RICHARD MILLE

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Jewels -

Richard Mille cer­tainly knows a thing or two about sidling up to the ladies. For the past cou­ple of years, he has ac­tively courted the af­fec­tions of fe­male watch con­nois­seurs with a bevy of ded­i­cated women’s mod­els that aren’t just fem­i­nised ver­sions of men’s watches. And it’s clear that Mille doesn’t like to play it safe, ei­ther. Like his men’s pieces, his women’s mod­els are not for the faint of heart, as ex­em­pli­fied by the spi­der mo­tif in the RM 19-01 Tourbillon – Natalie Port­man or the RM 51-01 Tourbillon Tiger and Dragon – Michelle Yeoh. They’re fierce and strong, just like their wear­ers, and they make no apolo­gies for be­ing so.

This year’s RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur with its bright pink magnolia blos­som on the dial might have you think­ing that Mille has gone soft, but that couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth. The open­ing and clos­ing of the flower petals make it a sublime work of ki­netic art that is ev­ery bit as en­tranc­ing to watch as an At­ten­bor­ough documentary.

Not many watch­mak­ers bother to cre­ate unique or high com­pli­ca­tions for women, let alone en­gi­neer an au­tom­a­ton mech­a­nism, but with the Tourbillon Fleur, Mille checks both boxes. The choice of the magnolia blos­som isn’t ran­dom as well. Mag­no­lias are known to be a hardy species that can with­stand se­vere cli­mates. It’s a sub­tle tip of the hat to fe­male fans who are ev­ery bit as in­domitable as the watch they wear.

The en­tire chore­og­ra­phy of the fly­ing tourbillon mech­a­nism is as pre­cise and con­trolled as a Bol­shoi Bal­let pro­duc­tion. With only 30 pieces made, and the Au­tumn/Win­ter ’15 run­ways rife with op­u­lent flo­ral prints (ev­ery­one from Anna Sui to Dries Van Noten to Gi­ambat­tista Valli showed some vari­a­tion of this theme), we think the Tourbillon Fleur will be highly sought af­ter, its mil­lion-dol­lar price tag (USD1.09 mil­lion for the di­a­mond-set model) notwith­stand­ing.

The petals of the RM 19- 02 Tourbillon Fleur watch open once ev­ery

five min­utes, un­less ac­ti­vated on de­mand

The Richard Mille ex­hi­bi­tion at the 2015 ‘ Watches and Won­ders’

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