Category: Perfect Wrist
It is more than a decade since multiple grand slam winner Rafa Nadal and watchmaker Richard Mille created their first watch together Richard Mille RM 35-03 Automatic Rafael Nadal Watch.
“From the beginning, I fell in love with this brand and the people who represent
it,” recalls Mr Nadal. “We both strive for excellence in our respective fields. Richard has been very successful, but he has remained a humble, relaxed and approachable person.”
For Mr Mille, the feeling is mutual. “Rafa and I are linked for life. We are together, rain or shine. It’s more than just watchmaking: it’s life,” he expresses.
The latest watch from the Richard Mille and his Spanish tennis god friend is the Richard Mille RM 35-03 Automatic Rafael Nadal Watch , which has a new new winding mechanism named the butterfly rotor, which can be activated and stopped by the person wearing the watch.
Effectively, the semi-circular titanium and heavy metal rotor is split down the middle. When the two halves are joined, the rotor swings in the usual way, powering up the main spring of the RMAL1 calibre as it moves.
Press a pusher and the rotor splits into the butterfly shape, which neutralizes the weights of the two halves so that they cancel each other out and don’t have the kinetic force to wind the spring.
This prevents the main spring being over-wound, particularly during the sort of pummeling watches endure when worn on court by Mr Nadal, which is why the neutral setting is known as the sports mode.
“The two weights that snap open to halt the winding of the ‘motor’ really bring out the
sporty aspect of this watch,” says Salvador Arbona, movement technical director at Richard Mille.
There are two versions of the 43.15mm x 49.95mm Richard Mille RM 35-03 Automatic Rafael Nadal Watch , one in white quartz TPT and carbon TPT with a case band in carbon TPT, the other in blue quartz with the case band in white.
A luxury watch brand reputed for their creativity and technological prowess is U-Boat. Their Italian craftsmanship is influenced primarily by founder Italo Fontana who seeks to shape and evolve their current collections into something new and unique. On trend is the new U-Boat Capsoil Doppio Tempo watch collection, a duo of designs which combines the DNA of a 1930’s watch with one of the brand’s best-selling modern-day models.
The U-Boat Doppiotempo was originally launched back in 1938 for the Italian army’s parachute assault regiment, the Col Moschin. Since then, it’s dual time function – which suitably translates to “Doppiotempo” in Italian – has remained a constant in the brand’s collections offering essential tools for even the most intrepid endeavour, military or otherwise. On the other end of the spectrum is the U-Boat Capsoil, an inevitably modern watch first seen in 2019 with a mechanism and dial completely immersed in an oil bath. This ground-breaking concept not only effortlessly lubricates the movement but provides an unmissable dial layout with ink-black colouring, a three-dimensional finish and a wandering compensation bubble. Today, these elements of past and present unite for the U-Boat Capsoil Doppio Tempo.
The case of the new U-Boat Capsoil Doppio Tempo watches are distinctively Capsoil in their construction, neglecting the chunky bezels and large left-hand crowns of their other designs and opting for a slim, almost invisible bezel, slender down-turned lugs and two subtle crowns. The cases measure to 45mm in diameter and are available in two colourways, the first in stainless steel (reference 8769) and the second in satin-finished black DLC (reference 8770). Both are equipped with high quality domed sapphire crystal glass and a black vulcanized rubber strap embossed with the U-Boat logo and secured by a pin buckle finished in its corresponding case material.
The two crowns placed at the left hand position are used to control the timekeeping functions laid out on the dial. The first crown allows you to set the time and date while the second is for adjusting the dual-time function and the rotating internal bezel for keeping track of a second time zone. Lastly, like all Capsoil models, the U-Boat Capsoil Doppio Tempo watches are safely assured a 100 metre water resistant rating helped by an innovative locking system on the case back. This also allows for quick battery replacement in spite of the oil-immersed interior.
The Lucca-based watch manufacturer’s Oil Immersion concept meets the Doppiotempo complication on the dial of each U-Boat Capsoil Doppio Tempo watch. It is here that the oil filling the case creates an absolute black finish at the centre, promising an even more intense black than any ordinary dial. The movement of the oil on your wrist extends its three dimensional finish further while giving a strange illusion of the absence of glass. Floating around the dial is also a compensation bubble which distorts the functions as it counteracts temperature variations.
