Bright, bold colours reminiscent of summer and a sense of play remain at the core of Richard Mille’s new collection: the RM 07-01 Coloured Ceramics. Inspired by the rebellious 1980s’ Italian art and architecture movement, Memphis Design, the three timepieces (sized at 31.40 x 45.23 x 11.85 mm) are cased in lightweight TZP ceramic and sport hand-crafted guillochage. The collection includes three summer-inspired models with three different coloured ceramics used for the bezels: Blush pink TZP ceramic for the RM 07-01 Pastel Pink, lavender pink TZP ceramic for the RM 07-01 Pastel Lavender, and powder blue TZP ceramic for the RM 07-01 Pastel Blue.
Memphis Design, the main source of inspiration behind the collection, was an Italian design movement and cultural phenomenon of the ’80s. It put emphasis on bidding adieu to previously dictated creative boundaries and structure, and encouraged the use of more explosive colours, riotous decorations, and intrepid asymmetries. Radical, funny, outrageous, it combined the geometric shapes of Art Deco with the colour palette of Pop Art and a bit of 1950s kitsch. The idea behind incorporating the aesthetics of Memphis Design into the Coloured Ceramics collection was to play around with colours, textures, and materials like ceramic, and patterned rubber. The brand’s technical team elevated the work further by weaving in the ancient craft of guilloché for the dial, creating a perfect harmony of the ultra-modern and the traditional in watchmaking.
The Tetragonal Zirconia Polycrystal (TZP) ceramic imparts a lightness to the timepieces while not compromising on strength and toughness. The sophisticated material composition and sintering process ensures greater durability and a visual matte effect that complements the three pastel shades. The material’s colour retention properties guarantee that the hues remain unfaded and perfectly balanced even over long periods of time.
Affixed on white gold, microblasted casebands with polished pillars, the bezels protect the in-house skeletonised automatic winding CRMA2 movement with a power reserve of approximately 50 hours. As is usual with Richard Mille movements, grade 5 titanium has been used for the bridges and the baseplate. The skeletonisation of the components allows maximum light to pass through and fill the space. It also allows the wearer to admire the high-grade finishing of the movement with its drawn, chamfered, and polished surfaces.
“We play with different geometric forms, with the mix of materials, in the same way an object was designed in the Memphis movement. The result is a collection that combines contemporary, elegant, playful, and extroverted lines into a new form,” says Cecile Guenat, Director of Creative Development at Richard Mille. The dials are proof of the brand’s commitment to using the artisanal technique of guillochage in a bold, new way that’s inspired both by Memphis Design and the Richard Mille universe.
The motif on the dials (grey, PVD-treated red gold) is engraved on a white gold segment, surrounded by decorative detailing in ceramic, coloured rubber appliques, and diamond-set elements. A grey PVD-treated white gold serves as a display for all of these elements. The contrasting blocks of colours and the different textures, combined with the delicate lines of the guilloché dial segments, highlight a contemporary design aesthetic fused together with a method of embellishment, taken from the 18th century, which evokes a sense of elegance and magic.
Stylish and contemporary, each of the three models of the RM 07-01 Coloured Ceramics collection represents Richard Mille’s innovative approach to cutting-edge materials and pure technicity while striving to veer away from conventional watch designs.