Richard Mille is known for its complex tonneau cases, openworked movements and above all, its fearless use of color. The latter is the standout feature of three new RM 07-01 Colored Ceramic editions. Each of the three editions is rendered in a unique combination of colors: the Pastel Blue combines light blue with turquoise accents; the Pastel Pink mixes purple and blue highlights; and the Pastel Lavender comes with red and orange elements.
The three-part case is a wearable 31.40 x 45.23 x 11.85 mm, and although the RM 07-01 is known as a ladies’ watch, the thickness and length are substantial enough for any wrist. The technicolor models are made of a pure ceramic called tetragonal zirconia polycrystal, which contains 95% zirconia. Richard Mille says the material is scratch resistant to 1,400 vickers, tougher than sapphire. A long and difficult machining and grinding process using diamond tools is required to create the complex forms of the bezel. The caseband is crafted in micro-blasted white gold with hand-polished pillars, while the base plate and bridges are made of micro-blasted grade 5 titanium.
The dial is made using a combination of traditional and modern techniques. It starts with a rhodium-plated red gold center that is finished in a guilloché motif that the company describes as “part botanical, part sunburst and part Art Deco.” This is the first time Richard Mille, a rigorously contemporary brand, has applied guilloché to a watch dial, but the unusual pattern gives this old-world craft a modern kick. The center is surrounded by microblasted ceramic inserts and geometrically patterned rubber appliqués in various interesting configurations and colors. The straps are bi-colored, matching elements of the case: in cerulean-lilac, coral-tangerine or olive-aqua.
It contains the automatic caliber CRMA2, with a free-sprung balance, which Mille says guarantees greater reliability when subjected to shocks, resulting in better timekeeping. The rotor moves on ceramic ball bearings, which optimize the winding system. It has a 50-hour power reserve. The RM 07-01 Automatic Colored Ceramic is limited to 50 pieces in each color, and priced at $163,000.