International Watch Review

The New Richard Mille Woman

The watch brand's new women's collection is more luxurious, artistic, and unique than ever.
Reading time 5 minutes

The world was waiting for a single watch, but Richard Mille released a full collection. In fact, the new Talisman has ten different interpretations. Specifications dictated case shape and mechanisms, and for the rest, carte blanche was left to the creator.

As the name suggests, the RM 71-01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman houses a new, self-winding skeleton tourbillon movement, developed in house. This sits at the heart of an elongated barrel casing in gold or white gold, communicating Richard Mille's style and spirit.

After establishing the technical specificities, the watch needed a captivating appearance. Thus, three years ago, Richard Mille enlisted Cécile Guenat, inspired by her talent and wanting a young woman to lead the project. A graduate of Geneva's University of Art and Design, the watch designer started at a Lausanne jeweler before moving to London, where she sketched and curated jewelry collections for fashion houses and other brands, helping her star to rise.

"We were looking for a young, talented, modern designer to accelerate this impulse and bring the women's collection to the top," Mille says of choosing Guenat to design the Talisman. "She brought the watch to new heights by overcoming technical obstacles, by breaking the consensus and imposing a singular and resolutely contemporary style. "

Evoke an Internal Element of the Skeleton Movement

Guenat works with music in the background, and she finds two Franks (Ocean and Sinatra) to be especially conducive to her creation. The Mille opportunity came about quickly while fine-tuning technical innovations, but the young designer felt more than ready for the challenge.

"Our movement director, Salvador Arbona, wanted me to imagine the look for the beautiful new watch, which immediately excited me," Guenat says of the moment. "Rather than limit myself to one idea, I drew several versions. "

From the first pencil strokes, the beginnings of an inspiring new collection emerged. Ten propositions have evolved into as many variations of cases and dials.

"When I drew this collection, I was very inspired by art deco and multicultural arts," Guenat explains. "I reference African masks and sculptures, which have had an important impact on most of the great modern and contemporary artists, and also Bauhaus, by more discreet touches."

Once the ideas were on paper, the creative visions still had to become reality. Guenat imagined two distinct universes, one vegetal and the other urban, but realizing this proved to be complex and ambitious. The extent of her thinking is evident through the details: for example, each segment of precious stones prolongs or evokes an internal element of the skeleton movement.

For Cécile Guenat, director of women's collections at Richard Mille, design work on the new Talisman collection led to a series of ten different versions.
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Synthesis of Different Codes and Cultures

All the watchmakers' talent and skill were necessary in order to allow an aesthetic and technical dialogue between the movement, the case, and the dial, as this collection displays. the teams. Between the caliber achievements, first automatic tourbillon movement designed and manufactured in house, and each of Guenat's casing/dial designs, the new Talisman cares equally for art and innovation. This is natural for Richard Mille, who takes after the words of Oscar Wilde: "I have the simplest tastes in the world. I'm content with the best."

The manufacture of the case alone involves 255 machine operations, and five additional hours of work are necessary to polish surfaces. The setting of 500-700 diamonds alongside 350 black sapphires, however, takes significantly longer to complete.

"It takes five days to crimp a single dial," says the director of the specialized workshop, located in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Guenat adds: "If drawing is a starting point, the work of craftsmen ensures the true birth of the watch."

So is this Talisman collection destined for luck and success? Richard Mille is convinced.

"Cécile has done a superb synthesis of different cultures and codes," Mille says. "Her mastery of fine jewelry has helped to sublimate volumes, combine materials, and play with finishes and contrasts. She conquered the opposition between polished gold and brilliant diamond, taming the varied geometric lines to make a harmonious whole."

Harmonious indeed, but very exclusive, as each of the ten new Talismans will only have five copies.

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RM 71-01 Talisman Automatic Tourbillon, limited edition of 10 pieces each produced in 5 copies:

Case set in red gold or white gold, 52.20 x 34.40 x 12.50 mm - Self-winding skeletonized self-winding movement, with variable geometry crimped rotor - Power reserve of approximately 50 hours - Frequency 28,800 alt / h (4 Hz) - Anti-shock device - Hours and minutes functions - Skeleton plate and titanium bridges - Snow or grain setting - Red gold dial set with diamonds, mother-of-pearl or onyx - Sapphire crystal and back treated with anti-reflective coating - Sealing at 50 meters.

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