Richard Mille RM 71-02 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman takes us back to the disco era

It’s a profusion of colour and a combination of stones never seen before at this exclusive luxury Maison

Most of us associate Richard Mille with hyper-aggressive, F1-inspired ultra-masculine timepieces, and we wouldn’t be wrong. But lately the Maison has made significant inroads into the realm of ladies watches with the help of creative director Cécile Guenat, whose modern femininity and jewellery training imbues the firm’s ladies collections with a dynamic new energy.

Her most memorable creation was the candy-hued 2019 Bonbons, a selection of gender-neutral models decked out in fruits, sweets and other confections. And in 2020, Guenat takes us on a whirlwind journey back in time to the Disco Era.

The new Talisman collection comprises 10 different limited edition watches of seven pieces each

RM 71-02 Automatic Tourbillon Talisman is a capsule collection of 10 watches, each limited to seven pieces and essentially the same at heart, but at the same time not without unique aesthetic variations such that all are a little different. It’s a continuation of the RM 71-01 launched in 2018. But where the earlier series was predominantly monochromatic, these latest releases were all about colour, light and movement.

The pieces remind us of the ’70s disco era and the theatrical decor of Studio 54

Says the creative director, “I [was] immediately drawn to a very specific cultural era for inspiration very early on in the process; I was in a Studio 54 state of mind – listening to disco, funk and R&B. This collection is so different from anything we’d done before, even if we had used some coloured stones in previous watches. The Bonbon collection helped us introduce this colourful and fun aesthetic to our audiences, and we decided to continue in that way.”

Shiny lamé, rhinestones and sequins inspire their designs

Bringing a feminine perspective to watch creation, Guenat’s approach on the Talisman series rather resembles the way a couturier designs – with a main idea applying throughout the entire collection yet the pieces each receive a special flourish so they all bring something different to the fore.

Wild colours and bold textures reflect the individualism of the era

The watches have also been individually christened, reflecting more of the ’70s vibe with names like Gloria, Jessica, Diana, Grace, Donna… Studded with a wide array of precious and semi-precious stones, the watches all feature different engraving and setting patterns. They’re also paired with bold colourful straps, some of them purposely mismatched to evoke the unapologetic individualism of the era.

A supreme work of craftsmanship, more than six months were needed to validate the stones’ positioning

Giving the pieces added character is the symbolism behind the centre stones. Hematite for instance represents strength, and malachite for inner balance, and lapis lazuli for vision. Then there’s sugilite for protection and pink opal for healing… It’s like having your personal talisman on the wrist but worn in a most rebellious fashion – and knowing the team at Richard Mille, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Richard Mille