Richard Mille’s Wildly Colorful $163,000 Ceramic Watches Are the Perfect Accent to Summer
Warning: The RM 07-01 Automatic Colored Ceramic timepieces are not for wallflowers.
A standout feature of three new RM 07-01 Colored Ceramic editions of Richard Mille is its fearless use of color. The former is one of the hallmarks of the brand's tonneau cases, openworked movements, and bold use of color. Pastel Blue, Pastel Pink, and Pastel Lavender are each rendered with a unique combination of colors. Pastel Blue is light blue with turquoise accents, while Pastel Pink is purple and blue.
Even though the RM 07-01 is considered a ladies' watch, its thickness and length are sufficient for any wrist, although the three-part case measures 31.40 x 45.23 x 11.85 mm. As Richard Mille claims, the Technicolor models are made of tetragonal zirconia polycrystal, a material that is scratch resistant to 1,400 Vickers, stronger than sapphire. To create the complex forms of the bezel, a long and tedious process of machining and grinding is required using diamond tools. A microblasted white gold caseband is adorned with hand polished pillars, while a microblasted grade 5 titanium base plate and bridges complete the watch.
Traditional and modern techniques are used to make the dial. The dial starts with a rhodium-plated red gold center that's finished with a guilloché motif that's "part botanical, part sunburst, part Art Deco." The unusual pattern gives this old-world craft a modern twist, since it's the first time Richard Mille has applied it to a watch dial. With colorful straps that match the case elements in cerulean-lilac, coral-tangerine, or olive-aqua, the case is surrounded by microblasted ceramic inserts and geometrically patterned rubber appliqués.
A free-sprung balance, with the automatic caliber CRMA2, ensures greater reliability when the watch is subjected to shocks, which results in better timekeeping, according to Mille. Ceramic ball bearings guide the rotor, which optimizes the winding system. It has a power reserve of 50 hours. A limited number of 50 pieces are available in each color, and it is priced at $163,000 per piece.