Richard Mille’s watches are not for everyone. They appeal to the timepiece aficionado who aspires for the best, regardless of price. The waiting list for them spans continents and kings, powerful businessmen and watch connoisseurs.
Richard has always modelled his approach to watch design after the way an engineer designs a Formula One car. He’s an uncompromising designer with a passion to transform watches into new directions. Indeed, his collections have changed the way people think about watches.
“My objective is to create a watch that is rigidly constructed using the strongest and lightest materials, performs reliably under extreme circumstances and is able to withstand all kinds of vibrations and shocks,” Richard has said. “The more you look into the details of our timepieces, the more you are addicted to them.”
The level of technology Richard employs in his sophisticated watch designs required thousands of hours to develop. Everything is genuine, with all components manufactured to precise standards in Jura, Switzerland.
In 2019, Richard Mille has bitten into a juicy new realm of graphic, emotional and chromatic expression. The Bonbon Collection comprises 10 models, each produced in an edition of 30 pieces. Together, they articulate a sweet and tangy new vision of watchmaking.
Composed of candies, pastries and fruit, these 10 horological treats once again subvert existing conventions, habits and expectations. Drawing on avowed expertise in the area of materials, colour and form, Richard Mille has taken the lid off a candy jar to reveal two kinds of confections for the wrist. Based on three of the brand’s iconic models, the RM 07-03, RM 16-01 and RM 37-01 offer a passage back to childhood with the simple pleasure of slightly regressive and thoroughly tasty memories.
“The idea was to revisit the existing collections while playing with colour. This allowed me to bring out a pop-inspired sense of fun. In all, we developed a palette of 60 colours for this unisex collection,’ explains Cécile Guenat, Artistic Director.
Daring and colour feature prominently among the highly unusual novelties Richard Mille unveiled at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva earlier this year. The 10 models display a total of 60 zingingly bright and pop colours across the six Carbon TPT ® and Quartz TPT ® cases (including the world premiere of a new turquoise hue), the tiny candies that adorn the Fruit line, and the four two-tone ceramic cases as well as the decoration gracing the Sweets line.
Despite its disruptive appearance, the collection is descended from earlier Richard Mille creations. Take colour – the brand is continuously expanding its range. Forays into the spectrum of greens, crimson, yellow and even pink are possible thanks to a mastery of materials, many of them exclusive.
The brand’s understanding of how tinted ceramics behave, expertise in layering materials like Carbon TPT ® and Quartz TPT ® and constant improvements to the setting of coloured gemstones are all ingredients in these confectionary recipes, which are singularly imaginative, playful, distinctive and appetising.
Lastly, a finely honed eye for detail makes these 10 models stunning, graphic compositions that offer a wealth of shades and textures in every component of the watch. The crowns and some of the casebands, for instance, take the shape of a particular treat, such as a cupcake or gelato. In short, it was a master stroke on Cécile’s part to bring a playful and rebellious spirit of childhood into the world of haute horlogerie.
“Bonbon – just saying the word is enough to make you smile,” she says. “It manages to convey a combination of pleasure, good cheer and sharing all at once. This collection is disruptive, elegant, daring and playful. In a word: creative!”
The Fruit line is a homage to the very concept of sweet temptation in six delectable flavours: Lemon and Strawberry (RM 16-01), Blueberry and Litchi (RM 07-03), Kiwi and Cherry (RM 37-01). In addition to colour-gradient cases made of Carbon TPT® combined with Quartz TPT ® of a different hue for each model is an all-new turquoise colour. To further enhance the 3,000 miniature sculptures are painted in acrylics and lacquered by hand. A ‘sugar coating’ effect was achieved using powdered enamel and the fine sand employed in hourglasses.
The Sweets collection comprises four models, all with two-tone ceramic cases that set off their grand feu enamel or black-chromed titanium confections. The RM 07-03 Cupcake, RM 07-03 Marshmallow, RM 37-01 Sucette (Lollipop) and RM 16-01 Réglisse (Liquorice) are colourful and delectable, evoking a whole spectrum of flavours. Better yet, the textures you expect to encounter upon biting into these sweets are manifest as a feast for the eyes.