Time to Shine

The RM 71-01 Au­to­matic Tour­bil­lon Tal­is­man takes Richard Mille’s women’s col­lec­tion to new heights

Philippine Tatler - - CONTENTS -

Richard Mille’s new­est time­piece, the RM 71-01 Au­to­matic Tour­bil­lon Tal­is­man, caters to a fe­male’s so­phis­ti­cated in­cli­na­tions

Arm cAndy The RM 71-01 Au­to­matic Tour­bil­lon Tal­is­man comes in 10 vari­ants, some in white gold (top left) and oth­ers in red gold (top right). Each vari­ant comes in just five pieces

Famed for its in­no­va­tive de­signs, Richard Mille has con­tin­u­ously proven that its time­pieces re­main of in­ter­est to both loyal and new clients. The watches have been likened to For­mula 1 cars on many oc­ca­sions, not only due to the use of sim­i­lar ma­te­ri­als but for tech­ni­cal so­phis­ti­ca­tion as well. Like a For­mula 1 car, a Richard Mille watch is not easy to come by as each design is pro­duced in limited num­bers.

De­spite the ob­vi­ous ap­peal to a mas­cu­line mar­ket, the brand ac­knowl­edges that a con­sid­er­able num­ber of their sales have come from women’s time­pieces. Richard Mille’s com­mit­ment to its fe­male clien­tele is ev­i­dent through high-per­form­ing time­pieces with ex­quis­ite de­signs. This aptly de­scribes the lat­est ad­di­tion to the women’s col­lec­tion—the RM 71-01 Au­to­matic Tour­bil­lon Tal­is­man.

The wo­man be­hind this model is Cé­cile Gue­nat, now Richard Mille’s Ladies’ Col­lec­tion Di­rec­tor, who was brought on­board to in­ject new life into the women’s col­lec­tion three years ago. With an in­ten­sive back­ground in jew­ellery design (a four-year tech­ni­cal ap­pren­tice­ship for a jew­eller in Lau­sanne, fol­lowed by a de­gree from the Geneva School of Art and Design [HEAD], and work experience with a jew­ellery de­signer in Lon­don), Gue­nat found the chal­lenge too in­trigu­ing.

She took in­spi­ra­tion from Art Deco and tribal influences for the RM 71-01’s design. “The con­trasts, ge­om­e­try, and sa­cred char­ac­ter of th­ese ob­jects fas­ci­nate me all the more be­cause they pre­fig­ured today’s design through the fusion of con­tent and form,” she says. Th­ese in­spi­ra­tions evoke a sense of mys­tique, of mag­i­cal pro­tec­tion, defin­ing the name the time­piece is given: tal­is­man. But what truly excited Gue­nat was the brand’s very first au­to­matic in-house tour­bil­lon.

The RM 71-01 launches the brand’s au­to­matic tour­bil­lon cal­i­bre, the Cal­i­bre CRMT1. De­vel­oped in-house, the skele­tonised and bar­rel-shaped cal­i­bre is mostly made of ti­ta­nium, is 6.2 mil­lime­tres thick, and weighs only eight grams. It also boasts a vari­able­ge­om­e­try ro­tor at its core, mak­ing it os­cil­late ac­cord­ing to its wearer’s move­ment. This can be ad­justed by a jew­eller, eas­ing the bur­den of rewind­ing it from its wearer.

Ac­cord­ing to Salvador Ar­bona, tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor for Move­ments, the team was par­tic­u­larly fo­cused on the shock re­sis­tance of the tour­bil­lon cage and bridges. “This was a more dif­fi­cult am­bi­tion to achieve than one might imag­ine, be­cause we were com­mit­ted to mak­ing the cage ap­pear as though it were float­ing in­de­pen­dent of the base­plate and bridges. Op­ti­mi­sa­tion was cru­cial to en­sur­ing re­sis­tance to im­pact dur­ing test­ing.” The out­come is an aes­thet­i­cally-pleas­ing design that boasts of dura­bil­ity as well, made to be worn day-in and day-out. “Its ar­chi­tec­ture is un­ob­tru­sive enough to bring the dial, hands, and ac­ces­sories to the fore,” says Ar­bona.

When Gue­nat was in­vited to work on the tour­bil­lon’s cas­ing, she was im­me­di­ately excited and drew sev­eral dif­fer­ent ver­sions in­stead of one. Af­ter show­ing the teams her sketches, it be­came un­der­stood among ev­ery­one that they would be cre­at­ing a col­lec­tion. “The idea of a col­lec­tion, in the sense of haute cou­ture or fine jew­ellery, was both more ex­clu­sive and more likely to in­ter­est cus­tomers,” Gue­nat says. She was also res­o­lute about dress­ing the time­piece with jew­elled fit­tings—in the end, with sparkling di­a­monds, mother of pearl, onyx, and black sap­phires. A col­lab­o­ra­tion among skilled crafts­men—jewellers, watch­mak­ers, and dial-mak­ers—was nec­es­sary to com­plete the time­piece, mak­ing each seg­ment of fit har­mo­niously with one an­other.

The re­sult is the RM 71-01 Au­to­matic Tour­bil­lon Tal­is­man. A time­piece that, true to its name, ac­com­pa­nies the wo­man who wears it daily, like an amulet. With its many sides, the time­piece is al­most mag­i­cal in its tech­ni­cal and vis­ual glory. While em­body­ing grace and so­phis­ti­ca­tion, it also of­fers ex­clu­siv­ity—the time­piece is of­fered in 10 vari­a­tions, each pro­duced in just five pieces.

44 dif­fer­ent stamp­ing pro­ce­dures were nec­es­sary to com­plete the watch’s case

a col­lab­o­ra­tive af­fair (Clock­wise from top left) Cé­cile Gue­nat’s sketches; Tech­ni­cians putting the time­piece to­gether; A vari­a­tion of the RM 71-01’s dial; The brand’s first in-house au­to­matic tour­bil­lon cal­i­bre

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