Richard Mille understands women and knows that a growing number of us are as fascinated by hardcore mechanics, avant-garde materials and innovative design as your regular male coghead. Gone are the days when complications were the exclusive domain of men, with women happily settling for something sparkly running on a quartz engine. Every year, more women are drawn into the fascinating world of mechanical movements, but there is one condition that does prevail - no matter how complicated the movement might be, it still has to look good. And this is where Richard Mille watches truly excel.
This incredible new watch, known as the RM 07-02 Pink Lady Sapphire, encapsulates complex watchmaking mechanics and displays them in a novel transparent pink case made from a single block of pink sapphire. The gorgeous dusty pink colour of the sapphire crystal on the watch was chosen to recreate the colour of a famous 1930s cocktail known as the Pink Lady. Designed for high society women who were bored of chauvinist conventions, the cocktail, like this Richard Mille watch, was an elegant symbol of female emancipation.
Sapphire is renowned for its innate resilience to scratches and its incredible hardness. The downside is that it is extremely difficult to work with and there is no room for mistakes - the case took almost 40 days of machining and finishing to comply with the ergonomics of the tonneau-shaped watch. The high-tech tripartite sapphire case is held together with special spline screws, while the centre of the dial, suspended on a red gold structure highlighted with diamonds and a mother-of-pearl centre, is unabashedly feminine. Both the tear-drop hour markers and the gold hands are treated with luminescent material for accurate readings in the dark.
Read about Richard Mille on our list of top 10 women's watches
The reverse side of this Richard Mille watch is as beautifully finished as the dial and reveals the skeletonised automatic movement in all its glory. The baseplate and bridges are not only machined from red gold, microblasted and bevelled by hand, the baseplate is also decorated with hundreds of diamonds - an extraordinary feat of gemsetting. The rotor features variable geometry, which means it can be adjusted to the owner’s activity level, and is also made from red gold, set with diamonds, and keeps the engine running for around 50 hours. Just beneath the rotor is a free sprung balance wheel with variable inertia offering greater reliability when subjected to shocks. You only have to think of the impact Rafa Nadal’s watch has to deal with when he thrashes about on court wearing his RM 27-02 watch.
Read about Richard Mille men's watches at Baselworld
From whichever angle you approach this gorgeous Richard Mille watch, the Pink Lady Sapphire marks a before and after in complexity made beautiful.
Read about more original watches in our unusual times story