Style / World of Watches (WOW)

SIHH 2019: Richard Mille and the Goodness of Sweets

We knew that Richard Mille enjoyed a little colour in its timepieces but its collection this year takes it to another level

Jan 15, 2019 | By Sean Mossadeg

Crazy colours done right with Richard Mille’s RM 16-01 Automatic Fraise and Citron

For the past few years, Richard Mille has used the SIHH watch fair in Geneva to unveil timepieces that defy convention and blows collectors’ minds away. It’s never a large collection but there’s always certainly a headliner in the mix. Last year, it was the RM53-01 Tourbillon Pablo Mac Donough and the year before that, the RM 50-03 McLaren F1. This year, however, the brand seems to be heading in a slightly different approach, releasing 10 different models with a singular theme – bonbon.

Bonbon, French for a sweet or small confection, was the inspiration behind the brand’s collection this year, a vast difference in aesthetics from the Mille we’ve come to know. Cécile Guenat, artistic director for the collection, said that the original idea was to revisit the brand’s older collections and bring a pop of colour to them. “This allowed me to bring out a pop-inspired sense of fun. In all, we developed a palette of 60 colours for this unisex collection,” she explained.

The Richard Mille RM 16-01 Automatic Fraise and Citron

Our favourites of the collection are the RM 16-01 Automatic Fraise and Citron, the original watch being a popular case from the brand. What has changed, besides the colour, is the inclusion of miniature sculptures on the dial, each painted in acrylics and lacquered by hand.

To make the miniatures even more realistic, Richard Mille “sugar-coated” the sculptures with powdered enamel and fine sand for the frosted look. Each sculpture, be it a tart jelly ribbon, a twisty lollipop or citrus candies are placed on the brand’s grade 5 titanium plates just above the movement.

While there hasn’t been much of a technical innovation per se, it’s an extremely vibrant way of presenting Richard Mille’s technical prowess in the art of horology. Read on to see some of the brand’s captures behind-the-scenes of making the watch.

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