The intense blackness of the dial also provides the U-Boat Capsoil Doppio Tempo watches with incredible legibility contrasting powerfully to the beige-coloured hands, indexes and internal bezel scale. The hands and indexes are also helped by Superluminova coating. Splashes of bright red also ensure effortless readability of the second time zone hand and the lettering at 6 o’clock which explains the watch’s operation between 0 and 60 degrees Celsius.
Also immersed in a bath of oil is the U-Boat Capsoil Doppio Tempo’s movement. Swiss made and personalised to U-Boats specifications, it is an electro-mechanical calibre responsible for powering the hours, minutes and second time zone complications on the dial.
This year at Baselworld, Patek Philippe 7130G is releasing a new version of the ladies’ world time wristwatch, reference 7130G. You may be familiar with the Patek Philippe 7130G that is currently in production with a brown guilloché dial and diamond-set bezel. The 7130G you see here is, well, the exact same watch but in a new, beautiful bright color.
The dial of the new Patek Philippe 7130G is a peacock-blue, with a guilloché center, a bi-colored center ring with 24-hour indication, and a sunburst outer chapter ring with 24 international cities. The white gold case measures a solid 36mm and the bezel is set with 62 diamonds.
The watch runs on the automatic caliber 240 HU, which is used in most of Patek Philippe’s worldtimers, including the men’s reference 5130 and reference 5110, and is complete with a nice micro-rotor and a 48-hour power reserve (all visible through a sapphire display caseback, of course). To complete the look, the 7130G has a matching peacock blue alligator strap.
There is no single watch brand which has become more a token of exclusivity than Richard Mille. Over the 20 or so years that the brand has been in existence, it has achieved many technical milestones – its tourbillon watches are worn, to take just one recent example, by a modestly successful tennis pro named Rafael Nadal, under circumstances which would not only be hazardous, but actually destructive, to pretty much any other tourbillon I can think of (they are, as a rule, quite delicate contraptions, but it has been the peculiar genius of Richard Mille to overturn expectations, with the tourbillon as with many other things). However, these technical accomplishments can sometimes be hard to see behind the powerful spell cast by the undeniably enormous cost of the watches. A great deal of the narrative around Richard Mille watches has to do with the fact that they are affordable to a vanishingly small percentage of watch lovers – a percentage, in fact, to whom the very term “affordable” is essentially irrelevant. A major function of the watches is, in fact, to signal membership in a socioeconomically highly specific demographic (to deploy a euphemism for “super-rich”) and Richard Mille has been canny enough, over the years, to retain key aspects of his Formula 1 and aerospace-inspired designs, which have made them, and which continue to make them, instantly recognizable (and, it must be said, occasionally slavishly and unimaginatively imitated).
Creation of his watches has, in fact, followed a model similar to that of the Formula 1 cars that have influenced both Richard Mille’s design and materials choices – the idea is to make mechanisms with little to no regard for costs-per-unit, which are highly limited in number. (Despite the deliberate anti-classicism of the designs, this is very much a traditional luxury model: It takes as long as it takes, and it costs whatever it costs.) As with F1, you don’t necessarily have to make every component “in-house” either – just as, historically, F1 teams have sourced power plants from specialist suppliers, so Richard Mille has sourced movements from partners with the manufacturing capacities to meet the required performance and aesthetic standards. Generally, RM’s suppliers have been Manufacture Vaucher and Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi, and this strategy has been enormously successful for RM – the movements, after all, are generally the centerpiece of its watches, and are an essential aspect of their aesthetics.
As a rule, RM has avoided falling into what can be the trap of thinking that making everything in-house is an essential element of success, but at the same time, there is indisputable prestige associated with having an in-house movement in a brand’s portfolio. This year, RM has produced its first in-house caliber, the CRMC-1. This is a flyback chronograph with a new type of double tilting-pinion clutch system, and it is debuting in the RM 72-01 “Lifestyle” Chronograph.
The RM 72-01 is being billed by RM as a unisex watch (although, I have noticed that actual watch enthusiasts, irrespective of gender, tend to wear whatever the hell they like; an obsession with gender-specific product categories in fine watchmaking seems more and more a dinosaur every day), and it will at launch be available in four different case materials: titanium, 18k red gold, or black and white ceramic.
