“A profusion of light in prismatic colours. An eruption of coloured stones.” – is how Richard Mille presents the all-new RM 71-02 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman collection for women. It comprises ten models, each presented in a limited edition of just seven pieces. Inspired by the essence of the ’70s nightlife, each piece in the collection is distinct through its combination of coloured gems, geometric patterns and contrasting colourful straps.
“I was immediately drawn to a very specific cultural era for inspiration very early on in the process; I was in a Studio 54 state of mind—listening to disco, funk and R&B,” explains Cécile Guenat, the Director of Creation and Development at Richard Mille. “This collection is so different from anything we’d done before, even if we had used some coloured stones in previous watches. The Bonbon collection helped us introduce this colourful and fun aesthetic to our audiences, and we decided to continue in that way.”
Cécile is the daughter of Dominique Guenat, who joined forces with Richard Mille to co-found the brand in 1999. The Guenat family’s involvement in the watchmaking industry goes back four generations from Cécile, when Ali Guenat became the owner of a small watchmaking enterprise in 1900. Today, this company is Guenat S.A. Montres Valgine, which oversees the manufacturing and distribution of all Richard Mille timepieces.
Cécile, who also happens to be the director of Richard Mille’s women’s collection, made her debut in 2018 with the RM 71-01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman collection. The ten model collection fused tribal arts with Art Deco references using a palette of black, white, silver and gold. The colourways were achieved using a combination of precious stones and metals. This collection also debuted the brand’s first in-house automatic tourbillon movement – the CRMT1 tourbillon.
Last year, Cécile gave us the playful yet distinctly feminine RM 07-03 Bonbon collection, also comprising ten models. This collection was presented under two themes – Fruits and Sweets – featuring a total of 60 bright colours. The miniature sweet embellishments that decorated the timepieces were created by hand suing powdered enamel and fine sand, and finished in acrylic paint and lacquer.
This year’s RM 71-02 collection combines elements from Cécile’s previous two collections to produce an aesthetic that is original and bold in equal measure; drawing on “the untamed energy and raw glamour of the 1970s.”
Like Cécile’s previous two collections, the RM 71-02 also comprises ten models. Unlike the previous two, however, Cécile gave each model in the collection a feminine name – Bianca, Carmen, Diana, Donna, Gloria, Grace, Jane, Jessica, Liz and Paloma. These names serve a dual purpose: to reinforce their feminine character while also eluding to the highly symbolic choice of stones.
Each watch, depending on the design, may contain between 817 to 971 precious stones on a case with a dimension of 52.20 x 34.40 x 12.50 mm. The stones used include diamonds, sapphires, rubies, tsavorites, peridots, lapis lazuli, chrysolemon, malachite, mother-of-pearl, turquoise, pink opal and jasper, among others. Cécile and her team reportedly spent more than six months researching and confirming the placement of the stones.
The RM 71-02 becomes the second Richard Mille collection powered by the CRMT1 tourbillon calibre. This skeletonised and tonneau-shaped calibre has a diamond-set oscillating weight at the heart of its self-winding mechanism. Requiring around a thousand hours of development, the calibre is only 6.2 mm thick and weighs just eight grams. The integrated tourbillon cage weighs just 0.3 grams.
Developed for daily wear, this calibre is shock resistant to 5,000 g’s and has a power reserve of 50 hours. The mechanism has a bidirectional rotor with variable geometry, which enables its self-winding to be adjusted to the wearer’s activity level.
For the first time, watches in the RM 71-02 collection come with a full series of “coloured metallic” leather straps. Each piece of leather is given a patented “metallic leather treatment” to reinforce the impact of the coloured stones and to channel “the glamour of 1970s fashion.” Each piece is also embossed. The straps that attach above 12 o’clock have an understated botanical motif, while those that attach below 6 o’clock have geometric motifs to set off their jewelled cases. The two straps assigned to each watch have contrasting colours.
The Richard Mille RM 71-02 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman is now available in the region through authorised dealers.