Richard Mille’s Colourful Ceramic Watches
Warning: The RM 07-01 Automatic Coloured Ceramic timepieces are not for wallflowers.
Richard Mille is known for its complex tonneau cases, openworked movements and above all, its fearless use of colour. 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 colours: 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 technicolour 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 centre 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 centre is surrounded by microblasted ceramic inserts and geometrically patterned rubber appliqués in various interesting configurations and colours. The straps are bi-coloured, matching elements of the case: in cerulean-lilac, coral-tangerine or olive-aqua.
It contains the automatic calibre CRMA2, with a free-sprung balance, which Mille says guarantees greater reliability when subjected to shocks, resulting in better timekeeping. The rotor moves on ceramic ball bearings, which optimize the winding system. It has a 50-hour power reserve. The RM 07-01 Automatic Colored Ceramic is limited to 50 pieces in each colour, and priced at approx. $220,000.