In a lot of respects, this is classic Richard Mille in terms of design; there is his signature tonneau-shaped case, with its prominent bezel screws with their five-spline design, which ensures a visual symmetry not possible with slotted screws. The design also distributes torque evenly (more or less) over the entire diameter of the screw, rather than onto the narrow edges of a conventional screwdriver slot. (They, in fact, seem rather bolt-like in this respect, although the basic difference between a bolt and a screw is that the former is used, along with a nut, to connect two unthreaded components, while screws engage with threads in the components themselves). The case is 38.40 x 47.34 x 11.68 mm; the latter figure for thickness at first does not seem to jibe with the visual impression you get from the watch in photographs, but I think the sense of greater thickness may be more in part from the aesthetics of the case, with the prominent overhang of the bezel and caseback, and the very substantial crown and chronograph pushers, than from actual thickness. Certainly, RM does not seem to be indulging in any sort of shenanigans like not including the thickness of the crystal, which lies flush with the curved upper surface of the case.
The elaborate case construction is one of the most distinctive aspects of Richard Mille watches, and although the degree to which the case is successfully integrated with the movement has varied over the years in RM designs, nonetheless, it remains a core element of the appeal of the designs. The integration of case and movement is both aesthetic and mechanical; as each movement is essentially custom-constructed for the case, there’s no need for the spacers and movement rings so common in (much) less expensive watchmaking, and although the RM 72-01 doesn’t have quite the engineering of, say, the new RM 27-04, with its elaborate cable suspension system, it still has its movement mounted on the elastomeric shock blocks, which are the interface between case and movement in so many RM watches (and, of course, it’s about a fifth the cost of the RM 27-04 as well). For a watch that projects such a technical persona, water resistance seems a bit low at 30 meters, but for general use, that figure is more than adequate (and par for the course for many luxury chronographs as well).
Today, MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO (Short for Maximilian Büsser & Friends) is releasing a new take on its most complicated watch – the L MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO . Well, more like a new color and case material, but it’s still cool as ever. The watch takes everything we have come to recognize from past MB&F designs and melds it with a longstanding tradition of mechanical watchmaking.
In doing so, it continues in a now decade-long tradition of positioning the Legacy collection as the most true to classic watchmaking. The EVO (short for evolution) sub-collection takes the concept and makes it a bit (okay, a lot) sportier.
The first MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO was released almost exactly one year ago. That first watch was – to the naked eye – virtually identical to this one with the same 44mm case. Where the two iterations diverge are in dial color and case material. The 2020 variation was fashioned from zirconium while this piece is made from titanium (MB&F is making it clear they don’t want to use steel here). There were three dial colors for the zirconium release, including what the brand calls “atomic orange.” The new titanium model’s dial comes in one color, and one color only – 2021 green.
If only to add absurdity to the mix of high and low, this astoundingly complex timepiece is connected to an integrated rubber strap. The watch has no bezel, and the domed sapphire crystal is fused into the case itself. This means that the glass covers the entire top-most portion of the watch. It has no frame. This is in an effort to improve the viewing experience of the dial below (and also a great excuse to be able to use the word fusion … and mean it).
This is high watchmaking hiding in plain sight as a sports watch. As such, MB&F have seen fit to give this a screw-down crown, and 80m of water resistance as a result. Furthermore, the brand has implemented a new shock system called the “FlexRing” designed to protect the – wait for it – 581 (I can’t capitalize numbers for emphasis) different components.
While press releases can be a bit over the top at times, I do appreciate a good line now and again. Here, MB&F delivers a great one in saying, “The MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO is not a watch for sports. It is a watch for life.”
In all, we are looking at a facsimile of an existing watch. Just imagine you had different color paper in the printer. James did a nice write up of the first MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO here.
I have really come to appreciate MB&F’s position in the watch world. Are the designs necessarily something I would buy? At this point in my watch journey, not likely. I just don’t know if I have confident enough wrists (or a big enough checkbook). But learning and writing about the brand has given me a great appreciation for what it does. There’s a lot of sameness out there, folks, and for the most part, Büser and friends are constantly looking at ways to be anything but the same. This is the same brand that makes watches that look like a frog, for crying out loud. It’s actually astounding that the design diversity includes pieces as traditional as this new MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO .
The watch strikes a chord for me because it brings many recognizable design traits from the brand, including that hovering balance wheel, and manages to fill the large 44mm dial with four subdials and a window into the movement underneath. Having not seen this in the metal, it’s hard to say just how big this wears, but I certainly give it a pass on the size just due to the sheer amount of information packed into this dial. Also 44mm feels right for a watch trying to be as sporty as this watch is.
This new piece is sure to be light in the hand despite its heavy looks due to the use of titanium in the case construction. In addition, it feels only right that MB&F has chosen to create this watch with a green dial. It is 2021 after all. I for one look forward to the day when I can see this one in person. The watch comes in about $10k more than last year’s release, with a listed price of $176,000. Word to the wise: The zirconium models sold out within hours last year, so I suggest you act fast.
