Richard Mille’s latest ladies’ timepiece, the RM 71- 01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman, marks yet another technical first for the haute horlogerie watchmaker
Richard Mille's latest ladies' timepiece, the RM 71-01 marks another technological first
THE WORLD OF watches is predominately a male one and for the longest time, watchmakers did little research into what women really wanted. Pale imitations of male mechanical marvels, ladies' timepieces were often smaller versions fitted with a quartz movement, with diamonds sprinkled all over as an afterthought. Not Richard Mille, though; his eponymous brand's latest pioneering creation, the RM 71- 01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman, proves his dedication to women.
Richard Mille watches have long held a reputation for being extremely high-tech, lusted over by many a man – and when it came to ladies' timepieces, the watchmaker made no compromises. The brand has toiled to bring forth a meaningful women's collection since the beginning, from the RM 19- 02 Tourbillon Fleur (where a threedimensional flower opens and closes to reveal a tourbillon) to the RM 037, with an in-house skeletonised movement. You'll never fi nd the man resting on his laurels or lacking in creativity. Says Richard Mille, the man himself, in a statement: “Women's watches have represented a considerable percentage of our sales for several years now. That said, we needed a modern, creative and talented young woman to inject new energy into our status quo and take the women's collection to new heights.”
This creative challenge was taken up by Cécile Guenat, ladies' collection director and the daughter of Dominique Guenat, a friend and business partner of Richard Mille, who was encouraged to take her own approach – one that was freed from the current norms. For Guenat, this means
trying to incorporate a jewellery design that could stand up to the mechanical sophistication of the brand.
“My work is the fruit of very different influences,” says Guenat. “In designing this collection, I drew not only on art deco, but on the tribal arts – masks, African sculptures – whose impact on all great modern and contemporary artists has been enormous.” Guenat didn't just come up with one design concept, though; she came out with 10. The resulting RM 71- 01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman is presented in 10 variations in either a red or white gold dial, distinguished by a variety of fi nishes and different precious stone settings using diamonds, mother- of-pearl, onyx and black sapphire that fully highlight a technical achievement by Richard Mille – the first completely in-house developed automatic tourbillon movement: the Calibre CRMT1.
Developed by the Richard Mille team in Les
Breuleux, the tonneau-shaped CRMT1 is the brand's eighth movement to be produced in-house. It wasn't an easy challenge for the team to create a tourbillon movement slim enough to fit into a ladies RM 037 case (which the RM 71- 01 is based on) and, at the same time, still meet the exacting standards of performance for all Richard Mille watches.
Diamonds on the case? Sure, but Guenat was adamant that bedazzling had to make sense, so each and every segment of the stones is placed thoughtfully to echo the calibre's internal vectors. A true piece of art, each of the 10 variations of the RM 71- 01 is limited to just fi ve pieces.
There are 10 variations of the RM 71-01, distinguished by its white or red-gold case and different stone settings