Richard Mille is no stranger to the extravagant; his eponymous brand is also no stranger to carefully milling watch cases from solid blocks of sapphire crystal.
But doing so using pink crystal? Not even Mille has attempted that before. The reason these sapphire crystal-cased watches cost just north of £1million when Mille debuted the RM65-01 three years ago is not the cost of the raw material, but the hundreds of hours needed to machine it and the inevitable failure rates which come from working with a material as temperamental as crystal.
While incredibly hard – only two substances are harder – sapphire crystal’s lattice structure doesn’t respond well to the combined pressures and vibrations found inside a typical CNC machine.
The RM07-02 Pink Lady Sapphire Automatic – the brand’s first crystal-cased watch for women – introduces a pink-hued crystal sapphire-case, hewn from a single block in a process that takes nearly 40 days from start to finish. The encased CRMA5 calibre inside is assembled around a skeletonised red gold, diamond-set plate and matching winding rotor.
For all the latest on SIHH 2016 before, during and after the show visit WatchPro’s dedicated SIHH page here and remember to follow us on Twitter @WatchPro, Instagram @watchprouk and Facebook for all the latest news.