New Watch: SIHH 2018 Richard Mille RM 07-01 in Gem-Set Black Ceramic
This is the first time diamonds have been set in ceramic watch
The world of Richard Mille is one of doing ever increasing fantastic things to ever rare and esoteric materials. It’s a history which Richard Mille has practiced on countless men’s timepieces like Nadal’s ultralight namesake Richard Mille watch and now, the Swiss watchmaker adds to its repertoire of exceptional innovation with another watchmaking-jewelcrafting first – the world’s first Richard Mille RM 07-01 in Gem-Set Black Ceramic.
New Ladies’ Watch: SIHH 2018 Richard Mille RM 07-01 in Gem-Set Black Ceramic
While the Richard Mille RM 07-01 isn’t exactly a new watch, having appeared in unique mix of materials like rose gold with white ceramic and brown ceramic with carbon, the new Richard Mille ladies’ watch is an unprecedented combination of diamond and black ceramic.
“After our work on setting gems in Carbon TPT®, we wanted to extend this innovative setting technique to new materials” – Cécile Guenat, Technical Director for Jewellery-making, Richard Mille.
“After our work on setting gems in Carbon TPT®, we wanted to extend this innovative setting technique to new materials”, explains Cécile Guenat, Technical Director for Jewellery-making at Richard Mille. “We naturally gravitated to ceramic, because it had never been done before. There is now no subterfuge in the way diamonds are incorporated, thanks to way the mitraillage is performed by machining the material directly.”
The black TZP ceramic used on the new SIHH 2018 Richard Mille RM 07-01 in Gem-Set Black Ceramic is notable for its exceptional hardness and scratch resistance. This means that setting gems of any kind into the material is a long and delicate process.
The use of ceramic in watchmaking is not uncommon but the setting of gemstones like diamonds into ceramic is. Typically, gem-set ceramic watches are given the appearance of being gem-set through an ingenious technique of setting precious stones onto thin metal and then setting on the ceramic. Furthermore, the exceptional finishing of the complex bezel and case architecture requires a dedicated finisher who polishes each angle of the new RM 07-01 for Ladies in Gem-Set Black Ceramic by hand.
To make the RM 07-01 in Gem-Set Black Ceramic, Richard Mille drilled tiny points into the ceramic for little rose gold prongs with which to hold the diamonds by bending the prongs to “grip” the tips of the stones. The black TPZ ceramic achieves a fine grain matte effect through milling and micro-shot peening, creating the perfect backdrop for the bright refractive shine of diamonds.
The gem-set black ceramic and red gold case is home to the brand’s in-house Calibre CRMA2, an automatic movement assembled on a baseplate and bridges crafted in grade 5 titanium with a 18-carat 5N red gold variable-geometry rotor which can be manually adjusted by a trained professional to suit the pace of automatic winding according to the activity levels of its wearer.