You’ve got to hand it to MB&F, as well: This is as much a show in watch design as it is in movement technology. According to the brand, the LM Perpetual utilizes what it calls a mechanical processor made up of a series of superimposed disks. As MB&F explains it, “This revolutionary processor takes the default number of days in the month at 28 – because, logically, all months have at least 28 days – and then adds the extra days as required by each individual month.” Watchmaking is just so cool, isn’t it?
True to the brand’s reputation for extravagant showmanship, Jacob & Co. launches the world’s first decimal minute repeater in a transparent sapphire crystal case. It’s not the first minute repeater in a transparent sapphire crystal case; that distinction goes to Speake-Marin’s Légèrete, a one-off piece produced in 2019. However, the Jacob and Co Twin Turbo Furious Sapphire Crystal is the first minute repeater in a sapphire crystal case produced in series, and not just any sapphire crystal case, mind you, but a complex case from the Twin Turbo Furious collection housing twin triple-axis tourbillons and a monopusher chronograph. Again, not just any minute repeater but a decimal minute repeater, a rara avis among chiming complications. Three timepieces from the Twin Turbo Furious collection, in limited editions of six pieces, including a “Bugatti Blue” model, provide a compelling view of the complex machinery propelling the complications.
As a master of extreme watchmaking, Jacob Arabo is not daunted by ‘impossibles’. The more, the merrier seems to be the underlying philosophy at Jacob & Co., where the wildest combination of complications and the most insanely shaped cases come to life. The Twin Turbo Furious, with its staggering melange of complications, is not a new product. It was released during Baselworld 2018 in a black DLC titanium and carbon fibre case and featured: an hour and minutes dial at noon with small seconds indicator at 9 o’clock; a monopusher chronograph with minutes counter at 3 o’clock and central seconds hand; reference time inspired by racing pit boards; a decimal minute repeater that chimes on the hour, every 10 minutes and minutes; twin triple-axis high-speed tourbillon; and a power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock.
The next step was to take that smorgasbord of complications and house them in a transparent sapphire crystal case. Inspired by supercars and high-performance automobiles, the streamlined case of the Twin Turbo Furious widens and rises at the base to accommodate the 3D spectacle of the twin tourbillons. It features a slider on the left side to activate the decimal repeater and a crank on the crown to adjust the complications.
The complex sapphire crystal case of the Twin Turbo Furious posed an enormous challenge. The unique five-sided 57mm x 52mm case of a ‘regular’ Twin Turbo Furious has 88 components; this sapphire version has 89. Developing the case in sapphire crystal took 15 months to design, produce and perfect and involved growing the sapphire crystal from aluminium oxide, then shaping the case through a combination of high-tech numeric machinery and traditional hand polishing. Machining the different geometric planes and angles of the case, including the signature twin bezel, were complicated tasks, but so was hand-polishing the crystal to achieve its transparency. The only part of the case that isn’t made of the sapphire crystal is the 18k white (or rose) gold crank at 3 o’clock that winds and sets the complications. The three watches are differentiated by the coloured chapter ring made of Neoralithe, a material produced from resin and developed in Switzerland. With a choice of red, green or blue, the material is resistant to UV light, thermal and physical shocks. The Jacob and Co Twin Turbo Furious Sapphire Crystal watch has a ‘Bugatti Blue’ Neoralithe chapter ring and features the company’s logo on the front.
Getting an exotic decimal minute repeater inside a sapphire crystal case – a world first – is another complex task, and compromises in the watch’s design were made to allow for the gongs and hammers, all the while ensuring the high-quality sound. A decimal minute repeater chimes the time in a more intuitive way than traditional minute repeaters. Rather than chiming hours, quarters and minutes, it chimes the hours, ten-minute intervals after the full last hour and then the minutes. A crystal lever on the left side of the case activates the crystal-clear sound of the decimal repeater’s cathedral gongs. The hammers of the decimal minute repeater can be seen at 12 o’clock.
The twin tourbillons regulating the time display and chronograph spin through space in a succession of lightning-fast yet controlled movements. Depending on two regulating organs, the ultra-lightweight cages rotate at 24, 48 and 180 seconds along three axes of rotation. Each triple-axis tourbillon is made of 104 components and weighs only 1.15 grams.
