carbon TPT’s extreme hardness and resistance require specialist CNC machines equipped with diamond bits to drill tiny pits into it. Hand-polished 5N red gold prongs are then embedded in these miniscule cavities of varying diameters, destined to hold one of the 181 diamonds scattered on the dial and bezel to evoke a shimmering night sky.
Offering a new take on the open-link bracelet with a decidedly feminine twist and unmistakable Richard Mille aesthetic is the next RM 07-01 Automatic reference. Dressed in hand-finished links of artfully interwoven Carbon TPT and 5N red gold, the voluptuous bracelet’s combination of matte and highly polished finishes lends the model its undeniable ultra- modern, sensuous look. The bi-coloured theme continues through the watch with a bezel and caseback in Carbon TPT and a red gold caseband.
Combined with gleaming precious white gold, the beauty of round diamonds makes for a dazzling winter display on the third new launch – the red-carpet worthy RM 07-01 Snow Set model. Reminiscent of the twinkle of snowflakes in the sun’s rays, the lavish snow setting has an extra flourish of originality in a seemingly haphazard arrangement of stones. The opulent creation highlights the complex jewellery-making technique with a full snow-set white gold variant that flaunts an enthralling blanket of pavé diamonds on its bezel and dial. Adding to the mesmerising glitter are the gem-set caseband pillars and open-link chain bracelet.
The main challenge of snow setting on the RM 07-01 lies in the selection and arrangement of diamonds, which range from just 0.5mm to 1.6mm in diameter. Working with the watch’s signature volume and sensuous curves, the expert gem-setter masterfully places diamonds of varying sizes close together over the entire surface of the precious metal. Akin to a jigsaw puzzle, the stones – each held by slender prongs – must fit perfectly to a micron’s precision, while maintaining the illusion of a random yet dynamic pattern. Just as each diamond is unique, the snow-set pattern on every watch is one of a kind.
All three 31.4mm by 45.66mm models are powered by the in-house Calibre CRMA2, a skeletonised automatic movement boasting a power reserve of 50 hours.
This story first appeared on Prestige Online – Singapore