While Richard Mille is well known for its incredibly technical, high-performance watches that are typically inspired by the automotive and aeronautics industries, the watchmaker has never forgotten about the ladies. In fact, the watchmaker has just taken its women’s collection to brand-new heights with the release of the RM 71-01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman — a timepiece that takes so many hours and dedication to create that it only comes in a series of 10 variations, with only five of each available in the world.
Shimmering in bejewelled cases of white or red gold, the RM 71-01 marks the very first release overseen by Cécile Guenat, Richard Mille’s new director of ladies’ collections. With a background as a jewellery designer, Guenat took great care with every single detail, from initial sketches of the watches to the choice of stones used in production. With inspiration drawn from talismans of different cultures, she came up with a series of design variations featuring mother-of-pearl, onyx and diamonds, with cues taken from a wide range of aesthetics, from Art Deco to tribal masks and African sculpture.
To be able to bring the heavily embellished designs to life, however, Guenat had to make sure there was enough space available on the narrow, tonneau-shaped RM 037 case for all the jewels, without having to compromise the technical prowess and performance that is the very core of Richard Mille’s identity. The solution? The creation of the watchmaker’s first-ever, in-house automatic tourbillon movement: Calibre CRMT1.
Clothed in grade 5 titanium, the Calibre CRMT1 is ultra-light and compact, and can fit perfectly into the RM 037 case that’s just 6.2mm thick and 8 grams in weight. It’s also largely skeletonised, leaving plenty of space and surfaces for the many creative possibilities Guenat had in mind for the piece, thus fulfilling her wish to offer jewelled fittings that match the mechanical sophistication of the brand.
Just as with every other timepiece at Richard Mille, no effort was spared in the creation of the RM 71-01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman. Each of the 10 dials that crowns the central portion of the tourbillon gets meticulously sandblasted and polished before being carefully hand-set with jewels, while the bezel is adorned with diamonds in permutations that vary in the number, shape and size of the stones according to the version. The case back, meanwhile, is engraved with matte bands that contrast strikingly with the brilliance of the stones and the high polish of all other surfaces, resulting in a beautiful masterpiece that radiates in every way.
A design that took three years in the making, the RM 71-01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman is the marvellous end product of a marriage between fine jewellery and ultra-technicality. And just as its name suggests, with only 50 pieces available worldwide, you probably do need the magical power of talismans to be able to get your hands on one.
For pricing and availability, contact your local Richard Mille boutique.