Again, easy solutions are not a hallmark of Jacob and Co Twin Turbo Furious Sapphire Crystalwatches. The chronograph, as you would expect, is of the monopusher variety and fitted with a traditional column wheel and horizontal clutch. However, the stopwatch mechanism incorporates an original reference time indicator in minutes and seconds that can be set at the crown. The pit board feature, inspired by timekeeping panels used in motor racing events, is an easy way to compare two elapsed times. Elapsed seconds that are greater than the reference time are in the red portion (+) of the pit board, while seconds times that are lower are in the yellow and green section (-). An opening in the dial just above the twin tourbillons indicates a reference time in minutes and seconds that can be set via the crown (up to 5 minutes and 59 seconds). The pit board wheel then displays the difference in seconds compared to the reference time when timing an event.
So that you don’t miss any of the action inside this staggering timepiece, the dial is made of dark grey sapphire crystal, partially revealing some of the 832 components of the manual-winding engine. The hours and minutes are indicated by two-tone skeletonised hands driven by gears connected to the twin triple-axis tourbillons. The indices corresponding to the central seconds hand are applied to the peripheral track of the dial picked out in either green, blue or red Neoralithe and treated with Super-Luminova, like the hour and minute hand.
The manual-winding movement – calibre JCFM05 – is exposed from all sides of the case and worthy of admiration. Running at 21,600vph, the movement can generate up to 50 hours of power reserve. With 832 components, 75 jewels and Haute Horlogerie finishings – hand-angled and polished plates and bridges, circular graining and polished screws – the integrated chronograph movement is equipped with a patented double mechanical safety feature that is activated during chiming.
The Graham Fortress is a chronograph equipped with a monopusher set within the crown. By placing the monopusher/crown on the left flank of the case, the watch breaks with convention. However, here is much sense in taking this unusual approach to chronograph design.
What’s in a name? The Fortress upholds Graham’s fondness for aviation-themed product names. Perhaps its moniker doffs its hat to the Flying Fortress of the 1930s? Alternatively, the word ‘fortress’ may evoke thoughts of military strongholds or castles and, by default, elicit images of strong, castellated buildings and impregnable structures. All of these associations are consistent with the tough nature of this new Graham model.
To really understand the watch brand from La Chaux-de-Fonds, a person has to think like Graham, i don’t subscribe to convention or accept mediocrity; be #bold and #brave. If a sign says ‘keep off the grass’, put on a pair of big boots and do a jig on the turf. If other brands choose to place push-pieces on the righthand side of the case, then break the rules and go for a leftfield approach.
Indeed, as you look at the new Fortress from Graham you will note a monopusher located on the left flank of the case. This lone pusher, positioned in the top of the crown, starts, stops and resets the chronograph. It’s a #one-stop shop for all of your stopwatch needs. By combining it with the crown it endows the case with a clean, uncluttered profile.
But a leftfield design can also be eminently logical. A pusher on the left side of the case proves more #intuitive to use. When using a chronograph, the wearer observes the start of an event, actuates the stopwatch function and, thereafter, at the end of the event, halts the timer. The potential problem is the human factor, namely the time gap between seeing an event and pressing the push-piece. The shorter the gap between observation andpressing the pusher, the more validity the recorded elapsed time has. The thumb is the fastest actingdigit, hence with thisdesign, a right-handedperson will instinctively place their plumpest digit on the push-piece and press it with lightning-bolt alacrity.
Another key benefit of positioning the combined crown and monopusher on the left is superior wearer comfort. Often when a watch is worn and the wearer flexes their wrist, the protrusions on the right flank of the case gouge the wrist, chafe the skin or inhibit free movement. The Fortress’s leftfield approach causes no such problems.
The blue sunray dial and the black grained dial feature #bold, luminescent hour and minutes which collaborate with ample, applied Arabic numerals, imparting meaning. The dial has two circular brushed counters, a small seconds display at 3 o’clock and a 30-minute chronograph register at 6 o’clock. A date display is located adjacent the monopusher/crown. Housed in a 47mm stainless steel case, the generous proportions of the watch confer impressive wrist presence, while the exhibition caseback affords sight of the Fortress’s Swiss automatic movement.
This rebellious firm doesn’t subscribe to slick marketing, it chooses to focus on making excellent watches, rich in character. Indeed, the Graham Fortress Ltd is a serious watch from a company who still knows how to have #fun.
The silence has been eerie these last two years on the outskirts of Le Mans. Anyone familiar with the world’s most iconic historic racing event will know that every second July, the whole town vibrates to the sound of scorched tarmac in the distance. The legendary race, Le Mans Classic will return not only in 2022, but exceptionally the next year too, in 2023, to mark the centenary of the very first race on the Le Mans 24 Hours circuit.
