Richard Mille’s Gemset Sapphire RM 07-02 colours our thoughts. Gold had already lost its pride of place in the gemset ceramic and Carbon TPT® watches. Today, the brand expresses its new approach to diamonds through coloured sapphire.
The very long process of fabrication starts with a detailed study of the sapphire’s composition. The machining of each piece of extremely hard and resistant sapphire, hone from a giant block, requires 40 days of finishing. On top of this, the sapphire’s deep structure is also examined so as to achieve the exact tone of pink, green or blue chosen by the brand.
Setting each element is a real engineering feat requiring a laser operating to the nearest micrometre. This takes twice the time compared to ceramics or Carbon TPT®. Prongs in red or grey hand-polished gold, made separately, are then inserted, creating multiple settings to hold a delicate row of diamonds. The crystalline hue of the sapphire enhances the subtle alternating rhythm between the brightness of the twelve diamond lines and the brand’s emblematic design of the case screws.
This new case highlights the house’s skeletonised movement— in micro-blasted grey gold for the green and blue sapphire versions, and in 5N red gold for the pink sapphire. Similarly, each sapphire colour corresponds to a specific ornamental stone on the dial: nephrite for the green sapphire, mother-of-pearl for the blue, and jasper for the pink. A diamond completes each crown. The piece is wound automatically via its variable-geometry rotor in 18K 5N red gold set with diamonds, ensuring that the winding adapts to the movements of the wearer. The purity of the calibre echoes that of the case, each complementing the other to form a unique timepiece that combines innovation and finesse.