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November 29, 2021

Richard Mille: RM 71-01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman

Richard Mille shows its commitment to the feminine world with a brand new ladies watch, featuring a in-house automatic tourbillon that is slim, ultra-high performance and enhanced with sparkling diamonds, mother-of-pearl, onyx and black sapphires in ten different variations.

Talisman

“We are known for our incredibly technical, high-performance watches that draw inspiration from the automotive and aeronautics industries, even though women’s watches have represented a considerable percentage of our sales for several years now” shared Richard Mille. “That said, we needed a modern, creative and talented young woman to inject new energy into our status quo and take the women’s collection to new heights. It was Cécile Guenat, the daughter of my friend and business partner Dominique, who met this challenge by overcoming technical obstacles, freeing herself from consensus and establishing a unique and resolutely contemporary style”.

Talisman

Cécile, now Ladies’ Collection Director, who earned her spurs in the world of fine jewellery, was first asked to join the company and design new creations. She took her inspiration from the talisman, a name that evokes nothing less than magical protection, at the intersection of Tribal arts and Art Deco.

“My work is the fruit of very different influences” confides Cécile Guenat. “In designing this collection, I drew not only on Art Deco, but on the Tribal arts—masks, African sculptures, etc.—whose impact on all great modern and contemporary artists has been enormous. The contrasts, geometry, and sacred character of these objects fascinate me all the more because they prefigured today’s design through the fusion of content and form”.

Talisman

The notion of a collection took shape very early in the initial sketches. Thus emerged a number of interpretations, with ten different variations on the case and dial. Cécile Guenat chose to glorify the skeleton movement through the many possibilities for setting and engraving the case. Heightened by sparkling stones, the shape of the dials reveals two deliberately distinct worlds, one that is organic and the other more urban.

Talisman

A masterpiece in every sense, the RM 71-01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman abolishes the distinction between jewellery and its case. ‘Yet to truly put the launch in a class of its own, we needed to combine the exceptional design with technical prowess, hence the brand’s very first automatic tourbillon movement! It is not the existence of this specificity that is of principal concern so much as the extraordinary technical characteristics—the performance, reliability and breathtaking finishes’, explains Richard Mille. With this horological tourbillon, the brand inducts the Calibre CRMT1, its eighth, in-house calibre. The baseplate protecting the tourbillon’s rotation remains open to preserve transparency. Skeletonised and tonneau-shaped, with a thickness no greater than 6.2 mm and a weight of just 8 grams, the Calibre CRMT1—housed in a case of white or red gold—is clothed in titanium.

Talisman

Far from a fragile item, this ladies’ watch is ‘designed to be worn day-in day-out, precisely because it has an automatic winding mechanism,’ points out Salvador Arbona, Technical Director for Movements. ‘Its architecture is unobtrusive enough to bring the dial, hands and accessories to the fore.’

Talisman

Each of the 10 dials crowns the central portion of the tourbillon. Each dial, a mere 0.9 mm in thickness, is hand set. This component is an immense technical challenge because of the many different finishing operations required: sandblasting, polishing… and all this in a very small area arranged on several levels. The bezel is adorned with diamonds in permutations that vary in the number, shape and size of the stones according to the version. The caseback is engraved with matt bands that contrast strikingly with the brilliance of the stones and the high polish of all other surfaces.

Thus, in the RM 71-01 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman, while the artisanal and artistic combine their expressions in the skeletonisation, settings and production of the dials, the mechanism itself here serves to articulate ideal proportions.

By Valeria Garavaglia

Talisman