Usually, 700 historic racing cars take to the legendary Bugatti circuit together with 8,500 others in the club areas. The event is more than likely to top next year the record of 135,000 spectators it last saw in 2018. Richard Mille has been a partner ever since its inception in 2002 and has created the 8th model dedicated specifically to this event, a limited edition of 150 timepieces, the RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic. Aficionados will instantly recognize the timeless green and white color combination of one of the world’s greatest historic racing event.
The RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic, with total case dimensions of 40.10 x 48.15 x 13.10 mm, has a caseband milled from a solid block of white Quartz TPT, offset by front and back bezels in green Quartz TPT. The front bezel sports the characteristic double Le Mans stripes. These have been created from separate pieces of white Quartz TPT that has been inlaid into the green Quartz TPT bezel at 12 and 6 o’clock – a first for the brand. The vibrancy of this classic color combination is perfectly accentuated by a sporty white vented strap in rubber, guaranteeing excellent long-term comfort.
The skeletonised grade 5 titanium calibre RMAS7 movement with its oversize date window at 4 o’clock and a unique variable geometry rotor system driving double winding barrels forms the heart of the new RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic. A dedicated and finely detailed 24-hour counter at 2 o’clock pays fitting homage not only to the event itself but also to the hundreds of automobiles and drivers who relay over the 24 hours, starting at 4pm (indicated by a blue arrow).
Day or night, this limited edition gets fans and drivers alike back where they belong – out on the circuit, crossing the legendary Le Mans black and white chequered flag in perfect time.
Each of the three models in the new RM 07-01 Coloured Ceramics collection, set apart by brand new ceramic case colour and graphic dial elements, is limited to an edition of 50 timepieces.
The RM 07-01 Pastel Blue, RM 07-01 Pastel Pink and RM 07-01 Pastel Lavender are shots of sheer summer delight, housed in cases of ceramic and animated by the automatic CRMA2 in-house movement. The segmented central dial plates are assembled from inserts of ceramic, geometrically patterned rubber and — a first for Richard Mille hand-crafted guillochage.
The rhodium-plated red-gold dial element at the center of each RM 07-01 is a segment of a larger pattern, a motif that is part botanical with six lobbed, part sunburst, part Art Deco and all Richard Mille. Surrounding the guilloché dial segment and reinforcing the theme of modernity blended with tradition, are geometrically shaped elements of ceramic and rubber, in perfect complement with the ceramic case and bi-colour rubber straps.
There are three colour variations within the collection — TZP pink ceramic with cerulean-lilac rubber strap, TZP lavender ceramic with coral-tangerine rubber strap, and TZP blue ceramic with olive-aqua rubber strap.
Together with the bright energy of the bi-colour rubber straps and the hand-finished sheen of the gold guilloché dial, the ceramic cases of the new RM 07-01 make for three of the most enjoyable Richard Mille watches.
Richard Mille is known for its complex tonneau cases, openworked movements and above all, its fearless use of color. The latter is the standout feature of three new RM 07-01 Colored Ceramic editions. Each of the three editions is rendered in a unique combination of colors: the Pastel Blue combines light blue with turquoise accents; the Pastel Pink mixes purple and blue highlights; and the Pastel Lavender comes with red and orange elements.
The three-part case is a wearable 31.40 x 45.23 x 11.85 mm, and although the RM 07-01 is known as a ladies’ watch, the thickness and length are substantial enough for any wrist. The technicolor models are made of a pure ceramic called tetragonal zirconia polycrystal, which contains 95% zirconia. Richard Mille says the material is scratch resistant to 1,400 vickers, tougher than sapphire. A long and difficult machining and grinding process using diamond tools is required to create the complex forms of the bezel. The caseband is crafted in micro-blasted white gold with hand-polished pillars, while the base plate and bridges are made of micro-blasted grade 5 titanium
The dial is made using a combination of traditional and modern techniques. It starts with a rhodium-plated red gold center that is finished in a guilloché motif that the company describes as “part botanical, part sunburst and part Art Deco.” This is the first time Richard Mille, a rigorously contemporary brand, has applied guilloché to a watch dial, but the unusual pattern gives this old-world craft a modern kick. The center is surrounded by microblasted ceramic inserts and geometrically patterned rubber appliqués in various interesting configurations and colors. The straps are bi-colored, matching elements of the case: in cerulean-lilac, coral-tangerine or olive-aqua.