By James Phang
Richard Mille has now added one more masterpiece to their collection of ultra-luxury timepieces for women – the Richard Mille RM 07-02 Pink Lady – which was produced from a case almost entirely crafted from synthetic pink -colored sapphire crystal.
The synthetic crystal is similar to those used in watch crystals, and has to be created in a lab with sufficient purity and clarity to allow the light to shine through without inclusions. Richard Mille has been producing a select number of men’s watches in clear sapphire crystal since 2012, often commanding prices in excess of one million dollars due to the complexity of machining sapphire crystal cases – the material is so tough that properly machining the necessary angles, curves, and shape of the distinct tonneau-style Richard Mille case took 40 days and almost 800 hours, as well as the replacement of many machine parts which broke down due to the hardness of the material. Furthermore, given that the sapphire crystal is very inflexible, machining it at different angles will inevitably cause cracking and the entire sapphire crystal block would have to be disposed. As such, I would imagine that the cost of making one of these cases runs much higher than what a lot of luxury watches cost at retail, easily running into five figures, although reps declined to confirm the exact amount.
A smokey mother of pearl occupies the central dial section, with small diamonds surrounding the dial and into the winding rotor on the back. The entire CRMA5 movement is made from solid red gold with a grained finish and beveled edges throughout, and the variable geometry rotor helps the winding of the watch to adapt to to the movements of the wearer. Similarly, red gold is also used for both the flange and the bridges, whose angles and edges are hand-chamfered and hand-drawn to capture light. The skeletonizing does indeed show off the comprehensive display of gears and mechanics inside for the wearer thoroughly appreciate it. The case of the Richard Mille 07-02 watch is held together with grade 5 titanium spline screws and o-rings are used for water resistance purposes. The white alligator strap is also a stunning complement to the watch. On the whole, this masterpiece is as feminine as it is technical.
At $980,000, it falls significantly under the $1.65 million which the RM 056 – Felipe Massa sold for, but it is still one of the most expensive watches commercially available today. Although it is not a limited edition watch, it will still be produced in limited quantities, largely due to the prohibitive price tag and the complexity of the production process. For more info, please visit richardmille.com
JAMES PHANG – CONTRIBUTING WRITER
James Phang is a young watch enthusiast from Singapore and is a self-professed fanatic of independent brands for their unique avant-garde designs. Some of his favorite brands include MB&F, Urwerk, Romain Jerome, Sarpaneva, Peter Speake-Marin and Azimuth. His love for art extends out to all things handmade, and he has made it his personal mission to find the best handmade straps and buckles worldwide for his humble collection. Read his articles here