Light and darkness, present and future, mystery and discovery – Richard Mille brings together these opposites with the new RM 07-01 Intergalactic collection.
Conceptualised as an invitation to embark on a journey into the dawn of time, it features four thematic interpretations of the CRMA2 calibre based on the creation of the universe – from an endless void into life as we know it today. From this event was spawned galaxies of stars, which have continued to inspire mankind, and watchmakers, until now.
“It all started with the vision of an explosion of stars taking place in the black darkness”, explains Cécile Guenat, Richard Mille’s creative and development director. Created with supreme design and execution, the RM 07-01 Intergalactic was also realised through two other factors: the brand’s DNA of making wearable performance machines for the wrist, and its proprietary technical material, the black Carbon TPT.
The foil to this darkness is the brightness and allure of glittering stars, which are immortalised as snow-set diamonds held with 5N red gold prongs on four new Carbon TPT models based on the 07-01 collection. “We wanted to rethink our approach to gem-setting as a way of bringing the elements together in an intense way,” adds Guenat.
The RM 07-01 Dark Night evokes the birth of a myriad of constellations, represented by the burst of gold prongs studding the entire watch case. On both the RM 07-01 Starry Night dressed with a Carbon TPT bracelet, and the RM 07-01 Bright Night whose caseband is crafted in microblasted 5N red gold, diamonds in captivating arrangements take centre stage. The RM 07-01 Misty Night showcases the mesmerising contrast between Carbon TPT’s velvety matte surface and scintillating diamonds surrounded by gold prongs in a design that boldly emanates outwards. In addition, it comes decorated with 5N red-gold pillars on the caseband.
The challenges associated with gem-setting on Carbon TPT, and in such an elaborate fashion, attest to Richard Mille’s expertise in this area. A gold base would allow the craftsman to easily shape the prongs to secure the diamonds, but with Carbon TPT and its hardness, the gem-setter is required to use diamond-bit milling tools in order to machine the settings to utmost precision. On these watches, diamonds and polished red gold prongs are inserted by hand into numerous settings of varying diameters. “Using prongs as decorative elements is an aesthetic approach that progressively highlights this explosion of light,” explains Guenat.
While Carbon TPT’s look is remarkably striking, the material’s other attributes include its lightness, its texturally pleasant sensation on the skin, and its incredible strength, which provides optimal protection for the watch movement. The one in question here is Richard Mille’s in-house CRMA2 calibre, a skeletonised automatic movement in grade 5 titanium with hours, minutes and a variable- geometry rotor. With such wizardry at the very being of the RM 07-01 Intergalactic collection, it is safe to say this fusion of design, comfort, craftsmanship and high horology is poised to make shock waves this season.